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WATCH: HIV-Positive Artist Dazzles in New Music Video


Kia Labeija dances her way through the streets of Colombia in Pillar Point's new video, "Dove."

Kia Labeija, from the New York City ball scene's legendary House of Labeija, is a creative force of nature. At the age of 25, the HIV-positive artist, who is also known as Kia Benbow, is the co-founder of the Artist’s Collective #GenAIDS and was even part of Plus magazine's 20 Most Amazing HIV-Positive women of 2014. Now, Kia has found a whole new way to inspire us as the star of  “Dove,” the latest music video from the band Pillar Point.

In the video, Labeija is isolated on the streets of Bogotá, Colombia, expressing herself through her signature moves as she searches for her lover. Outside of the ball scene, her art is transformed into a visual chronicle of a woman who embraces emotion with force and abandon. She duck walks through city streets and catwalks through markets on a mesmerizing journey that is as inviting as it is foreign.

Within the ball scene with performances set on a stage, the vogue style of dance can seem like an aggressive, visual assault of moves and tricks used as a way to impress and out dance everyone in the room. In "Dove," however, Labeija uses her catalogue of moves to silently communicate her poetry. Her dancing is void of any attempts to impress. Instead, she uses her body to communicate her emotions in a way that words cannot. And it is nothing less than beautiful. 

The director of the video, Jacob Krupnick, described the video as “a video postcard of longing, an exploration through a new city, and a monologue about love.”

“I love that people tend to see my dance films and piece together their own narrative where it’s not totally spelled out,” Krupnick said to The Creator’s Project. “Part of the joy in this kind of storytelling is that it’s not didactic. I want to create a story that makes sense, that’s thrilling to follow and impossible to turn away from.”

Labeija has been voguing for eight years and made her first appearance in the ball scene in New York City four years ago. In 2012, she joined the legendary House of Lebeija, one of the first in the now famous house and ball community.

Labeija, who was born with HIV, has been working to inspire the younger generation to take part in activism and awareness for the better part of the past decade.

“I lost my mom when I was 14,” Benbow told audiences at (Re)Presenting AIDS: Culture and Accountability, a 2013 forum in New York created by Visual AIDS, the Pop Up Museum of Queer History, and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies. “And since then I have been trying to piece together how to help the younger generation deal with this.”

And without saying a word, she has made a major move to do exactly that. Simply put, there is nothing more beautiful, fabulous, inspiring, motivating, captivating, and HIV stigma-crushing than Kia Labeija in this dance masterpiece of a music video.



Pillar Point’s new album Marble Mouth is available on iTunes. 

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