Club Kali was set up as a club, and ended up as a global LGBTQ+ community.
Born in 1995 out of need and driven by the passion and commitment of two women; DJ Ritu and Rita. Both founders already worked in the non-profit sector improving lives and making a difference in the world. By day, DJ Ritu was a full-time youth worker, and Rita worked in the field of Domestic Violence. Their energy, with their close friends & family, the support and inspiration of another pioneer, Shiv, all contributed to the creation of Club Kali.
The road was hard, but each step was a transformation and lifeline for so many individuals growing up and coming out. A safe space of acceptance, a celebration of who we are, hence unity, authenticity and diversity naturally became our values.
Along the way, we had many laughs; from Parents Evening to Fit Firemen attending. Our Bollywood version of West Side Story played out on the Kali stage alongside celebrity PA’s, our Kali Queens and inspiring similar clubs in Manchester, Birmingham, Canada and New York.
Today, as a network we continue to support our LGBTQ+ community through a range of events; celebratory, social and political. We work with charity partners to empower, enlighten, transform, educate and challenge. The stories we hear about how Club Kali, as a space, makes a difference to people’s lives, is what keeps us going, and is our reason to be.
CLUB KALI MILESTONES
2023 Discovering Kali – Silver Jubilee Documentary to be released soon!
We can’t wait to share our first ever documentary! Captivating collection of stories to celebrate 25 years of Unity of our Community. Watch this space!
2022 Islington’s Pride – Pink Plaque Award
The writing’s on the wall! Honoured by Islington’s Pride for founding Club Kali! Scan the QR code on the plaque for more!
2021 Our 25th Birthday in Lockdown
Despite Lockdown, we carried on during Covid-19 building partnerships and provided online wellbeing sessions, socials, and even partying. We reached more people, learnt more, and started our 25th Anniversary Documentary! Watch this space 😊
2018 Partying with Pride & Partners
London Pride – march on plus party at Tate Britain with Queer & Now
Dancing in the Street! On the Pride London Parade with our community partners, supported by friends, Kala Kala in his car, with the familiar call of the Dhol! Then party time at Tate Britain.
2017 Allsorts showcase at SOAS with QueerAsia
Back to University for an education and a celebration! International celebration with QueerAsia Conference at SOAS for a meeting of minds, bodies and performances: Allosorts! After debates, discussions, screenings and more, our after-party showcased talent from our Kali Queens with the fabulous Heezy flying in from Korea
2016 21st Birthday Party @Dome, our original home
A Party to remember! Growing up here held so many memories for our members, and for us. The icing on the cake was to welcome our early members with their adult children, but not children now if you see what we mean! Intergenerational members!
2015 Kali in the City
In town for Socials with Lucky Strikes, Bowling, Karaoke, Queer Quiz & More!
We were bowled over with our Pizza Party in Bloomsbury, discovered new spaces and Social events with Kali in the City. Fun, partying and competition with our Queer Quiz evenings. Meet ups, mingling, making new friends & more in the heart of London.
2013 Campaign against Section 377 Global Day of Rage.
We spoke at Soho Square in December with Sunil Gupta and Peter Thatchell supported by the wider LGBTQ community as part of global campaigning to overturn Section 377. Section 377 was a legacy of British Victorian morality and criminalised homosexuality. Our pre-colonial heritage recognised same sex relationships, gender diversity with gender diverse gods, temples with queer erotica, and a chapter in the Karma Sutra on same sex relationships. Despite this, same sex relationships were re-criminalised and thankfully global outrage followed with Section 377 finally overturned in 2018.
2012 Lounge Affair
We started lounging about! We had pre-club Happy Hour to mingle, fun Bollywood Dance Classes, events at the British Library, Battersea Park for the Olympics, BFI London Gay Film Festival Party. Celebrity PA’s such as Taz Stereo Nation, Bally Sagoo. Mona Singh and many more continued to grace the Kali stage and we got a lovely recommendation from Time Out Magazine!
2009 Coming out on www
The World’s worst kept secret, we came out with a website followed by social media. After many conversations on how we could maintain the safety of our members we set up closed social media channels to which we later added more include and open channels.
2005 Double the fun
Once a month wasn’t enough – we did it twice a month! Club Kali at the G-Lounge in Camden & at the Dome.
2002 Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras, the first World Music Stage
We curated and hosted a massive, first World Music stage sponsored by BT at London Mardi Gras bringing together Latin, Black, Asian communities with performances, DJ’s and more in Unity with lots of Pride!
You just had to be there. Were you?
Bollywood tunes on deck with our Chutney Queens dancing in colourful saris, sparkling in the summer sunshine.. in heels, on a moving float cruising down central London streets!
1995 Club Kali Opening Night!
We’re here! Club Kali – black, beautiful and powerful too!
We chose Kali as a name in 1995 to symbolise destruction of prejudice, challenging normative heterosexuality, forces that sought to control and oppress us. Kali the goddess emerges victorious from a battle, representing freedom, empowerment and independence.
Oh, and Kali also means black, a strong political inclusive term of the times embodying unity, supporting each other as a community, and this is how we continue to be.