Agnieszka Koscianska and Wieslaw Sokoluk – Instrukataz nadmierny [An Excessive Instruction]

Crusev Poland’s Agnieszka Koscianska introduces her new book – a book long conversation with the sex educator and youth therapist Wieslaw Sokoluk, in which Sokoluk tells the story of sex education handbook he co-authored in 1987.

Crusev Poland’s Agnieszka Koscianska introduces her new book, Instrukataz nadmierny, published this summer:

Instrukataz nadmierny (An Excessive Instruction, published by Wydawnictwo Czarne, based in Wolowiec, Poland) is a book long conversation with the sex educator and youth therapist Wieslaw Sokoluk. In the book, Sokoluk tells the story of sex education handbook he co-authored in 1987. Although sex education has been offered in Polish schools since the late 1960s, initially there was no handbook. It was only in September 1987, when a handbook finally appeared. The handbook turned out to be remarkably progressive. It caused many controversies and was banned from schools after two months. It went further than any available sex and marriage manual for adults, which on the one hand affirmed sexuality, but on the other were rather conservative in their description of gender roles, placing sex in marriage. The handbook was also significantly more progressive than earlier sex education publications addressed to young people. While these publications explained in detail issues such as development, the physiological and psychological problems of adolescence or the physiology of reproduction, they were vague about sexuality and pathologized everything other than procreative marital intercourse. The 1987 handbook was explicit about teen sexuality and affirmed its various manifestations. It did not pathologize masturbation and it discussed issues like sexual techniques and sexual pleasure. It also called homosexual relationships “analogues” to heterosexual ones.

Sokoluk based the handbook on his experience in youth counselling and education. Since the late 1970s, he travelled from school to school throughout Poland and answered students’ questions. He also operated the youth telephone hotline and collaborated with youth magazines; in both cases he answered sexuality related questions. Moreover, he ran the youth advisory centre at the Planned Parenthood Association in Warsaw, which consisted of a walk-in clinic and a mail counselling service. As he told me, while writing the handbook he had all his students’, clients’ and correspondents’ questions and letters in mind.

Finally, the book consists a chapter on changing therapeutic and educational approaches towards homosexuality in late state socialist Poland. Sokoluk talks about letters he received from his homosexual correspondents and how he responded to them.

You can read more about the book, in Polish, by clicking here.

Cruising the Seventies: Imagining queer Europe then and now

Call for Papers
14 – 16 March 2019
Edinburgh, Scotland

Imagining queer Europe then and now explores cultural expressions of LGBTQ struggles across Europe in the 1970s, asking what queer histories of this decade might offer in the political present.

Call for Papers: Cruising the Seventies: Imagining queer Europe then and now

14 – 16 March 2019
Edinburgh, Scotland

Keynotes: Sam Bourcier, University of Lille; Fatima El-Tayeb, UC San Diego, and others TBC

Cruising the Seventies: Imagining queer Europe then and now explores cultural expressions of LGBTQ struggles across Europe in the 1970s, asking what queer histories of this decade might offer in the political present.

The decade that lies between the early expressions of Gay Liberation in the US in the late 1960s and the onset of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the early 1980s occupies a central place in the imaginary of queer politics and the histories that are told of it. Across Europe in the 1970s expressions of queer sexuality manifested unevenly. Through legislative changes, organised rights movements, and counter-cultural practices, LGBTQ individuals and groups emerged into tentative public visibility informed by anti-colonial struggles and in exchange with the Women’s Liberation Movement.

The burgeoning of an emergent LGBTQ politics in this period was shaped through cultural expressions. The circulation of manifestos, experimental literature, film and art, and the aesthetic dimensions of political activism, all represent crucial forms through which queer life was lived and imagined. Revisited through the lens of the present, cultural expressions of LGBTQ activism in the 1970s allow a discontinuous history of queer visibility to appear, one that has been variously mythologised and marginalised, its political possibilities limited, subsumed, and opened out.

At a time of uncertainty in Europe we hope to excavate these unrealised possibilities of queer pasts. We invite papers for an international conference that explore cultural expressions of queer community and politics at a formative period in the history of postnational Europe. We welcome contributions from academics, activists, and artists that turn to aesthetics in order to explore the radical manifestations of queer politics, community, and sexuality across Europe in the 1970s.

With a focus on cultural expressions and aesthetic dimensions of the queer 1970s, possible topics could include but are not limited to:

  • Methods and methodologies for addressing the 1970s in the present including perspectives on queer historiography;
  • Cultural, dialogic and/or sexual exchanges between Western and Central Europe;
  • Histories of movement and migration between European colonies and countries, including tourism to former European colonies;
  • The impact of religious, legal and medical discourses and institutions on nascent expressions of LGBTQ visibility;
  • Spaces of sexual liberation and queer struggle such as bookshops, bars and cafes, parks and public toilets, and the domestic sphere;
  • Intersections between Gay Liberation with anti-colonial struggles, the Third World and Women’s Liberation Movements, socialism and other Left movements;
  • The ways that the 1970s influenced or has been imagined through queer theory;
  • Reference to the 1970s in contemporary queer activism and art.

Apply

Expressions of interest in the form of 250-word abstracts for 20-minute papers or proposals for alternative formats should be sent to crusev@ed.ac.uk by 5pm, Friday 14 September 2018.

We welcome submissions from academics, artists and other cultural producers, activists, independent researchers, and groups. For alternate formats, we will work with applicants to find suitable venues where necessary.

Please feel free to contact us at crusev@ed.ac.uk if you would like to discuss your submission in advance of the deadline.

Bursaries

There will be no fee to take part in this conference. Additionally, we are committed to supporting those who work precariously either within or outside of the academy. In recognition of these conditions, bursaries will be available for speakers who do not have access to institutional support. These will support travel and accommodation. Please indicate on your proposal if you would like to be considered for one of these bursaries.

Access

The events will take place across a range of spaces in Edinburgh including academic and non-academic ones. All events associated with the conference will be free and wheelchair accessible. Where possible events and screenings will be accompanied by live or closed captions and translation.

Cruising the Seventies: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures explores LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) social and sexual cultures of the 1970s, and their significance for LGBTQ people across Europe now and in the future. CRUSEV reconstructs aspects of LGBTQ cultures and interactions from the 1970s, the decade before HIV/AIDS, to consider what this knowledge can contribute to queer politics and identity in Europe’s present and future. The three-year research project is financed by the European funding agency HERA, under HERA’s ‘Uses of the Past’ theme.

Regards

Wednesday 27 June 2018
18.00 – 19.30 hrs
RoSa vzw, Brussels, Belgium

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay presents his navigational score for the library of the RoSa Kenniscentrum voor Gender en Feminisme, which leads participants through the collection following feelings, memories and personal curiosities.

Wednesday 27 June 2018
18.00 – 19.30 hrs
RoSa vzw, Zennestraat 30, Brussels 1000, Belgium

As part of a research residency at Q-O2, artist Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay has created a participatory navigational score for the library of the RoSa Kenniscentrum voor Gender en Feminisme, which houses extensive materials on feminism, gender topics and the Flemish Women’s Movement. The score leads participants through the collection following feelings, memories and personal curiosities, and involves reading, speaking, transcribing and letter-writing.

REGARDS is a special gathering to activate the score for the first time in a group setting. Nemerofsky will briefly introduce the project, and then participants will be invited to enact the score at their own pace. The score will be available in English, Dutch and French. The gathering will be followed by drinks and discussion at the nearby Q-O2 studio, where the artist-designed ‘Pensée’ cocktail will be served.

The event is free, but please register your participation with Benny at benny@nemerofsky.ca

//

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay is a Montreal-born artist and diarist based in Edinburgh. His artistic work mediates emotional encounters with musical, art historical and Queer cultural material, encouraging deep listening and empathic viewing. In his work you will find bells, bouquets, ceramic vases, enchanted forests, folding screens, gay elders, glitter, gold leaf, love letters, imaginary paintings, madrigals, megaphones, mirrors, naked men, sex-changing flowers, sign language, subtitles, and the voices of birds, boy sopranos, contraltos, countertenors, and sirens. Nemerofsky’s work has been exhibited internationally, and is part of the permanent collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, the Polin Museum for the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Thielska Galleriet Stockholm and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. He is a member of the Cruising the Seventies: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Sexual Cultures research team at the Edinburgh College of Art. www.nemerofsky.ca

„Rózowy jezyk”/Pink Tongue report

“Rozowy jezyk” (Pink Tongue) the first part of the Polish milestone event, was a one-day workshop devoted to the terminologies and linguistic practices related to queerness.

The first part of the Polish milestone event took place on June 9 at the University of Warsaw. The event, called “Rozowy jezyk” (Pink Tongue) was a one-day workshop devoted to the terminologies and linguistic practices related to queerness. The language of the workshop was Polish and the discussion was focused on Poland and on the Polish language, with some speakers using a comparatist approach.

Six speakers gave longer papers: prof. Mariola Bienko (University of Warsaw [UW]) discussed the results of a sociological survey on attitudes toward homosexuality whose participants were asked to list and characterize terms they use and/or know that describe queers. She offered an analysis based on such factors as education and age of respondents. Piotr Moszczenski, psychologist and activist with the Stonewall Group in Poznan, spoke about the use of the terms “homophobia” and “heterosexism” in public discourse and the arguments and strategies underpinning these terms. Jan Szpilka, doctoral candidate at UW, spoke about the Polish BDSM scene and the terminologies it uses in its practices and to describe itself.

In the second session, Ludmila Janion, doctoral candidate at UW, spoke about the terms used for homosexual and transgender persons at the time of the post-1989 transition and the concepts which these terms suggest. Matthias Foit, a scholar based in Berlin and Wroclaw (Breslau), spoke about some German terms used for homosexual and transgender persons, emphasizing their similarity to some Polish terms. He gave a number of examples from personal ads published in the German-language papers in Wroclaw (Breslau) in the interwar years. Karolina Morawska, doctoral candidate at UW and member of the CRUSEV team reported on her research on the language used in same-sex personal ads in the Polish press at the cusp of the 1970s and the 1980s, as well as in other press publications.

The final session was a panel discussion with CRUSEV team members: Agnieszka Koscianska (also acting as moderator), Karol Radziszewski, Krzysztof Zablocki, Jedrzej Burszta, and Tomasz Basiuk. Each of them gave a very brief presentation of their research. Koscianska focused on the language used by sexologists and in letters addressed to sexologists. Radziszewski described his research on Ryszard Kisiel, especially Kisiel’s ways of expressing his queer identity and his efforts to preserve the memory of the sites of queer sexual activities from the Communist era. Zablocki spoke about aspects of his work as translator of Jean Genet and Andre Gide. Burszta discussed his oral history interviews, emphasizing some subjects’ resistance to contemporary identity labels. Basiuk presented some findings from his archival research at the HOSI Wien archive, which includes letters sent to the organization by Polish gays. A general discussion followed on identity categories and identifying codes and practices directed at the queer community, as well as addressing the straight majority, and on the tension between these two approaches.

The workshop was attended by about thirty people, including scholars, UW students, and LGBTQ activists.

The Warsaw Equality Parade, the city’s annual pride event, took place in the late afternoon of the same day, directly after the CRUSEV workshop closed.

Foucault in Warsaw

On 25 May 2018 the Polish CRUSEV team hosted its final public seminar before the university’s summer break. The invited speaker was Professor Remigiusz Ryzinski, author of Foucault w Warszawie (Foucault in Warsaw), recently nominated for the prestigious Polish “Nike” literary award in the category of reportage. Ryzinski talked about his archival research and the oral history interviews behind the book, in which he uses Michel Foucault’s nine-month stay in Warsaw as a pretext to describe the city’s queer life at the end of the 1950s. Ryzinski shows that the “homosexual milieu” in Warsaw and in other Polish cities was being investigated by the state police years ahead of the much better known “Hyacinth” campaign in the mid-1980s. He also speculates that the Palace of Culture, a Stalinist-era building looming over the city’s centre and visible from the street where Foucault lived, may have inspired the philosopher’s notion of the panopticon. Foucault in fact worked on Madness and Civilization while staying in Warsaw, where he directed the newly founded Centre de Civilization Francaise at the University of Warsaw. He was forced to leave Poland abruptly in July 1959, probably to avoid a diplomatic scandal related to his homosexuality.

Sexual Citizenship, Oral History, and the Archive in 1970s Central and Eastern Europe

Symposium – Call for Papers
20-22 September 2018
University of Warsaw, Poland

University of Warsaw, September 20-22, 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS

With his concept of sexual citizenship, David T. Evans offered a framework for thinking about sexuality as a matter for civic and human rights. Can this perspective apply to queer lives, practices, and expression in Poland during the 1970s and in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) during the Cold War more broadly?

References to underground queer cultures of the era are traceable in literature, film, and professional publications by sexologists and state police experts. Some of these references are veiled in the culturally sanctioned silence around queer sexualities and they need to be noted and explained. Others represent the state’s surveying eye, typically focused on homosexual men, and the professional’s gaze, often focused on the transsexual.

Given the limitations of the available archive, oral history interviews are an important source for understanding the queer past. They may dovetail with the framework of sexual citizenship because the interviews address both the material conditions of queer lives and the ways in which queer subjects have conceptualized and represented those lives. By allowing queers to voice their stories, prominence is given to their lived sexual difference and to their dissent. While Polish and other CEE queers may not have articulated specifically political demands in the 1970s, many developed an alternative ethos, one cutting diagonally across some established social institutions.

Some of the questions this symposium seeks to explore are: How to tell the history of Polish and other CEE queers in the 1970s and prior to their partial political emancipation post-1989? Is it one history or rather many histories, influenced by gender, class, and ethnicity, as well as geopolitical location? What kind of impact did the East/West divide, which defined the political era, have on queer experience, queer networks, and queers’ sense of belonging? What is the relationship between queer lives, both individual and collective, and civic rights? Is Evans’s framing applicable to the Polish and other CEE contexts of the period? What is the meaning of doing queer history now? What can we learn from our inquiries into the past, and from oral history specifically?

We invite empirically grounded, as well as theoretical and methodological, papers that address these and related questions. Please submit your abstract (max. 250 words) and bio (max. 150 words) to sexual.citizens.doing.oral.history@gmail.com by June 26. Decisions about acceptance of abstracts for this workshop will be emailed by July 3.

„Rózowy jezyk”

Saturday 9 June 2018,
University of Warsaw:
The Polish CRUSEV team have organised a workshop – ‘Pink Tongue’, in English – which will explore different historical approaches to the history of sexuality.

The Polish CRUSEV team are holding an event – ‘Pink Tongue’ in English – on 9 June in Warsaw. Here is the full programme for the event, in Polish.

„Rózowy jezyk”
– warsztaty poswiecone jezykowi seksualnej odmienczosci w ujeciu historycznym

9 czerwca 2018 r.
Osrodek Studiów Amerykanskich UW
Aleja Niepodleglosci 22, Warszawa
sala 116

9:30 – 11:00
Moderatorka: Agnieszka Koscianska
1) Mariola Bienko: (Nie)konwencjonalne narracje na temat nieheteronormatywnosci
2) Piotr Moszczenski: „Homofobia – to sie leczy?” O potrzebie demedykalizacji jezyka oporu
3) Jan Szpilka: Od pazia do kinkstera, od algolaganii po BDSM. Probujac okreslic sadomasochizm

11:00 – 11:15: przerwa kawowa

11:15 – 13:15
Moderator: Tomasz Basiuk
1) Mathias Foit: Jezyk seksualnej innosci w II Rzeszy Niemieckiej i Republice Weimarskiej
2) Blazej Warkocki: Miedzy detabuizacja o normalizacja. Slowo o nieheteroseksualnej stronie w biografii Gombrowicza
3) Ludmila Janion: „Homoseksualisci, którym w zyciu nie powiodlo sie” – ciota w mediach lat dziewiecdziesiatych
4) Wojciech Szymanski: Apofatyka i epifania: kruzingi Ryszarda Kisiela

13:15 – 14:00: przerwa lunchowa

14:00 – 15:30
Panel projektu CRUSEV – Cruising the 1970s.

Moderatorka: Agnieszka Koscianska

Panelisci: Tomasz Basiuk, Jedrzej Burszta, Karolina Morawska, Krzysztof Zablocki, Karol Radziszewski

15:30: zakonczenie warsztatow

Diagnosing transsexuality, diagnosing society / Diagnozowanie transseksualnosci, diagnozowanie spoleczenstwa

Report from the CRUSEV Poland seminar at the University of Warsaw, with Dr. Maria Debinska discussing her anthropological research on transgenderism in the People’s Republic of Poland in the 1970s and 80s.

The sixth public seminar organized by the Polish CRUSEV team was held at the University of Warsaw on Friday, April 20, 2018. Our guest was Dr. Maria Debinska.

Dr. Debinska discussed her anthropological research on transgenderism in the People’s Republic of Poland, focusing mostly on the 1970s and 80s. Debinska study focused on popular publications by Polish sexologists. She argued that expert discourse on transsexuality was inspired by both a medicalizing and a sociological approach, as Polish sexologists were developing a language that would be appropriate to the difficult experience of their patients.

Debinska also presented a concise historical overview of the way the Polish judiciary was making it possible for a Polish citizen to legally change her or his gender. The Polish state used to be significantly more supportive of trans people than it is nowadays: medical costs were covered by the state and the legal procedure was simpler than it is today. Before 1989, people who wanted to legally transition did not need to sue their parents, as they do now; the courts would decide on gender reassignment solely on the grounds of expert medical and psychological opinion. However, Debinska discussed the contrast between the state’s supportive stance and the everyday discrimination of trans people.

An underlying and perennial heterosexual bias in Polish sexologists’ approach to transsexuality has been the explicit goal of ushering patients into a “healthy” heterosexual relationship and marriage. Unlike in the case of “sex correction”—as gender reassignment was called at the time—the goal of heterosexual marriage was not achievable for others, notably not for homosexuals. The methods available to “treat” homosexuality were increasingly deemed ineffective. At the same time, professionals perceived non-monogamous relationships as detrimental and even “perverse.”

The event was attended by about forty people, marking the rising interest which these seminars evoke.

RESISTANCE FROM THE SOUTH. USES OF THE PAST, PERIPHERIES AND THE SPACES OF SEXUAL LIBERATION. Programme and papers

Friday 28 – Saturday 29 April 2018
Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain

Complete, bilingual programme for CRUSEV Spain’s international conference, rethinking the culture and politics of sexual dissidence in 1970s Spain.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: RESISTANCE FROM THE SOUTH. USES OF THE PAST, PERIPHERIES AND THE SPACES OF SEXUAL LIBERATION

April 27 and 28 2018
Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM)
Calle Guillen de Castro 118, 46003 VALENCIA

All screenings, panels, and discussions will take place at the IVAM’s Lecture Hall (Salon de actos) unless otherwise indicated.

Documentos para el Congreso pueden descargarse haciendo clic en los títulos de papel con enlaces. Como alternativa, puede descargar los documentos como un solo archivo.

Papers (in Spanish) for the conference can be downloaded by clicking on the paper titles with links. Alternatively, you can download the papers as a single file.

 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

16.30-18.30 h.- Sesión de cine: SEXUALIDADES SUBVERSIVAS EN EL CINE UNDERGROUND ESPAÑOL, 1969-1982.
[Film program: SUBVERSIVE SEXUALITIES IN SPANISH UNDERGROUND CINEMA, 1969-1982.]

 

Friday, April 27, 2018

10.00-11.45 h. – GENEALOGÍAS DISIDENTES
[DISSIDENT GENEALOGIES]

11.45-12.15 h.- Break

 

12.15-14.00 h.- NARRATIVAS FÍLMICAS. ILUMINANDO EL CUARTO OSCURO [FILM NARRATIVES. LIGHTING UP THE CLOSET] 

14.00-16.00 h.- Lunch break

 

16.00-17.30 h.- ARCHIVOS PRECARIOS/ARCHIVOS MILITANTES I.
[PRECARIOUS ARCHIVES / MILITANT ARCHIVES I]

  • Rafael M. Mérida Jiménez (Universitat de Lleida), Archivos y contrarchivos trans* para la España de los años 70. [Trans* archives and counter-archives for 1970s Spain]
  • Diego Marchante (Universitat de Barcelona), Archivo T*. Hackeando el archivo desde una perspectiva transfeminista y queer. [T* Archive: Hacking the archive from a queer and transfeminst Perspective]
  • Julen Zabala (Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea), ¿POR QUÉ NO(S) T.E.M.E.I.S? Tiempo, Espacio y Memoria de las Expresiones e Identidades Sexuales: aproximación a la producción científica y archivos serodiscordantes sobre la disidencia sexual. [The Time, space, and memory of sexual identities and expressions: Scientific production and serodiscordant archives on sexual dissidence]
    Moderator: Francisco Godoy (Matadero Madrid)

17.30-18.00 h.- Pause

 

18.00-19.30 h.- ARCHIVOS PRECARIOS/ARCHIVOS MILITANTES II.

[PRECARIOUS ARCHIVES / MILITANT ARCHIVES II] 

  • Alejandro Simón/Marta Echaves/Jesús Bravo (Universidad Complutense de Madrid/ Sala d’Art Jove de Barcelona/ Activista), A veces resulta inquietante que no sepamos de dónde vienen las formas de vida que hoy nos habitan. [Sometimes, it is unsettling not to know where the lifestyles that inhabit us come from]
  • Olga Maroto (Investigadora independiente / Independent Researcher), Desempolvando el archivo LGTBIQ y feminista de la ciudad de Valencia. [Dusting up the LGTBIQ and feminist archives of the city of Valencia]
  • Felipe Rivas (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia), La poética tecnobarroca de un archivo homosexual. [The Technobaroque poetics of a homosexual archive]
    Moderator: Jesús Carrillo (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

19.40-20.40. – CONVERSACIÓN: POÉTICAS LÉSBICAS EN LOS AÑOS 70
[CONVERSATION: LESBIAN POETICS IN THE 1970S]

Salón de Actos

  • Meri Torras (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)
  • Mari Chordà (Poeta, pintora, activista / Poet, painter, archivist)

21:30 h.- Dinner and club visit

 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

10.00-11.45 h.- CONTRARELATOS.
[COUNTER-NARRATIVES] 

11.45-12.15 h.- Break

 

12.15-13.45 h.- SEXILIOS. [SEXILES]

  • Andrea Corrales (Investigadora independiente / Independent Researcher), Geopolíticas de la intimidad I: encuentros de diagnóstico. [Geopolitcs of Intimacy I: Diagnostic Encounters]
  • Francisco Godoy (Matadero Madrid), Copi o la dificultad de expresarse. Exilio sexual y performatividad sudaca. [Copi, or the difficulty to speak. Sexual exile and sudaca* performativity]
    [NOTE*: Without equivalent in English, sudaca is a derogatory Spanish term for anything Latin American, people included]
  • Lucía Egaña (Programa de Estudios Independientes-MACBA), Un sexilio frustrado. Memorias familiares de la diáspora [A Frustrated sexile. Family memories of diaspora]
    Moderator: Noemi de Haro (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

13.45-16.00 h.- Lunch break

 

16.00-17.30 h.- FIESTAS Y OTRAS RESISTENCIAS.
[PARTYING AND OTHER FORMS OF RESISTANCE]

17.30-18.00 h.- BREAK

 

18.00-18.40 h.- PERFORMANCE DE CIERRE: Antitrenimiento, de Graham Bell Tornado
[CLOSING PERFORMANCE: Antiteinment, by Graham Bell Tornado]

Museum Lobby

 

To view the call for papers for the conference, click here.

Leather and Latex: Materials, Morals and Subcultural Style

Wednesday 11 April 2018
CCA, Glasgow

Involving archivists, conservators, theorists and practitioners, this one-day workshop focused on the subject of material as a means to approach histories of subcultural style. Includes a keynote talk on the semiotics of desire with fashion anthropologist Ted Polhemus.

Wed 11 April 2018

10:30am, Free (places booked via email)
Glasgow CCA, Clubroom

‘Leather and Latex: Materials, Morals and Subcultural Style’ is a one-day workshop focused on the subject of material as a means to approach histories of subcultural style. Involving archivists, conservators, theorists and practitioners the day expands upon the social meanings and political potentialities surrounding these two materials and how they might be historicised and preserved.

Leather and latex are associated with various subcultural codes, styles and tastes. A kind of “second skin” leather has been synonymous with outlaw communities and dissident sexualities, from post-war bike clubs to ‘80s leatherdyke bars. If leather is authentically like a skin, latex substitutes. Worn as clothing, latex exaggerates and distorts, is eroticised and wipe-clean. Expanding on the cultural codes that shape tastes and create styles, ‘Leather and Latex: Materials, Morals and Subcultural Style’ turns to the properties of material in order to seek new approaches to historiographies of subcultural style.

The day will include contributions from Grace Biggins, an archivist working with the Leather Archives UK held at Bishopsgate Institute; fashion designer Theresa Coburn; Dr Anita Quye who has published widely on the preservation of synthetics; artist Craig Mulholland and a keynote from fashion anthropologist Ted Polhemus (details below), whose seminal work has celebrated the ways that subcultures have shaped fashion and style has transformed culture over the past four decades.

The event is free but places are limited. Please contact l.guy@gsa.ac.uk if you would like to attend.

*
Ted Polhemus: Talk and Q&A
Wed 11 April 2018, 4:30pm, Free but ticketed
CCA Clubroom

Book online: https://ccaglasgow.ticketsolve.com/shows/873589937

A talk on the semiotics of desire with fashion anthropologist Ted Polhemus, whose seminal work has celebrated the ways that subcultures have shaped fashion and style has transformed culture over the past four decades.

“For more than thirty years Ted Polhemus has explored and celebrated the extraordinary ways that popular culture opens a window onto a broader understanding of the world we live in. Never judgemental, never the ‘style guru’ some have erroneously labelled him, he scrupulously avoids distinguishing between the good, the bad and the ugly – while always thrilled by the creativity of all those ‘real people’ who, decade after decade, have given constant impetus to music, style, design, dance and so many of the things which made and make our age that unique period in human history when Culture went pop! and became truly democratic.”

Leather and Latex: Materials, Morals and Subcultural Style is organised by Dr Laura Guy and Dr Fiona Jardine with support from Glasgow School of Art, the University of Edinburgh, Cruising the Seventies: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures and the Humanities in the European Research Area.

Access: The CCA Clubroom has level access, via a lift. For full details, see the CCA website here.

Image: Theresa Coburn/John Barraclough, 1983

Religion and non-normative sexuality / Religia i nienormatywnosc seksualna/plciowa: dyskursywne sploty

A report from CRUSEV Poland’s seminar with Dorota Hall, discussing her ethnographic research with LGBT Christians and discourses around homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism in the Roman Catholic Church

The fifth public seminar organized by the Polish CRUSEV team was held at the University of Warsaw on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Our guest was Dr. Dorota Hall.

Dorota Hall discussed her extended study of LGBT Christians, encompassing an ethnographic study of a church-based Wiara i Tecza (Faith and Rainbow) group, interviews with members of the group and with other LGBT Christians, and an analysis of public discourse, including some teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Although she spoke about Christians of different denominations, Roman Catholics are by far the most numerous in Poland and most of her subjects were Roman Catholic. Moreover, most Protestant churches in Poland have avoided addressing LGBT issues, falling in line with the country’s deep-seated conservatism without offering a clear alternative to religiously inclined LGBT subjects.

Hall argued that during the 1970s the Roman Catholic Church in Poland was relatively silent on the issue of homosexuality and almost entirely silent on bisexuality and transgenderism despite pastoral documents such as Persona Humana (1975). While many LGBT subjects may have internalized the proscription of same-sex activities and desires, these points were rarely addressed in sermons or in other public contexts. The 1970s and the early 1980s thus saw an erasure of homosexuality from the Church’s preaching in a way that reflected a larger erasure of homosexuality in other areas of public discourse.

The silence began to lift with the arrival of HIV/AIDS and of more outspoken LGBT politics. Brochures warning boys about being seduced by older men were circulated in some parishes in the late 1980s. But a more radical shift occurred only post-2000, as Poland was preparing for EU accession, when the perceived threat of LGBT rights being recognized proved deeply polarizing. In 2002, the Roman Catholic Church in Poland went through its first public sexual scandal with Juliusz Paetz, the archbishop of Poznan, being accused of molesting some young clerics. Homosexuality was thus out of the closet also within the Church.

Hall addressed some ways in which the pastoral care of LGBT Christians overlapped with reparative therapy advocated by some would-be progressive Catholics. Despite the method’s discredited premises and doubtful effectiveness, these forms of therapy may have helped some queer subjects recognize and address their sexuality, especially as other forms of therapy were not available to them.

You, dear Doctor, are my only rescue! / Jest Pan, Panie Doktorze, jedynym ratunkiem! Exeter Performance

Thursday 1 March 2018
Exeter Phoenix, Exeter, Devon

Agnieszka Koscianska and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay will be staging their bilingual performance installation of LGBT letters to Polish Sexologists in Exeter

Thursday 1 March 2018
16:00–18:00 hrs

Exeter Phoenix
Gandy Street,
Exeter EX4 3LS
Devon

[EN] Letters written to sexologists in socialist Poland – collected by anthropologist and historian Agnieszka Ko?cia?ska – serve as a source material for a performance installation in which an ensemble of performers reviews, transcribes and reads passages aloud in Polish and English.

The performance, created by artist Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay and produced by the Cruising the Seventies Research Group, seeks to reveal the shifting, overlapping positions of queers in Poland struggling to define their identities, build communities and take control of their destinies, painting a portrait of the evolving sexual consciousness of the era.

First performed at Edinburgh’s Basic Mountain, “You, Dear Doctor…!” is now coming to Exeter’s Phoenix. The performance will be followed by a talk by Ko?cia?ska on the roots and purpose of this project and an open discussion with the audience.

Please RSVP at deardoctor.eventbrite.com or on Facebook. More details below. Admission is free of charge. The venue is wheelchair accessible. As of now, we apologize that we are not able to provide BSL interpretation or live transcription for this event.

Event hosted by Rethinking Sexology Project and kindly supported by Exeter University Polish Society.

[PL] Zapraszamy na darmowe wydarzenie po?wi?cone historii seksualno?ci oraz seksuologii w Polsce. Zaczniemy od performance zrodzonego ze wspó?pracy Agnieszki Ko?cia?skiej i Benny’ego Nemerofsky Ramsay’a, po czym us?yszymy nieco wi?cej szczegó?ów na temat ?róde? i celu tego projektu od Agnieszki. Reszt? wieczoru po?wi?cimy dyskusji z publiczno?ci?. Prosimy o potwierdzenie RSVP na stronie deardoctor.eventbrite.com lub bezpo?rednio przez FB. Wi?cej szczegó?ów poni?ej.

Performance wyrasta z listów do seksuologa zebranych przez antropolo?k? i historyczk? seksualno?ci Agnieszk? Ko?cia?sk?. W jego trakcie grupa performerów przepisze odr?cznie i odczyta na g?os ich fragmenty po polsku i po angielsku. Akcja jest prób? pokazania sytuacji seksualnych i p?ciowych odmie?ców w socjalistycznej Polsce i ich walki o zdefiniowanie w?asnych to?samo?ci, zbudowanie wspólnoty i przej?cie kontroli nad swoim losem. Kre?li tym samym portret ewoluuj?cej ?wiadomo?ci seksualnej epoki PRL.

Wystawiony poprzednio w Edynburskim Basic Mountain, “Jest Pan, Panie Doktorze…!” zawita teraz do Exeter Phoenix.

Wst?p wolny. Budynek Exeter Phoenix jest dostosowany do potrzeb osób korzystaj?cych z wózka inwalidzkiego. Niestety obecnie nie jeste?my w stanie zaoferowa? t?umaczenia w formie BSL lub transkrypcji na ?ywo, za co przepraszamy.

Wydarzenie powstaje we wspó?pracy z Rethinking Sexology Project i ze wsparciem Exeter University Polish Society.

The Five Ages – A floral archaeology of queer Berlin

Monday 19 February 2018
Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square, Edinburgh
12:30-13:30

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay’s Five Ages performs a floral archaeology that explores the relationships between human history and plant life, specifically within the context of a queer aesthetics.

Mon 19 February 2018
12:30 – 13:30

Seminar Room 5
Chrystal Macmillan Building
15a George Square
Edinburgh
EH8 9LD

University of Edinburgh Staff Pride Network are proud to present “The Five Ages” as part of our Queer Research Showcase for LGBT History Month.

The Five Ages performs a floral archaeology that explores the relationships between human history and plant life, specifically within the context of a queer aesthetics. Nemerofsky selects five flowers to symbolize distinct moments in the history of El Dorado, referencing both its incarnation as interwar Berlin nightclub and early 80s art exhibition, as well as its general application as a legendary, faraway site of utopian longing. The flowers stand in a ceramic vase designed by the artist to provide each flower with its own distinct opening. The artist arranges the flowers to interact contrapuntally, creating a bouquet of colliding and overlapping temporalities. The Five Ages was created for the 2017 Odarodle exhibition at Berlin’s Schwules Museum.

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay is a Montreal-born artist, diarist and correspondent. His artistic work mediates emotional encounters with musical, art historical and Queer cultural material, encouraging deep listening and empathic viewing. In his work you will find bells, bouquets, ceramic vases, enchanted forests, folding screens, gay elders, glitter, gold leaf, love letters, imaginary paintings, madrigals, megaphones, mirrors, naked men, sex-changing flowers, sign language, subtitles, and the voices of birds, boy sopranos, contraltos, countertenors, and sirens. Nemerofsky’s work has been exhibited internationally, and is part of the permanent collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, the Polin Museum for the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Thielska Galleriet Stockholm and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the Edinburgh College of Art and a member of the Cruising the 70s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures research team. www.nemerofsky.ca
The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Miron on the margin, or: how to queer Bialoszewski? / Miron na marginesie, czyli: czy mozna squeerowac Bialoszewskiego?

The fourth public seminar organized by the Polish CRUSEV team, with Prof Joanna Nizynska discussing the writing of Miron Bialoszewski, was held at the University of Warsaw on Thursday 11 January 2018.

The fourth public seminar organized by the Polish CRUSEV team was held at the University of Warsaw on Thursday, January 11 2018. Our guest was Joanna Nizynska, Associate Professor of Polish Literature and Culture at the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures in Indiana University, Bloomington USA. Prof. Nizynska presented excerpts from her upcoming book, a Polish translation of her study “The Kingdom of Insignificance: Miron Bialoszewski and the Quotidian, the Traumatic, and the Queer” (Northwestern UP, 2013) dedicated to the work of Miron Bialoszewski, one of the most influential Polish poets and writers of the 20th century. During her lecture, she discussed the different approaches to the use of queer theory in analyzing Polish literature, emphasizing the active role of any act of queering – perceiving “queer” not as a noun, but a verb. Nizynska closely analyzed several fragments from Miron Bialoszewski’s prose published in the 1970s, focusing on the depictions of homoerotic tensions, acts of subverting the normative, as well as the intertextual connections with more recent literary works – most importantly, Michal Witkowski’s “Lubiewo” (2005) – which form a dialogue with Bialoszewski’s early queer writing. The seminar was a chance to reflect on the complicated positioning of Polish writers within Western queer theory, the possible adaption and/or translation of queer frameworks to national literature. The ensuing discussion focused on how to overcome or challenge some of the theoretical problems facing queer-oriented scholars in their studies of Polish queer culture and history.

Miron Bialoszewski

Adolpho Arrietta’s Queer 1970s: Les Intrigues de Sylvia Couski (1974) and Tam-Tam (1976)

Much queer cultural production in 1970s Spain, whether in comics, literature, music, or film, developed under the rubric of the “underground.” In this essay commission by LUX for Cruising Ground, Juan Suárez discusses how this label is as problematic as it is in many ways expressive and appropriate through the work of Arrietta.

Juan A. Suárez
7 Feb 2018

Its American origins made it unsuitable to Spain’s cultural isolation during Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975) and to the prevalence of Spanish cultural motifs in underground works. At the same time, the term’s foreign origin aptly revealed the Spanish underground’s assimilation of various strands of French and Anglo-American experimental culture—the writing and cinema of Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet, the underground comics, the New York underground cinema, the writing of the Beat Generation, psychedelia, and rock (especially progressive, glam, and punk, all of which had Spanish homegrown versions).[1] In addition, the ‘under’ in underground describes well the conditions under which Spanish countercultural artists worked through the 1970s: artisanally, collaboratively, and semi-clandestinely; they disseminated their unconventional, anti-authoritarian work through marginal channels, such as mimeographed fanzines and cheaply produced periodicals, cinema clubs, small galleries and exhibition spaces, bars, clubs, and performance venues. These channels usually managed to elude surveillance, but they were selectively targeted by the authorities. Artists, editors, and organizers of cultural events ended up enduring censorship, fines, closings, police beatings and jail terms, even in the aftermath of Franco’s death. Still, despite the repressive tenor of the times, the underground enjoyed an astonishing vitality and a considerable following. Pau Malvido, one of the scene’s best chroniclers, pointed out in 1976 that “in Spain, or whatever we want to call this peninsula, there is a lot of ‘underground’ culture. . . . Here, all that is true has been made under the ground, because on the more visible surface there will continue to be a mind-numbing television, a cartoonish political scene, a stark separation between the bosses and those bossed around.”[2]

The underground was not an exclusively queer development, whether in Spain or elsewhere, but one of its most visible ingredients was its unconventional sexual politics. Spanish underground magazines like Ajoblanco and Star, devoted to alternative culture and politics, published queer comics, reported on the emerging sexual liberation, reviewed queer experimental film, and their “Contacts” sections reflected a broad sexual range. The two-day anarchist festival (“Jornadas libertarias”) in Barcelona in 1977 included a deranged drag show by painter-performer Ocaña, comic book artist Nazario, and some of their friends; and the Canet Rock festival, a Spanish “gathering of the tribes” celebrated yearly between 1975 and 1978, was held in an atmosphere of sexual freedom, with groups of men attending in drag and performers like Pau Riba flirting with gender ambiguity. A short list of queer artists active in these underground scenes, besides Nazario and Ocaña, would include writer Eduardo Haro Ibars, whose book Gay Rock (1975) glossed the glam phenomenon for Spanish audiences and highlighted its confluence with gay and lesbian liberation; punk bands like Kaka de Luxe, and filmmakers Iván Zulueta, Pedro Almodóvar, who started shooting in 8mm and Super-8 in the mid-seventies; and Adolpho Arrietta.

Born in Madrid in 1942, Arrietta (originally spelled Arrieta), painted and made movies from his adolescence. After failing the entrance exam to Spain’s only cinema school, he started to make personal narratives with a second-hand 16mm Kodak purchased in a street market. These were purely amateur efforts assisted by friends such as painter Juan Guiralt and actor-collaborator-companion Javier Grandes, whose performing career was solely restricted to Arrietta’s productions.[3] Arrietta’s first two films, El crimen de la pirindola (1965) and Imitación del ángel (1967), which incorporates footage from two aborted projects, are haunting, elusive stories filmed in black and white; they combine Cocteau’s poetic surrealism, Jean Genet’s outsider (a)morality, and Arrietta’s own fascination with enigmatic angelic figures. According to historians Llorenç Soler and Joaquim Romaguera, these films made its author an isolated pioneer in Madrid[4] at a time when marginal film production was concentrated in Barcelona.

Imitación del ángel closes with one of its protagonists (played by Grandes) taking a train to Paris, something that the actor did in real life after completing the film. He was followed there by Arrietta, who remained in France for the next two decades. Only in the late 1980s would he start producing work in Spain again, when he was commissioned an episode (Kiki) of the series Delirios de amor for Spanish national television (TVE). Arrietta’s lengthy exile, which he claims was more aesthetically than politically motivated, was far from unusual. Many other experimental filmmakers and video artists who came of age in the 1960s developed much of their careers outside of Spain, escaping from the repressive military dictatorship and early transition governments, and looking for more favorable artistic and social milieus.

Arrietta evidently found such a milieu in Paris. El crimen de la pirindola was shown at the Cinematheque Française and he was quickly adopted by Marie Meerson, Henri Langlois’s main collaborator there, and by Cahiers du cinema critics Jean-Pierre Biesse and Jean-André Fieschi, who remained steady supporters in years to come. Arrietta’s following two films benefitted from a growing circle of friends and acquaintances in the Paris film intelligentsia. Le Jouet criminal (1969) featured Cocteau’s star and lover Jean Marais, with whom Arrietta became friends; future novelist Florence Delay, who had acted in Robert Bresson’s Procès de Jean D’Arc (1962); and Michèle Moretti, one of Marc O’s main performers. And Le Chateau du Pointilly (1972), later renamed Pointilly, starred Françoise Lebrun, a performer in Jean Eustace’s and Margarite Duras’s films, and Dyonis Mascolo, Margarite Duras’s former partner and later on an actor in Jean-Luc Godard’s films as well as her own.

Read the rest of the essay here.

Image: Marie France. Les Intrigues de Sylvia Cousky, Adolpho Arrietta, 1974.

Tearoom (Dir. William E Jones, 1962/2007)

Sunday 21 January 2018
London Short Film Festival, ICA

Originally filmed in 1962 by the Ohio police, William E Jones’s Tearoom is surveillance footage, a blunt tool of oppression that documented men cruising in a public restroom. Includes a panel discussion with Crusev’s Fiona Anderson.

Sun 21 Jan 13:00 ICA
Dir. William E Jones, 1962/2007, US, 56 mins
18 recommendation – contains scenes of real sexual activity

In 2007, the video artist William E Jones presented Tearoom. Originally filmed in 1962 by the Ohio police, Tearoom is surveillance footage, a blunt tool of oppression that documented men cruising in a public restroom. This footage was eventually used as evidence to prosecute the men of sodomy and public deviancy.

In exhuming this footage 40 years later, Jones revealed hidden dimensions through recontexualisation, offering up an open democratic space where age, class and racial boundaries break down, whilst remaining a poignant reminder of the anxiety and persecution these men were forced to endure.

London Short Film Festival welcomes Dr Fiona Anderson of University of Newcastle & CRUSEV (Cruising the Seventies: Unearthing pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures), to talk with filmmaker and Little Joe editor Sam Ashby (The Colour of His Hair), Tearoom video game developer Robert Yang and sculptural artist Prem Sahib for a post-screening discussion.


Prior to the screening we will also be showcasing Robert Yang’s game The Tearoom, a cruising simulation made in direct response to the film. On release, the game ran afoul of the censors and so in a bold piece of satirical provocation Yang replaced all the penises with guns. The game was then successfully passed uncut.

For further details, click here.

Oral history and herstory / Oral history w sluzbie herstory. Miejsce kobiecych relacji i wywiadów w procesie tworzenia feministycznej wizji przeszlosci w Polsce

Report from CRUSEV Poland’s seminar on the role of women’s stories and interviews in the process of creating feminist narratives of the past in Poland, with Dr Dobrochna Kalwa, held at the University of Warsaw.

The third public seminar organized by the Polish CRUSEV team was held at the University of Warsaw on Friday, November 24 2017. Our guest was Dr Dobrochna Kalwa, a historian from the Institute of History at the University of Warsaw. Dr Kalwa gave a lecture about the history of development of women-oriented oral history research in Poland. She discussed a number of important feminist history projects conducted in recent years by Polish historians, providing a critical framework that was needed for the later introduction of the concept of “oral herstories.” The lecture also covered several issues concerning the methodological and ethical problems facing “oral historians” in their studies of women’s biographies, including the problematic nature of a “witness of history,” differences between memory and history, or the many rhetoric strategies that can be adopted by the interviewees. Further points about the application of this methodology to study “hidden” LGBTQ narratives were raised during the discussion, as well as the need to continue oral herstory research among non-normative witnesses of the recent past.

“Resistencias del Sur. Usos del Pasado, Periferias y Espacios de liberación sexual”/ “Resistance from the Queer South: Uses of the Past, Peripheries, and the Spaces of Sexual Liberation”

Friday 28 – Saturday 29 April 2018
Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencià
Solicitud de Comunicaciones/Call for Papers

The Spanish 1970s have been subject to considerable revisionary research in the last few years, in part because of the numerous characteristics that decade shares with our own. The purpose of this conference is not to return upon well-trodden ground, but to cast some light upon those aspects of the period that have been neglected by existing accounts, and to rethink the culture and politics of sexual dissidence in 1970s Spain in relation to three frames of reference: (s)exiles, parties and other forms of resistance, and queer counter-memories / militant anarchives.

SOLICITUD DE COMUNICACIONES
Congreso Internacional
“Resistencias del Sur.
Usos del Pasado, Periferias y Espacios de liberación sexual”

27 y 28 de abril de 2018
Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM)
C/ Guillen de Castro 118
46003 Valencia

 //  CALL FOR PAPERS
International Conference:
“Resistance from the Queer South:
Uses of the Past, Peripheries, and the Spaces of Sexual Liberation”

April 27 and 28, 2018
Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM)
C/ Guillen de Castro 118
46003 Valencia

[English Version below]

La década de los setenta ha sido motivo de numerosas revisiones durante los últimos años en España, en gran parte por los numerosos elementos comunes que tiene con el presente ?crisis económica, agotamiento de régimen, experimentación política y social, movilizaciones ciudadanas masivas? que en la actualidad nos hacen mirar hacia el pasado buscando explicaciones, pero también inspiración. En materia de disidencias sexuales los 70 fueron un gran espacio de experimentación, lucha y resistencia. La década comenzó con el recrudecimiento de la represión mediante la aprobación de la Ley de Peligrosidad y Rehabilitación Social (1970); la consiguiente reacción a esta ley fue la fundación en 1971 del Movimiento Español de Liberación Homosexual (MELH), el primer colectivo militante en defensa de las trans, lesbianas y gais del Estado español. Este colectivo se desarrolló en la clandestinidad, igual que eran clandestinas por entonces las vidas de quienes no encajaban en la norma heteropatriarcal. La historia del movimiento y de las bases sociales que lo atravesaron entre aquel momento inaugural y los cambios culturales y políticos que llegaron con la crisis del SIDA en los 80 al Estado español ha sido narrada ampliamente en los últimos tiempos, como parte de la revisión histórica del periodo transicional general de las periferias europeas. No queremos aquí volver a insistir sobre experiencias ya conocidas, sino arrojar luz sobre las zonas más oscuras un tanto olvidadas por los relatos existentes. Para ello acotaremos tres marcos de referencia con el fin de pensar la cultura y la política de la disidencia sexual de los setenta: los sexilios, la fiesta y otras variedades de resistencia, memoria y contrametodologías queer de los archivos precarios y militantes.

Sexilios: Dadas las condiciones de asfixiante dictadura en España, desde bien temprano el movimiento de liberación sexual representado por el MELH pudo sobrevivir únicamente gracias a los contactos de sus fundadorxs con otros grupos extranjeros, fundamentalmente franceses, británicos y estadounidenses. Con la muerte de Franco en 1975 los colectivos de gais, lesbianas y trans se multiplicaron por todo el país e igualmente sus conexiones e intercambios con otras geografías. A España llegaron referencias culturales y políticas de distintas latitudes de America Latina y del sur de Europa. Se estrecharon lazos, se tradujeron libros y llegaron lxs exiliadxs sexuales que enriquecieron los discursos del activismo y transitaron las nuevas redes de socialización tejidas entre las bases sociales de la transición. La resistencia sexual en España nacía atravesada por la idea del sexilio, como una amalgama de acentos y con una vocación solidaria e internacionalista que extendió los planteamientos sobre sexualidad y género hasta mezclarlos con los de diáspora y más adelante también con ideas sobre la raza y el mestizaje. Sin embargo, estos flujos culturales y políticos sólo se conocen a grandes rasgos, nombres como Mario Mieli, Copi o Héctor Anabitarte resuenan en un imaginario colectivo que aún está por explorar.

Fiesta y otras resistencias: La cultura de la liberación sexual atravesó los espacios marginales de la realidad española. Durante los 70, la actividad militante contra las leyes represivas y el desarrollo más o menos sumergido de nuevas formas de vida centradas en la liberación de los deseos y en la expresión desacomplejada de las sexualidades encontraron en el carácter resistente una de sus principales constantes. La creación fue terreno constante de experimentación con estrategias de resistencia, y las redes de afecto que se tejieron entre marginadxs hicieron más llevadera la opresión y facilitaron la supervivencia.  El espacio común de la fiesta, que siempre había sido lugar de encuentro y complicidad entre subalternxs, se convirtió en reducto habitual de resistencia, hasta el punto de que las manifestaciones políticas fueron por momentos carnaval y los locales nocturnos y los lugares de encuentro y de ligue gay más o menos clandestinos, como parques, cines y otros entornos públicos o semi-públicos se convirtieron en espacios de conspiración en nombre de la disidencia política y sexual. La resistencia atravesaba todas las dimensiones de la vida alrededor del movimiento de liberación, pero no se conocen aún sus múltiples rostros, especialmente en las periferias peninsulares. Si bien los espacios de la fiesta y la resistencia de Madrid y Barcelona han sido documentados en testimonios personales y estudios históricos, los de otras zonas de la península permanecen aún sin explorar. Y esto es aún más evidente en el caso de las comunidades lésbica y trans, a menudo soslayadas en historias de la liberación sexual centradas en sus protagonistas masculinos.

Contrametodologías queer: El estudio del pasado, aun cuando sea relativamente reciente, plantea problemas metodológicos. Primero por el inevitable declive de sus testigos, que hace de la recuperación de la memoria vulnerable una tarea urgente y de resistencia: lxs protagonistas de los 70 conservan vivencias, recuerdos y materiales en forma de colecciones personales, que en ocasiones se encuentran en una deriva precaria que hace indispensable un trabajo de archivo militante. En segundo término porque las inercias historiográficas dominantes tienden a colonizar el pasado desde el presente y a homogeneizarlo a través de narrativas que pierden de vista su especificidad. A menudo la memoria hegemónica funciona como un ritual de poder con ánimo caníbal que, a través de las lógicas de jerarquización y catalogación, puede hacer desaparecer con facilidad  la variedad de las diversidades sexuales de los 70. La precariedad y la inercia de la historia hacen necesaria una reactivación del pasado que respete su diferencia específica con respecto al presente y que busque reactivar estilos de disidencia y formas de análisis de la opresión sexual que puedan ser movilizados para la construcción del presente y el futuro. Esto ha de llevarnos a mantener un debate sobre la memoria activa del pasado como activadora del presente entre metodologías contrahegemónicas, archivos visuales y pedagogías queer críticas.

El congreso “Resistencias del sur” pretende constituirse al mismo tiempo como un espacio para la investigación y la reflexión histórica y para la experimentación metodológica en su propio funcionamiento interno. Desde la organización del congreso se plantean tres ejes temáticos Sexilios, Fiestas y otras resistencias y Contrametodologías queer/Archivos precarios/archivos militantes, para trabajar con ellos y pensar las realidades culturales, sociales y políticas de trans, lesbianas y gais en la España de los años 70, con el propósito de problematizar algunos lugares comunes respecto a su historia e indagar en los puntos ciegos que nos dejan los relatos de que actualmente disponemos.

Las propuestas deben incluir un título, cinco palabras clave, el nombre y una breve biografía de de lxs autorxs, el eje de trabajo al cual van dirigidos (de los tres indicados arriba) y un resumen que tendrá una extensión máxima de 500 palabras. El plazo de recepción de propuestas será el 8 de enero de 2018. La selección de ponencias se comunicará a partir del 22 de enero. Lxs ponentes seleccionados deberán entregar posteriormente los textos de sus comunicaciones. La extensión de estos textos será de 2500 palabras como máximo y la fecha límite de entrega el 6 de abril.  Las comunicaciones aceptadas se colgarán en la página del congreso a partir del 10 de abril hasta la celebración del mismo y su lectura será obligada para lxs participantes de cada una de las mesas, de modo que durante el congreso las personas que compongan cada mesa expondrán brevemente los principales puntos de su propuesta, a fin de asegurar que el público asistente conozca su contenido, y a continuación se iniciará un debate/conversación sobre los distintos temas planteados entre todxs lxs compañerxs de las mesas, que estará abierto también a la participación de lxs asistentes.

Todas las comunicaciones han de enviarse a la dirección alberto.berzosa@um.es antes del 8 de enero de 2018.

Consultas: alberto.berzosa@um.es

El congreso tendrá lugar los días 27 y 28 de abril de 2018 en las instalaciones del Intitut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM) en Valencia.

Comité organizador-comité científico: Alejandro Melero Salvador, Alberto Mira, Alberto Berzosa, Francisco Godoy, Gracia Trujillo, Jesús Carrillo, Juan Antonio Suárez, Juan Vicente Aliaga, Lucas R. Platero, María Rosón, Noemi de Haro García, Virginia Villaplana Ruiz.

El congreso está organizado como parte del proyecto “Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures”, financiado por el Programa de Investigación e Innovación Horizon 2020, en su modalidad Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA), acuerdo número 649307, y ha sido coordinado desde la Universidad de Murcia en colaboración con el Intitut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM), de Valencia.

Universidades asociadas en CRUSEV: University of Edinburgh (Project Leader), Humboldt Universität, Universidad de Varsovia, Universidad de Murcia, University of Newcastle, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Universidad de Valencia, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Oxford-Brookes University.

*

The Spanish 1970s have been subject to considerable revisionary research in the last few years, in part because of the numerous characteristics that decade shares with our own—both are marked by economic crisis, by the exhaustion of a dominant state model, by social and political experimentation, and by mass mobilizations. These common traits make us look back in search of explanations for our current ills, but also in search of inspiration for moving forward. From the perspective of sexual history, the 1970s in Spain were years of experimentation, struggle, and resistance; of losses and gains. The decade started with the passing of the Bill of Public Danger and Rehabilitation (Ley de peligrosidad y rehabilitación social 1970). It was promptly countered by the foundation in 1971 of the Spanish Movement for Homosexual Liberation (MELH), the pioneering Spanish sexual liberation collective, whose activities had to remain clandestine. The history of sexual liberation in Spain between that inaugural moment and the cultural and political changes that came about as a result of the AIDS epidemic has been often, if partially, told. The purpose of this conference is not to return upon well-trodden ground, but to cast some light upon those aspects of the period that have been neglected by existing accounts, and to rethink the culture and politics of sexual dissidence in 1970s Spain in relation to three frames of reference: (s)exiles, parties and other forms of resistance, and queer counter-memories / militant anarchives.

(S)exiles: In the suffocating conditions of Franco’s dictatorship, the Spanish Movement for Homosexual Liberation survived largely thanks to contacts with foreign groups—especially French, British, and North American. After Franco’s death in 1975, the number of activist cells increased significantly and exchange and collaboration with non-Spanish liberation fronts grew; these contacts resulted in the translation and edition of foreign theoretical texts and manifestoes, whose ideas influenced local activists. At the same time, Spain became a destination for Latin American sexual exiles, who enriched the discourses of activism and became integrated into Spanish networks of queer sociability. Sexual resistance in 1970s Spain was fundamentally shaped by (s)exile and, as such, it was multi-accented, solidary, internationalist, diasporic, and multi-ethnic. However, we still have a fairly incomplete knowledge of these transnational cultural and political flows and of their protagonists; the lives and work of sexual and political exiles such as Cristina Peri Rossi, Mario Mieli, Copi, or Héctor Anabitarte are well known by now, but could be further studied. Many others remain to be discovered, and the full range and dynamism of expatriate networks, and their intersections with local militant cultures, remains to be articulated.

Partying and other forms of resistance: Sexual liberation and anti-authoritarian resistance were confined to marginal locations and clandestine affect networks in 1970s Spain. Main enclaves of sexual resistance at the time were: a furtive private party scene, cruising grounds, cinemas, and scattered clubs and bars where homosexuality was tolerated. These were settings for sexual reinvention and expressiveness, and politically charged sites where normative strictures were temporarily suspended and incipient queer communities made themselves visible. While the spaces of resistance and queer sociability in the largest cities—Madrid and Barcelona—have been relatively well accounted for, those in other areas of the country are yet to be documented and studied, especially those created by lesbian, trans, and immigrant communities.

Queer counter-memory / queer anarchives: The study of the sexual past is laden with methodological problems. The inevitable decline of direct witnesses and protagonists makes the recovery of personal memories an urgent task. In the case of 1970s sexual activists, personal memory has become materialized in collections that are often in a precarious state and whose preservation and cataloguing is crucial. In addition, dominant historiographic inertias tend to colonize and homogenize the past, imposing upon it perspectives that are not its own; as a result, its specificity and sexual diversity may become obliterated or distorted. These two dangers—the precariousness of historical traces and the colonization of the past by current interests and investments—force us to confront the past through a mixture of counter-memory and critical pedagogy; the goal is its reactivation and the retrieval of forms of dissidence and analytical tools of use in the articulation of a critical present and an emancipated future. This section invites methodological reflections upon these issues that rise from first-hand experiences of examining, retrieving, or organizing and cataloguing sexual archives.

The conference “Resistance from the Queer South” wants to be both an occasion for historical reflection and research and a space for methodological experimentation. While we are focused on the production of “hard” knowledge about the queer 1970s in Spain, we welcome—encourage, in fact!—alternative research methodologies and styles of presentation.

Proposals must include: title, five keywords, name of the author(s), and indication of the thematic axis to which it contributes–(s)exiles; partying and other forms of resistance; queer counter-memory / queer anarchive)—and a summary of 500 words. The deadline for proposals is January 8, 2018. They must be mailed to: alberto.berzosa@um.es

Notice of acceptance will be mailed by January 22, 2018. In case of acceptance, full presentations (2500 words) ought to be mailed to conference organizers by April 6, 2018; they will be made available to participants and attendees through the conference web site after April 10, previous to the celebration of the conference. In this way, presenters will be liberated from the usual routine of reading their papers and may try a more informal, dynamic style of presentation, hopefully conducive to audience involvement and active exchange.

Conference site: Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM): C/ Guillen de Castro 118, 46003 Valencia.

Contact address: Please send your queries to alberto.berzosa@um.es

Scientific and Organising Committee: Alejandro Melero Salvador, Alberto Mira, Alberto Berzosa, Francisco Godoy, Gracia Trujillo, Jesús Carrillo, Juan Antonio Suárez, Juan Vicente Aliaga, Lucas R. Platero, María Rosón, Noemi de Haro García, Virginia Villaplana Ruiz.

The Conference is part of the activities of the Collaborative Research Project CRUSEV-“Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing Pre-HIV / AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures”, leadered by Glyn Davis (University of Edinburgh) and funded by the Research and Innovation Program Horizon 2020-Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA), Grant no. 649307. The Conference is coordinated by the University of Murcia in collaboration with the Intitut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM), de Valencia.

CRUSEV partner universities: University of Edinburgh (Project Leader), Humboldt Universität, Universidad de Varsovia, Universidad de Murcia, University of Newcastle, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Universidad de Valencia, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Oxford-Brookes University

‘A Golden Age for Queer Sexual Politics?’ – Report

Heiner Schulze wrote a report on the CRUSEV conference ‘A Golden Age for Queer Sexual Politics?’, held in Berlin in July 2017. The report is reproduced here in full.

In issue 55 of the Bulletin-Info of the Zentrum fur transdiszplinare Geschlechterstudien, Humboldt-University Berlin, Heiner Schulze wrote a report on the CRUSEV conference ‘A Golden Age for Queer Sexual Politics?’. The report is reproduced here in full.

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A Golden Age for Queer Sexual Politics? Lesbian and Gay Literature and Film in 1970s Germany

20-22 July 2017, HU Berlin

A common narrative states that the 1970s was both the start and high point of much of gay and lesbian life. The decade is hailed as the mythical pre-AIDS era: the time when queer movements emerged as political forces and queer havens in which they could live, love, and fuck were developed.

A recent conference at Humboldt University examined this narrative. A Golden Age for Queer Sexual Politics? Lesbian and Gay Literature and Film in 1970s Germany was organized by Janin Afken, Andreas Kraß, and Benedikt Wolf from the Research Center for the Cultural History of Sexuality. The conversation sought to trace the alleged revolutionary potential as well as the political and aesthetic strategies in the creation of such a “legendary decade” and questioned what is remembered and what is marginalized. Additionally, it showcased the importance of taking a closer look at the spatial and temporal context when talking about the construction of a “golden age of queer sexuality”.

The conference, which ran from July 20 to July 22, began with welcoming speeches by Ulrike Vedder, Andreas Kraß, and Glyn Davis, followed up by a screening of Ulrike Ottinger’s movie Madame X – Eine absolute Herrscherin with a short introduction by Michaela Wünsch. The movie made clear that the conference was not exclusively about (gay) men, who still dominate the discussions on this era.

After an introduction by Benedikt Wolf, the conference began with a keynote by Susanne Hochreiter. With the help of David Bowie’s song The Bewlay Brothers, which framed the keynote, Hochreiter shed light on aspects of 1) melancholy, 2) time and narration, and 3) queer memory and transformation. Hochreiter illustrated the often cited connection between melancholy and queerness, and discussed the complex layers of memory and narration. Here memory is not simply a reflection of “facts” from the past but ripe with influencing contexts which can be written, re-written, and erased.

The first panel under the title “The Canonized Queer 1970s” featured three Berlin-based speakers: Janin Afken, Patsy l’Amour laLove, and Benedikt Wolf. Janin Afken focused on Verena Stefan’s 1975 Shedding; which according to Afken is a story of transformation, in which the protagonist goes through a long process of developing an increasing awareness to the realities of (her) sexuality, eventually leading to a shift to become an emancipated “I”. Afken focused on aspects of 1) sisterhood and solidarity and 2) motherliness and menstruation in Shedding. Patsy l’Amour laLove discussed Rosa von Praunheim’s seminal movie Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt. Contextualizing the movie production and drawing on interviews, l’Amour laLove illustrated the huge importance the movie had on queer activism. According to l’Amour laLove, von Praunheim presented the movie as a foil of what society should not be. L’Amour laLove suggests viewing the movie as the cinematic version of a manifesto, which affected gays (as well as lesbians), even if they had not seen the movie itself. Afterwards Benedikt Wolf invited the audience to examine the “language of desire” in the work of Hubert Fichte. Wolf argued that Fichte’s “vivid language” should be understood as standing besides the language of sexual oppression of the time on the one hand and the alienated language of sexology on the other hand.

In a second keynote presentation, Marc Siegel discussed how many markers of the 1970s as “legendary” leave out a variety of narratives and used film to show how one could analyze the (re)construction of the 1970s. He emphasized the strong connection between the political and artistic worlds in this decade and the importance of New Queer Cinema. Siegel stressed how important it is to look beyond the well-known narratives, for instance by taking a closer look at representations of and the role of public rest room (sex). He explained how queer politics back then could be characterized as “being out”, not just meaning coming out, but also going beyond. He also emphasized the role of New Queer Cinema, a genre not only concerned with the LGBT community, but also with critical potential and one that should be applauded for its questioning and rejection of norms, generalizations, and representation.

Chris Auld opened the next panel, “Contesting the Canon”, with the work of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and the role of camp and melodrama in it, using The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant as an example. According to Auld, melodrama and camp can be used for political analysis as both help to illustrate ideological contradictions and tensions. The next talk discussed the radical-feminist journal Die Schwarze Botin. Vojin Saša Vukadinovi? presented the origins of the controversial journal and described its rise and demise. According to him, the journal represented a persistent radical stance in times of decreasing radicalism and increased “navel-gazing”. He situates the journal as having been influenced by Critical Theory and as an attempt to highlight the effects of “wrong thinking” as well as ideological dead ends through (harsh) critique. Peter Rehberg followed, examining the contemporary Butt Magazine, the aesthetic roots of which he sees in the gay historiography of the 1970s. Rehberg went on to showcase the aesthetic of the 1970s and the mobile and transnational character of queer erotic imaginary. Influenced by new technologies and AIDS, new aesthetics developed, which Rehberg called Clone I and Clone II. Butt Magazine can now be seen as a Post-Clone with links to the 1970s Pre-Clone. Butt Magazine, said Rehberg, seeks to present a continuity of Gay culture after the erasures of AIDS as well as a renewal of queer imagery.

The final panel of the day, “Retrospections”, featured Maria Bühner and Sebastian Zille. Bühner presented research on two books from the 1990s which dealt with the experience of lesbians in the former German Democratic Republic. She showed how both books emphasize “authenticity”, offer a historical record, create meaning, and allow us to see feelings beyond factual history. She also pointed out the limitations by stressing how those books represented only a slice of the lesbian population and left out a wide range of other experiences. Additionally, Bühner explained the importance of contextualization and emphasized how in the context of the GDR the 1980s, and not the 1970s, should actually be seen as a potential Golden Age. By doing this, she radically questioned the dominant narrative of the “legendary 1970s”, opening up the perspective beyond this specific time and place. The last panelist of the day, Sebastian Zille, gave a presentation on two HIV/AIDS-related German books and how they discuss the 1970s in retrospect. In his talk, which looked at different constructions of temporality and spatiality, he said that literary knowledge operates as an alternative form of knowledge; for him the 1970s were not simply a Golden Age, but it depends, the answer is not “either-or”.

The next day widened the perspective beyond Germany to “European Perspectives”. Alejandro Melero talked about the proliferation of German-Spanish film production at the end of the Franco regime, especially common in sexploitation movies. Melero pointed out the futility of the censorship attempts of the regime, censoring the Spanish version of the movies, just to see them get re-imported in the more permissive German version. Those movies pioneered the representation of sexual minorities, in particular of lesbians. Melero talked about the relationship between normality and the Other in those movies, with the latter, often racialized or homosexual, as a threat to heterosexual, patriarchal capitalism. Afterwards Krzysztof Zablocki gave a somewhat meandering talk about Wolfgang Jöhling, whom he called an important bridge between East German and Polish gay men. Jöhling, having grown up in East Germany, came to Poland in the 1970s, became a part of a network of gay men in arts and culture, and worked as a writer, poet, publisher, and cultural organizer. Juan A. Suárez brought the panel to a close with a presentation on three examples of the 1970s Queer Cinema: Werner Schröter, Adolpho Arrieta, and Teo Hernández. These three experimental film makers represented an important take on what queer(ness) can be in cinema. According to Suárez, their work dealt consistently with gender representations; it was ripe with “pregnant moments” full of artistic tableaus “bleeding meaning”, which were political, but were in particular about instability, remoteness, and ambiguity.

The concluding event of the conference discussed if there is a shared history of lesbians and gay men in the 1970s, featuring Tomasz Basiuk, Michael Bochow, Antke Engel, Laura Guy, Agnieszka Koscianska, and Alberto Berzosa. The general tone was that it would be too easy to assume shared history and allege the 1970s were a Golden Age. It was generally agreed upon that much more work is still needed, that researchers should attempt to unearth more different voices as well as do the work of proper contextualization.

In general the conference was successful in shedding a light on a rich cultural archive. At the same time it became clear that our knowledge and our narration of the 1970s as a potential Golden Age of Queer Sexuality is limited, a simplistic view on this decade would not do its complexity justice. The conference pointed out how cultural artifacts can function as archives, how important proper contextualization is, but also how there is still the need to (re)discover new voices from the past. Especially the contributions from/on East Germany and Poland made clear that in different contexts, other eras, not the 1970s, could be considered their Golden Age.

 

Documentation: Millones de perversas. La radicalidad sexual en los años setenta/Millions of perverts. Sexual radicality in the seventies

Video Documentation of CRUSEV Spain’s seminar on LGBTQ radical sexual politics and cultures from the 1970s, held in Madrid, June 2017

Con el seminario Millones de perversas tratamos de invocar la memoria de esos sujetos y movimientos impugnando una narrativa hegemónica centrada en la supuesta conquista progresiva de derechos LGTBIQ. Las distintas sesiones de este seminario se plantean reactivar aquellas disruptivas políticas y poéticas. POÉTICAS presta atención a lo que sucedía en lugares concretos – como la efervescente Barcelona postfranquista o los espacios expresivos lésbicos de los años setenta – en un intento de dar claves para entender las poéticas desplegadas desde el ámbito de las culturas sexuales radicales de aquella década. REDES Y AFECTOS. ¿Qué redes de afecto tramaban la vida de trans, maricas y lesbianas en la España de los setenta? Esta sesión se plantea el modo de reelaborarlas desde el presente a través de relaciones intergeneracionales, procesos performativos e investigaciones situadas que problematizan las nociones convencionales de memoria y archivo. MILITANCIAS trata sobre la pervivencia – muchas veces inconsciente – en las luchas sexo-disidentes actuales de las políticas de los años setenta. Esto se aborda en forma de diálogo entre activistas, especialistas y militantes historicxs y en activo. En resumen, Millones de perversas pretende conseguir que sean de nuevo transitables fórmulas colectivas de lucha, explora genealogías de ciertos planteamientos transgresores sobre la sexualidad y el género, y activa en nuestro presente los usos políticos de las memorias de la radicalidad sexual que el tiempo y sus narraciones oficiales han difuminado.

26/6/2017

Presentación. Visita a exposiciones “Anarchivo Sida” y “¿Archivo Queer?”. Performance “Tensiones en un ángulo de 90º” de Laura Corcuera.


Mesa redonda con la participación de Silvia Reyes, Rampova y Luis Escribano. Moderan Juan Vicente Aliaga y Juan Antonio Suárez.


Mesa redonda con Elena Castro, Meri Torras y Txus García. Moderan Alberto Mira y Lucas Platero.

27/6/2017

Tres activaciones: Un secreto de tu abuela se enrarece entre tus mejillas, de Ana Pol y Mónica Almagro; Memorias escondidas, del colectivo Rodando pichi; El archivo de Emilio: “Deja de sufrir, estúpido”, de Marta Echaves, Alejandro Simón y Jesús Bravo.


Mesa redonda con Rosa Medina Doménech, María José Belbel y Dolors Ribalta. Modera Noemí de Haro.


Mesa redonda con Kerman Calvo, Maite Irazábal, Ramón Linaza y Carmen Monzonís. Modera Alberto Berzosa.


Performance “40 años SON” del colectivo O.R.G.I.A


Mesa redonda con Javi Larrauri, Leticia Rojas, Mónica Redondo y Pablo Andrade. Moderada por Gracia Trujillo.

Families of choice: old age, care, relations. Reflexions on focus group/ Rodziny z wyboru: starosc, opieka i relacje. Refleksje z wywiadow grupowych

A brief report from CRUSEV Poland’s seminar featuring Joanna Mizielinska, Justyna Struzik and Agnieszka Krol from the “Families of Choice in Poland” research project

The second public seminar organized by the Polish CRUSEV team was held at the University of Warsaw on Wednesday, October 25. Our guests were Dr Joanna Mizielinska, Dr Justyna Struzik and Agnieszka Krol, researchers from the “Families of Choice in Poland” research project (2013-2016). They began with presenting a general overview of their sociological study which was centered around the contemporary reality of non-normative families living in Polish cities, before moving to address the specific issue of senior LGBT+ members and their outlook on queer life today and in the past. Some of the points that were raised during the seminar included the different approaches to (and evaluations of) coming-out as they were discussed by respondents aged 55+; the gendered differences in constructing autobiographical narratives; and the various strategies adopted by respondents in order to position themselves within both the wider LGBT+ community, as well as the entire Polish society. The meeting was attended by academics and students from the University of Warsaw and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as some participants of the research.

Inventing History: Polish Literature, Queers, and Mapping the Past/Wymyslanie historii. Literatura polska, queer i mapa przeszlosci

Report from CRUSEV Poland’s first public seminar, including remarks from Dr Blazej Warkocki

The first public seminar held by the Polish CRUSEV team was held at the University of Warsaw on Wednesday, September 27. Dr Blazej Warkocki, CRUSEV Researcher, offered remarks on preoccupation with the queer past in recent Polish literature. He argued that the tendency to investigate and narrate the past is evident in comparison with an earlier emphasis on representations of queer positionality here and now. In his lecture, Warkocki described the 1970s as a pre-political period, prior to all forms of organized queer activism. He gave examples of relatively unknown queer writers from the 1970s and the early 1980s, such as Grzegorz Musiol and Malgorzata Lavergne, and he discussed some popular films and novels that feature cross-dressing or include overt reference to queers. A lively discussion ensued, focusing especially on the real-socialist decades, including the Seventies. The meeting was attended by academics and students from the University of Warsaw, the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Hanging out in Derek Jarman’s warehouse

In this essay commissioned with LUX, Crusev’s Glyn Davis addresses Derek Jarman’s use of the warehouse as a film-making space.

Glyn Davis
6 Sep 2017

In 1994, an episode of the BBC television documentary strand Arena focused on the queer English filmmaker Derek Jarman. It served as the premiere of Glitterbug, a compilation of Jarman’s Super-8 films, created in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Glitterbug was preceded by a brief contextualising introduction that included an interview with Jarman, in which he discussed the experience of making and screening his films in warehouse spaces in London in the 1970s: “It was a really amusing thing to do”, he said, “because everyone came to watch them. So I used to hold these parties, wonderful parties. And everyone would come. Nobody paid any attention to the films whatsoever. They were all there, they all brought cushions and lay on the floor. We showed a proper film – 16mm, something, you know, a proper feature film, and then we would end up with the Super 8.”[1] This anecdote is often repeated, in slightly varied iterations, in histories of Jarman’s 1970s era – many of those repetitions admittedly authored by Jarman himself – recurring and sealing into lore a distinctive sense of a space and supportive queer group conducive to innovative creative practice.

Read the essay in full at LUX.

Glyn Davis is Reader in Screen Studies at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. He is the Project Leader of the three-year HERA-funded ‘Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures’ project. Recent publications include the co-edited Warhol in Ten Takes (BFI, 2013) and the co-authored Film Studies: A Global Introduction (Routledge, 2015), as well as contributions to the journals AnikiCinema JournalMIRAJ, and Screen. Glyn is currently completing a book manuscript entitled The Exhausted Screen: Cinema, Boredom, Stasis.

Image: Derek Jarman at Bankside

Cruising as method and its limits

What does it mean to see the action of cruising as a method for something that is not sexual? CRUSEV’s Fiona Anderson explores in her essay produced in collaboration with LUX

Fiona Andersom
23 August 2017

sometimes I find myself wondering
if the castle is a castle at all
a place apart, or merely
the castle that every snail
must carry around till his death

Thom Gunn, ‘Jack Straw’s Castle’ (1975)

In Rosalind Nashashibi’s film Jack Straw’s Castle (2009), the performative staging crucial to the act of cruising in a public place is so central that it is the film’s primary subject. Indeed, there is little action beyond it. Bright daylight turns to dusk, birds sing, and leaves are rustled. People, mostly men, move in and out of the frame, some intentionally, others unwittingly. The film’s action moves from tracing the homoerotic labour of men looking for sex with other men in public to recording the manual labour required in the production of a film.

Men and women pass instructions between each other as they install a scaffold tower in the depths of the cruising ground of Hampstead Heath. There is a suggestive precarity to this work and to the scene that it sets up; as night falls, the crew replace the daylight with bright, yellow artificial lamps that face on to the scaffolding itself. They fake the glow that we, the viewers, know illuminated this wooded area at the beginning of the film and before the appearance of the crew. They resist the passage of time, from day to night, which seemed to be the film’s only obvious narrative action. We seem to be moving back in time as we move between staged fantasy and reality, looking for sex in this footage of a cruising site as much as we try and determine the narrative thrust of the film. We don’t find either.

Read the rest of the essay here.

Dr Fiona Anderson is Lecturer in Art History in the Fine Art department at Newcastle University. At the moment, she is completing a book on the art and gay cruising scenes on New York’s derelict waterfront in the years immediately preceding the HIV/AIDS epidemic, looking most closely at the work of David Wojnarowicz and Peter Hujar, and working on a new project on the culture and politics of the drug AZT. She’s the UK PI for CRUSEV Cruising the Seventies.

Image: Jack Straw’s Castle, Rosalind Nashashibi, 2009, Installation view at LUX, 2017.

Off the Streets, Into the Toilets!

Mark Siegal discusses artist’s memorialisations of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Klappensex in the second essay commissioned in partnership with Lux

Marc Siegel
15 Aug 2017
German writer Martin Arz recently initiated a project to memorialize Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Freddie Mercury with a decorated pissoir on Holzplatz in the Glockenbachviertel of Munich, a queer area of town. This is a historic pissoir that Fassbinder and Mercury apparently used – maybe even at the same time.[1] The idea of commemorating Fassbinder with a urinal of his own is not such a misguided or isolated gesture.

In 2008 the Swedish techno DJ and producer, Jesper Dahlbäck collaborated with Canadian DJ/producer, The Dove (aka Tiga Sontag) on the music project called Rainer Werner Bassfinder. Stills from Fassbinder’s Faustrecht der Freiheit (Fox and His Friends, 1975) adorned the record covers. In an interview in 2007, actor and Fassbinder’s former wife, Ingrid Caven was asked to recount the time when the two of them decided to get married. “Oh, it was really moving. He always went to the tearoom and afterwards we walked around the neighborhood. Then one evening we slept together.” [2]

Klappensex, tearoom sex or cottaging – call it what you will – was obviously a part of Fassbinder’s life and, as I will suggest here, a continuous presence in his films as well. And why shouldn’t it have been? Men have been having sex in public comfort stations since the first pissoirs were installed in Paris in the mid-19th century. But the indisputable fact of men seeking sex with other men in public toilets has long been a thorn in the side of a gay political movement and gay and lesbian organizations seeking social acceptance and political rights. Aside from its questionable legality, the promiscuous pursuit of sexual pleasure with a variety of nameless men in the seedy spaces of public toilets hasn’t seemed to jell with the ideals of a movement that privileges a proud assertion of sexual identity and the restriction of sexual acts to the privatized – preferably state certified – form of the couple. The operative strategy of the lesbian and gay liberation movements, in Germany as elsewhere, was coming out , a belief in the positive psychological, social and political effects of assuming and proudly asserting a public, visible identity as gay or lesbian. Facilitating this act of coming out was a narrative of leaving behind the spaces and practices thought to be associated with shame and compulsion, the spaces, which collected together, form the so-called closet. If we take Rosa von Praunheim’s seminal film Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation in der er lebt (It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives, 1971) as a reference, it would appear that the key physical space associated with the metaphorical closet was the public toilet.

Read the rest at Lux.

Marc Siegel is currently Professor of Film Studies at the Freie Universität in Berlin and a Senior Researcher in the Research Training Program “Configurations of Film” at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. He is the author of numerous articles in the areas of queer studies and experimental film. His book A Gossip of Images is forthcoming from Duke University Press.

Image: Cover of Rainer Werner Bassfinder LP (2008); Image from Fox and His Friends (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975).

Did it even happen? Cruising hidden desire through camera lens in Piotr Majdrowicz’s Misunderstanding (1978)

In the first of a series of essays commissioned in partnership with LUX, Aleksandra Gajowy discusses relations between the norms and homosexual desire in Misunderstanding, an unprecedented work from communist Poland

Aleksandra Gajowy
1 Aug 2017

Et maintenant par la grâce de l’imaginaire, bon voyage!
– Guy Hocquenghem, Le Gay Voyage

Picture a scene: young sportsmen at the end of a running competition. Their muscles flexed in the last effort to make it to the finishing line. Then, the race complete, they let their bodies soften, relax. They stroll slowly off the track, shaking hands, chatting lazily. This is where Piotr Majdrowicz’s 1978 film, Nieporozumienie (Misunderstanding), begins.

This first scene itself wouldn’t, perhaps, be worthy of a particular attention. To a Polish viewer especially, it resembles an all-too-familiar format of the Polish Film Chronicle, a series of short propaganda documentaries shown before cinema screenings between 1944 and 1995, and often replayed by the public television today for entertainment.[1] The videos, particularly pre-1989, portrayed prosperous daily life in communist Poland, as well as significant events, such as celebrations of national holidays or sporting events. The material was accompanied by a light-hearted commentary praising the quality of life under communism. At first glance, then, the scene described above could well be an outtake from a Chronicle, emphasising agility and commendable sporting spirit of Polish youth; and yet, a sense of confusion appears. The background music – a slow piano tune – seems ill-synchronised, disrupting the dynamism of the scene. Gradually, it transpires that the camera gaze fixates on one runner in particular, in a transition so subtle it only becomes evident on a close inspection. Then, we see a series of photographs of the same athlete, carefully handled by someone’s hands. A short shot of a melancholic young man’s face – presumably the photographer – is interrupted by the opening credits. What are we witnessing? What is the dynamic at play?

Read the essay in full at LUX.


Aleksandra Gajowy
is a PhD researcher in Art History at Newcastle University. Her doctoral project focuses on representations and ontology of queer body in performance and body art in Poland since the 1970s until present, with particular focus on censorship, Catholic Church, and HIV/AIDS narratives. Her research is funded by the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership, the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She has presented parts of this research at international annual conferences such as Association of Art Historians (Edinburgh, 2016; Loughborough, 2017) and College Art Association (New York, 2017). She will chair a session on queer spaces in visual arts at the Universities Art Association of Canada annual conference (Banff, 2017) and is currently working on a journal article which will be published in Art Margins later this year.

Image: Piotr Majdrowicz, Misunderstanding (1978). Film still.

You, dear Doctor, are my only rescue! / Jest Pan, Panie Doktorze, jedynym ratunkiem!

Tuesday 8 August 2017
Basic Mountain, Edinburgh

A performance installation by Agnieszka Koscianska and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay. In socialist Poland, sexologists who ran columns in youth magazines received thousands of letters…

A performance installation by Agnieszka Koscianska and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay

Tuesday 8th August 2017
17:30 – 19:00

Basic Mountain
1 Hill St, Edinburgh EH2 3JP

In socialist Poland, sexologists who ran columns in youth magazines received thousands of letters: “I’m a lesbian”; “Homosexuality is the most horrible sexual perversion. I experienced it personally, and consider this my life’s tragedy…”; “I’m 20 years old and I’m afraid of the future because my body is developing as a woman, while my soul is developing as a man”. Readers asked for help: “I’m in trouble and I don’t know how to get out of it”; shared: “People who love differently can be happy!”; or called for action: “Ladies, if you feel that destiny has hurt you by making you love women, write!”. Sexologists not only printed these letters, but also empathized with the authors, and modified their scientific views in order to answer concerns of their queer readers. As a result, these patient-oriented sex columns were the space of dialogue, and up to the mid-1980s, the only mainstream forum where queer voices could be heard.

A selection of these letters, collected by visiting anthropologist and historian of sexuality Agnieszka Koscianska, serve as source material for a performance installation in which an ensemble of performers reviews, transcribes and reads aloud passages in Polish and English. The performance seeks to reveal the shifting, overlapping positions of queers in Poland struggling to define their identities, build communities and take control of their destinies, painting a portrait of the evolving sexual consciousness of the era.

W PRL seksuolodzy piszacy do prasy mlodziezowej dostawali tysiace listow: „Jestem lesbijka”; „Najpotworniejszym ze zboczen seksualnych jest homoseksualizm. Doswiadczam tego na wlasnej skorze, co uwazam za swoja zyciowa tragedie”. „Mam 20 lat i obawiam si? przyszlosci, poniewaz cialo moje rozwija sie w kierunku kobiecym, a dusza w meskim”. Czytelnicy prosili o pomoc: „Jestem w klopocie i nie wiem, jak z tego wybrnac”; zwierzali sie: „Ludzie kochajacy inaczej moga byc szczesliwi!”; wzywali innych do dzialania: „Dziewczyny, jezeli czujecie sie skrzywdzone przez los miloscia do kobiet, napiszcie!”. Seksuolodzy nie tylko publikowali te listy, lecz takze wczuwali sie w problemy autorow i rewidowali swoje poglady, by pomoc queerowym czytelnikom. W rezultacie te zorientowane na potrzeby pacjentow rubryki staly sie przestrzenia dialogu i do polowy lat 80. XX wieku jedynym miejscem w kulturze glownego nurtu, gdzie mozna bylo uslyszec glosy odmiencow.

Performance wyrasta z listow do seksuologa zebranych przez antropolozke i historyczke seksualnosci Agnieszke Koscianska. W jego trakcie grupa performerow przepisze odrecznie i odczyta na glos ich fragmenty po polsku i po angielsku. Akcja jest proba pokazania sytuacji seksualnych i plciowych odmiencow w socjalistycznej Polsce i ich walki o zdefiniowanie wlasnych tozsamosci, zbudowanie wspolnoty i przejecie kontroli nad swoim losem. Kresli tym samym portret ewoluujacej swiadomosci seksualnej epoki PRL.

Tickets for the event are free and can be booked via EventBrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/you-dear-doctor-are-my-only-rescue-tickets-36510565083

Project Concept:
Agnieszka Koscianska
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay

Performance:
Colin Herd
Agnieszka Koscianska
Damian Matwiejuk
Michal Petryk
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay
Nat Raha
Ewelina Rydzewska

Production:
Cruising the Seventies: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures
Polish-English Translation:
Marta Rozmyslowicz

Agnieszka Koscianska’s research in Edinburgh is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Caledonian Research Fund.

Accessibility: Please note that the performance space at Basic Mountain has no wheelchair access. The performance space is up two flights of stairs and the venue does not have a lift. We are unable to provide BSL interpretation or live transcription for this event.

 

Cruising the Past

Sunday 13 August 2017
LUX, London

This day workshop explores cruising as a method for tracing the queer past and surviving in the present and future, drawing on Fiona Anderson and Laura Guy’s research into pre-HIV/AIDS queer social and sexual cultures, regeneration, and community building in the 1970s.

One Day Workshop
Sunday 13 August 2017
11:00 – 17:00 BST

LUX
Dartmouth Park Hill
London N19 5JF
UK

This day workshop explores cruising as a method for tracing the queer past and surviving in the present and future, drawing on Fiona Anderson and Laura Guy’s research into pre-HIV/AIDS queer social and sexual cultures, regeneration, and community building in the 1970s. Participants will be invited, collectively, to explore ways that queer archival material and artists’ moving image work might be cruised in turn in order to uncover forgotten histories and foreground queer communities in danger of being lost or obscured in the present. Through group discussion and film screenings, we will devise methods of sharing this material with each other through writing, performance, and site-specific activities.

This event is part of LUX’s summer long programme CRUISING GROUND. CRUISING GROUND brings together a range of perspectives and discourses on cruising. The programme engages with the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalised private homosexual acts between two men over the age of twenty-one. A programme of screenings, workshops and events has been developed in collaboration with CRUSEV.

Please register for the workshop via EventBrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cruising-the-past-tickets-36480406879

Accessibility information will be posted here shortly.

Agnieszka Koscianska – Zobaczyc losia / To See a Moose. The History of Polish Sex Education from the First Lesson to the Internet

The new book by Crusev’s Agnieszka Koscianska guides readers through developments in the field of sex education in Poland throughout the 20th century.

Crusev’s Agnieszka Koscianska has recently published Zobaczyc losia. Historia polskiej edukacji seksualnej od pierwszej lekcji do internetu  / To See a Moose. The History of Polish Sex Education from the First Lesson to the Internet. The book is published by Czarne, based in Wolowiec, Poland. The blurb of the book in English is below.

This history of struggles against ignorance and double standards starts towards the end of the 19th century, when men learned sex from prostitutes, and when the prevalence of shameful diseases was an open secret. Koscianska guides readers through developments in the field of sex education throughout the 20th century. How did it come to be, that at the beginning of this new age storks suddenly ceased to deliver babies and stories about the birds and the bees no longer satisfied curious girls and boys? What does intercourse have to do with spotting moose? How was sex described in a school textbook scrapped by the communists for fear of offending religious sentiment? Finally, could folk songs convey more information than progressive self-help books? Among Koscianska’s protagonists are women and men who had the courage to change how sex was written about. Yet readers will be urged to keep their critical hats on in assessing the contributions of the cult figures of Polish sexology. This work is the first to critically examine Polish sex education in the 20th century.

The book contains an extensive chapter on changing attitudes towards homosexuality and transsexuality in Polish sex education, sexual counselling and sexology in the 20th century, with a special focus on the 1970s. In this chapter, the author draws on various sources to reconstruct those changes: interviews with sexologists, sexual educators, and LGBTQ persons who remember the 1970s, as well as letters sent to sexologists, sex columns in the popular press, and sex education manuals. She argues that the long 1970s were a crucial decade that set the stage for the development of LGBTQ politics and self-organization in the late 1980s and in the 1990s. By reconstructing the dialogue between sexologists and their patients/readers on sexual orientation and gender identity, the book shows the processes that contributed to the formation of today’s debate over LGBTQ rights, politics and identity.

For further details, and to order the book in Polish, click here.

Seminario Millones de perversas. La radicalidad sexual en los años setenta/Millions of perverts. Sexual radicality in the seventies

26-27 June 2017
CentroCentro y Conde Duque, Madrid

Millions of perverses aims to make collective formulas of struggle again accessible, explores genealogies of certain transgressive approaches to sexuality and gender, and activates in our present the political uses of the memories of sexual radicality that time and his official narrations have blurred.

Lugar: CentroCentro y Conde Duque
Fechas: 26 y 27 de junio de 2017

El 26 de junio de 1977 las travestis, trans, bolleras y maricas organizadas salieron a la calle en Barcelona para pedir la derogación de la Ley de Peligrosidad y Rehabilitación Social. Reclamaban con su voz y sus cuerpos la libertad sexual secuestrada bajo el franquismo. Rambla abajo, ocuparon el espacio público con identidades y formas de vida que hasta ese momento solo habían podido expresarse en espacios marginales o privados. La manifestación (no autorizada) duró hasta que aparecieron los grises.

Podemos considerar esta manifestación un momento de condensación de los movimientos de liberación homosexual que venían articulándose desde hacía tiempo. Visibilizar hoy la discontinuidad entre las subjetividades de aquellas perversas y el marco en que se fue fraguando el pacto político y social durante la transición a la democracia nos permite, cuarenta años después, actualizar el potencial crítico de sus discursos y prácticas corporales y vitales.

Con el seminario Millones de perversas tratamos de invocar la memoria de esos sujetos y movimientos impugnando una narrativa hegemónica centrada en la supuesta conquista progresiva de derechos LGTBIQ. Las distintas sesiones de este seminario se plantean reactivar aquellas disruptivas políticas y poéticas.

POÉTICAS presta atención a lo que sucedía en lugares concretos – como la efervescente Barcelona postfranquista o los espacios expresivos lésbicos de los años setenta – en un intento de dar claves para entender las poéticas desplegadas desde el ámbito de las culturas sexuales radicales de aquella década.

REDES Y AFECTOS. ¿Qué redes de afecto tramaban la vida de trans, maricas y lesbianas en la España de los setenta? Esta sesión se plantea el modo de reelaborarlas desde el presente a través de relaciones intergeneracionales, procesos performativos e investigaciones situadas que problematizan las nociones convencionales de memoria y archivo.

MILITANCIAS trata sobre la pervivencia – muchas veces inconsciente – en las luchas sexo-disidentes actuales de las políticas de los años setenta. Esto se aborda en forma de diálogo entre activistas, especialistas y militantes historicxs y en activo.

En resumen, Millones de perversas pretende conseguir que sean de nuevo transitables fórmulas colectivas de lucha, explora genealogías de ciertos planteamientos transgresores sobre la sexualidad y el género, y activa en nuestro presente los usos políticos de las memorias de la radicalidad sexual que el tiempo y sus narraciones oficiales han difuminado.

Entrada libre hasta completar aforo

PROGRAMA. CentroCentro y Conde Duque

Lunes 26 de junio

PRESENTACIÓN. Conde Duque

12:00 h. Presentación

12:15 h. Visitas a las exposiciones Anarchivo sida y Archivo Queer

13:00 h. Laura Corcuera. Tensiones en un ángulo de 90º (performance)

POÉTICAS. CentroCentro. Auditorio Caja de Música

17:00 h. Barcelona y otras escenas. Mesa redonda con la participación de Luis Escribano, Rampova y Silvia Reyes

19:00 h. Poéticas lésbicas. Mesa redonda con la participación de Meri Torras, Elena Castro y Txus García

Martes 27 de junio

REDES DE AFECTOS. CentroCentro. Sala Sigfrido Martín Begué

10:00 h. Tres activaciones: Un secreto de tu abuela se enrarece entre tus mejillas, de Ana Pol y Mónica Almagro; Memorias escondidas, del colectivo Rodando pichi; El archivo de Emilio: “Deja de sufrir, estúpido”, de Marta Echaves, Alejandro Simón y Jesús Bravo

12:15 h. Descanso

12:45 h. Reflexiones en torno a los afectos lésbicos. Años 70, un debate abierto. Mesa redonda con Rosa Medina Doménech, María José Belbel y Dolors Ribalta.

MILITANCIAS. CentroCentro. Auditorio Caja de Música

17:00 h. Proyección de los cortos Abajo la ley de peligrosidad social (José R. Ahumada, 1977) y Manifestación per lAlliberament Sexual en el Pais Valencia (Miquel Alamar i Berenguer / Pedro Ortuño, 1979-2015). Presentación a cargo de José R. Ahumada.

17:30 h. Los activismos de los años 70. Mesa redonda con Kerman Calvo, Maite Irazábal, Ramón Linaza y Carmen Monzonís

19:00 h. 40 años SON, de O.R.G.I.A (performance)

19:30 h. Proyección de fragmentos de Testigos de un tiempo maldito (Javi Larrauri, 2012) y mesa redonda Los activismos hoy, con Javi Larrauri, Leticia Rojas, Mónica Redondo y Pablo Andrade

Más información

El seminario Millones de perversas forma parte de las actividades del Proyecto de Investigación Europeo Cruising the 1970s-CRUSEV (integrado por Alejandro Melero, Alberto Mira, Alberto Berzosa, Francisco Godoy, Gracia Trujillo, Jesús Carrillo, Josep-Anton Fernàndez, Juan Antonio Suárez, Juan Vicente Aliaga, Lucas Platero, María Rosón, Noemí de Haro García, Virginia Villaplana Ruiz)

Our Desire is a Revolution: Images of sexual diversity in the Spanish State (1977-2017) – Exhibition, Madrid

An exhibition, curated by Juan Guardiola and Juan Suárez, of the LGBTQ audiovisual culture in Spain since the first demonstration in defence of the rights of gays and lesbians in September 1977 in Barcelona.

CENTROCENTRO CIBELES DE CULTURA Y CIUDADANÍA
Plaza de Cibeles, 1
28014 Madrid

23 Junio – 01 Octubre 2017/21st June – 1st October 2017

*

[Spanish, English translation follows]

Una revisión de la cultura audiovisual LGBTQ en España desde la primera manifestación en defensa de los derechos de gays y lesbianas en septiembre de 1977 en Barcelona, hito que marca el inicio de la militancia sexual en nuestro país, hasta el presente.

Nuestro deseo es una revolución muestra cómo diversas prácticas artísticas y discursivas gays, lésbicas y queer han combinado los lenguajes de las vanguardias artísticas y la iconografía y modos de hacer de las subculturas de la calle para politizar la representación del cuerpo y la sexualidad, para cuestionar el funcionamiento de las esferas pública y privada y para releer la historia hegemónica que invisibiliza a los sujetos marginales.

La vocación experimental y abiertamente política de la imagen queer ha quedado relativamente relegada en décadas recientes, tras los años álgidos de la crisis del SIDA, debido a la asimilación de la sexualidad gay-lésbica-queer a un nicho de mercado y al auge de reivindicaciones más orientadas a la gestión del ámbito privado (derecho al matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo) que a la transformación colectiva de la sociedad, como pretendía gran parte del activismo de los años setenta y del movimiento queer posterior.

Frente a estas estrategias de normalización, esta exposición recuerda la tradición de experimentación formal ligada a la disidencia sexual en el arte, una experimentación motivada por la conciencia de que para dar cuenta de una revolución sexual y social sin precedentes, aún en marcha, había que reinventar los modos de crear y narrar, de articular imágenes y de utilizar los medios artísticos.

Artistas y colectivos presentes en la muestra:

Carlos Aires, Florencia Aliberti, Pedro Almodóvar y Fabio McNamara, Alexander Apóstol, Manu Arregui, Cecilia Barriga, Biel Capllonch, Tino Casal, Gabriel Casas, Eduardo Chicharro, Javier Codesal, Joan Colom, Fito Conesa, Xavier-Daniel, Diego del Pozo, Luis María Delgado, David Domingo, Lucía Egaña, Pepe Espaliú, Jacinto Esteva, Alex Francés, Carmela García, Miguel Ángel Gaüeca, Jean Genet, Coco Guzmán, Juan Hidalgo, William James, Jana Leo, LSD, Jesús Martínez Oliva, Marisa Maza, Pepe Miralles, Joan Morey, Nazario (Nazario Luque Vera), Ocaña, Pedro Ortuño Mengual, Alvaro Perdices, Pablo Pérez Mínguez, Guillermo Pérez Villalta, Ventura Pons, Gregorio Prieto, Rodrigo (Rodrigo Muñoz Ballester), José Romero Ahumada, Francesc Ruiz, Azucena Vieites, Virginia Villaplana Ruiz e Iván Zulueta.

Cabello/Carceller (Helena Cabello y Ana Carceller), Costus (Juan Carrero y Enrique Naya), Dias & Riedweg (Mauricio de Mello Dias y Walter Stephan Riedweg), Els 5 QK’s, Equipo Palomar (Mariokissme y R. Marcos Mota), Jeleton (María Angeles Alcántara y Jesús Arpal), Majo Post-Op, O.R.G.I.A (Beatriz Higón, Carmen Muriana y Tatiana Sentamans), Subtramas  (Virginia Villaplana Ruiz, Diego del Pozo, Montse Romaní), Toy Tool Films, Video-Nou.

Comisariado: Juan Guardiola y Juan Antonio Suárez

Detalles completos en CentroCentro

Imagen: José Romero Ahumada. Abajo la ley de peligrosidad social. 1977. Cortesía de autor@, Barcelona.

*

[English]

A review of the LGBTQ audiovisual culture in Spain since the first demonstration in defense of the rights of gays and lesbians in September 1977 in Barcelona, ??a milestone that marks the beginning of the sexual militancy in our country, until the present.

Our desire is a revolution shows how various artistic practices and discursive gay, lesbian and queer have combined the languages of the artistic avant-garde and the iconography and ways of doing the subcultures of the street to politicize the representation of the body and sexuality, to question the functioning of the public and private spheres and to re-read the hegemonic history that makes the marginal subjects invisible.

The experimental and openly political vocation of the queer image has been relatively relegated in recent decades, following the peak years of the AIDS crisis, due to the assimilation of gay-lesbian-queer sexuality to a market niche and the rise of demands more oriented to the management of the private sphere (the right to same-sex marriage) than to the collective transformation of society desired by much of the activism of the 1970s and of the later queer movement.

Faced with these strategies of normalization, this exhibition recalls the tradition of formal experimentation linked to sexual dissidence in art, an experimentation motivated by the awareness that in order to account for an unprecedented sexual and social revolution, still in To reinvent the ways of creating and narrating, articulating images and using artistic means.

Artists and collectives present in the exhibition: Carlos Aires, Florencia Aliberti, Pedro Almodóvar y Fabio McNamara, Alexander Apóstol, Manu Arregui, Cecilia Barriga, Biel Capllonch, Tino Casal, Gabriel Casas, Eduardo Chicharro, Javier Codesal, Joan Colom, Fito Conesa, Xavier-Daniel, Diego del Pozo, Luis María Delgado, David Domingo, Lucía Egaña, Pepe Espaliú, Jacinto Esteva, Alex Francés, Carmela García, Miguel Ángel Gaüeca, Jean Genet, Coco Guzmán, Juan Hidalgo, William James, Jana Leo, LSD, Jesús Martínez Oliva, Marisa Maza, Pepe Miralles, Joan Morey, Nazario (Nazario Luque Vera), Ocaña, Pedro Ortuño Mengual, Alvaro Perdices, Pablo Pérez Mínguez, Guillermo Pérez Villalta, Ventura Pons, Gregorio Prieto, Rodrigo (Rodrigo Muñoz Ballester), José Romero Ahumada, Francesc Ruiz, Azucena Vieites, Virginia Villaplana Ruiz and Iván Zulueta.

Cabello/Carceller (Helena Cabello y Ana Carceller), Costus (Juan Carrero y Enrique Naya), Dias & Riedweg (Mauricio de Mello Dias y Walter Stephan Riedweg), Els 5 QK’s, Equipo Palomar (Mariokissme y R. Marcos Mota), Jeleton (María Angeles Alcántara y Jesús Arpal), Majo Post-Op, O.R.G.I.A (Beatriz Higón, Carmen Muriana y Tatiana Sentamans), Subtramas (Virginia Villaplana Ruiz, Diego del Pozo, Montse Romaní), Toy Tool Films, Video-Nou.

Commissariat: Juan Guardiola and Juan Suárez

Complete information at CentroCentro (in Spanish)

Image: José Romero Ahumada. Under the law of social danger. 1977. Courtesy of author @, Barcelona.

How to do the History of sex – keynote speakers

Here are short abstracts for the two keynotes at our workshop, by Maria Pramaggiore and Lazlo Pearlman.

Below are short abstracts and biographies for the two keynote speakers for How to do the History of Sex, 26 May 2017 at the Edinburgh College of Art

 

Histories of Sex in Urban Ireland: Dublin’s Hirschfeld Centre
Professor Maria Pramaggiore (Maynooth University, Ireland)

Using as a case study the Hirschfeld Centre (1979-1988), one of the first openly queer spaces in Dublin and a site of LGBTQ+ activism arounds the AIDS epidemic, Maria’s paper will examine the political economy of urban spaces and the non-linear temporalities that inform queer community histories.

Professor Maria Pramaggiore is Professor and Head of Media Studies at Maynooth University. She has published widely on gender and sexuality in cinema and media. She is the author of three monographs, a co-authored film studies textbook, and a co-edited collection on bisexual culture.

 

What You See is What You Get: Visuality and Trans Performance
Lazlo Pearlman (University of Northumbria)

Since the late 1970s, autobiographical performance has been an important form in which LGBTQ and other ‘Othered’ identities can become ‘visible’, share our stories and bring awareness to issues affecting our lives. These performances have also always run the risk of essentializing identities and entrenching narratives – thereby losing potency – particularly in our 21st century neoliberal identity culture. My research asks “what can the Trans bodily identity do onstage when it does not talk about the Trans condition” and I take my jumping off point from Sandy Stone in ‘The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto’ (1991) when she suggests constituting Trans “[…] as a genre—a set of embodied texts whose potential for productive disruption of structured sexualities and spectra of desire has yet to be explored.” To this end I posit and explore the differences between ‘visible’ identity-based performances and what I establish as my own ‘visual’ (naked) Trans identity-based performance.

I explore here the idea that narrative ‘visibility’ in performance places the emphasis on the optical and the ‘viewed’ (the subject), and examine the foreclosure of possibility that I contend this can create. I will contrast this with the way performance that works with an idea of identity ‘visuality’ could redirect the emphasis onto the viewer and the haptic, and, in refusing to allow narrative to entrench, may incite Stone’s ‘productive disruption’. I will contextualize these ideas and findings via sections of my current Practice Research performance ‘Trans-O-Graphia/Dance Me to the End of Love’.

Lazlo Pearlman is a performance maker and theorist whose areas of interest and expertise are gender, performance and cultural-studies, queer theory, transgender studies, intersectional feminism and critical race theory. He is a Lecturer at the University of Northumbria and has published and presented his work widely.

Image: Lazlo Pearlman by Jeri Poll, from www.lazlopearlman.com

 

A Golden Age for Queer Sexual Politics? Lesbian and Gay Literature and Film in 1970s Germany – Programme

Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 July 2017
Humboldt University, Berlin

This conference aims to explore the queer appeal of the 1970s by both highlighting their legendary aspects and questioning the historical construction of the decade.

International Conference
Thursday 20 July – Saturday 22 July 2017

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Institute for German Literature
Research Center for the Cultural History of Sexuality

Conception and Organization: Janin Afken, Andreas Kraß, Benedikt Wolf

Click here to view the complete programme

 

Historical accounts of the German 1970s lesbian and gay movement(s) often draw the picture of a legendary decade, a golden age for queer sexual politics and culture. This view is dependent not only on the historic facts themselves, but also – and significantly – on the way in which they are narrated in literature and film, both of the 1970s themselves and of our times. However, what exactly made the 1970s a “legendary decade”? What was its revolutionary potential and what were its path-breaking political and aesthetic strategies? Which elements, movements and memories had to be marginalized in order to facilitate the historical construction of the “legendary decade”?

This conference aims to explore the queer appeal of the 1970s by both highlighting their legendary aspects and questioning the historical construction of the legendary decade. The conference focuses on the representation and construction of the queer 1970s in literature and film and highlights the process of cultural canonization and the differences between male and female homosexual expression.

 

Thursday, 20 July 2017, Kino Arsenal, Potsdamer Straße 2

6.30 pm: Welcoming Speeches by Ulrike Vedder, Andreas Kraß, Glyn Davis

7 pm: Madame X – Eine absolute Herrscherin Madame X.  Film screening (German original with English subtitles) with an introduction by the director Ulrike Ottinger

 

Friday, 21 July 2017, Festsaal der Humboldt Graduate School, Luisenstraße 56

9:30 am: Introduction by Benedikt Wolf

9:50 am: “We were so turned on”. Reflections on Queer(ing) Past and Memory. Keynote by Susanne Hochreiter (Vienna). Chair: Tomasz Basiuk (Warsaw)

10:50 am: Coffee break

11:10 am: Session 1: The Canonized Queer 1970s, Chair: N.N.

  • Janin Afken (Berlin): From Sisters’ Skin to Womb Ego. Solidarity and Corporeality in Verena Stefan’s Shedding (1975)
  • Patsy l’Amour laLove (Berlin): A Legend of Gay Emancipation: Rosa von Praunheim’s Movie “Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt” (1971)
  • Benedikt Wolf (Berlin): Hubert Fichte’s Language of Desire. From “the Unchaste” to “Oymeln” in the Hamburg novels

12:40 pm: Lunch break

2 pm: Queers Give Me Pause. Keynote by Marc Siegel (Frankfurt a.M./Berlin). Chair: Juan Suárez (Murcia).

3 pm: Coffee break

3:20 pm: Session 2: Contesting the Canon, Chair: Hannes Hacke (Berlin)

  • Chris Auld (Ormskirk): Camp Subversion in the Films of R.W. Fassbinder
  • Vojin Saša Vukadinovic (Zurich): Aesthetics, Critique, Satire. Die Schwarze Botin and the Promise of Revolution
  • Peter Rehberg (Berlin): Bärtige Männer nackt auf Matratzenlager“: Post and Pre-Aids Representations of Gay Masculinity

4:50 pm: Coffee break

5:10 pm: Session 3: Retrospections, Chair: Patsy l’Amour laLove (Berlin)

  • Maria Bühner (Leipzig): How to Remember Invisibility: Documentary Projects on Lesbians in the German Democratic Republic as Archives of Feelings
  • Sebastian Zilles (Siegen): The 1970s in Retrospective. HIV/AIDS-Discourses in German Literature

 

Saturday, 22 July 2017, Festsaal der Humboldt Graduate School, Luisenstraße 56

9:30 am: Session 4: European Perspectives, Chair: Todd Sekuler (Berlin)

  • Alejandro Melero (Madrid): LGTB Representation and Film Censorship in German-Spanish Co-Productions During the Last Years of Franco’s Dictatorship (1970-1975)
  • Krzysztof Zablocki (Warsaw): Wolfgang Jöhling – a Builder of Bridges Between German and Polish LGBT Scenes
  • Juan A. Suárez (Murcia): The Operatic Tableau in Seventies Queer Cinema: Werner Schroeter, Adolpho Arrieta, Teo Hernández

11 am: Coffee break

11:30 am: Panel Discussion: Is There a Shared History of Lesbian Women and Gay Men in the 1970s? Antke Engel (Berlin), Michael Bochow (Berlin), Laura Guy (Edinburgh), NN., NN.; Chair: Fiona Anderson (Newcastle)

 

The conference is free to attend.

Contact and Registration until 7 July 2017: kulturgeschichte-sexualitaet@hu-berlin.de

 

Venues
Kino Arsenal, Potsdamer Straße 2, 10785 Berlin
Festsaal der Humboldt Graduate School, Luisenstraße 56, 10117 Berlin
Both of the venues are wheelchair accessible.

Conference Language is English

Image – still from Madame X.

Life Writing of Lesbian and Gay Male Authors in 1970s Germany

CRUSEV’s Janin Afken and Benedikt Wolf’s seminar ask how queer life writing is connected to significant literary tendencies in the Germans 1960s and 1970s like documentary literature and New Subjectivity.

During the summer semester of 2017, we are teaching a seminar on “Life Writing of Lesbian and Gay Male Authors in 1970s Germany” at Humboldt University of Berlin. The seminar is open for undergraduates in German Literature, European Literatures and Gender Studies. The objective of our seminar is to examine the specific constructions of queer subjectivity that are shaped by the autobiographical view in the context of gender and sexuality. The seminar asks how queer life writing is connected to significant literary tendencies in the Germans 1960s and 1970s like documentary literature and New Subjectivity. We are especially interested in problematizing the claim of authenticity as stated in many of the texts and its relationship to the binary of closet and disclosure lying at the core of the concept of coming out. In a historical perspective the question is raised, how the issue of possible confession reacts to canonical texts of autobiographical writing such as Augustinus’s Confessiones and Rousseau’s Confessions.

By reading classical theoretical texts on authorship and autobiography by Michel Foucault, Philippe Lejeune and Paul de Man, we aim to problematize the position of the author and try to grasp the specific relationship to extra-textual reality life writing often claims.

The literary texts we will read range from documentary literature like Maxie Wander’s Guten Morgen, du Schöne (1978), over confession-like personal accounts like Judith Offenbach’s (pseudonym of Luise F. Pusch) Sonja (1981) to highly stylized and canonized autofictions like Hubert Fichte’s Versuch über die Pubertät (1974). We will read seemingly anachronistic accounts like Kurt Hiller’s Leben gegen die Zeit (1978), as well as key texts of 1970s movements like Verena Stefan’s Häutungen (1975).

The examination of life writing of the 1970s allows for an illustrative and complex way of cruising the 1970s with a focus on subjectivities and their transformation in and by literature.

The seminar is organised by CRUSEV’s Janin Afken and Benedikt Wolf.

Four Films by Jim Hubbard at the Cinema Museum, London

Shortly after World AIDS Day 2017, CRUSEV’s Fiona Anderson and EUROPACH hosted a screening and discussion with Hubbard about his life and work.

The American filmmaker Jim Hubbard has been making experimental films that explore lesbian and gay activism and community building since the mid-1970s. Today, Hubbard is perhaps best known for his work as an AIDS activist and historian of AIDS activism. In 2012, he directed and co-produced the documentary United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, a powerful account of the emergence of AIDS activism in New York in the mid-to-late 1980s from the perspective of members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, with the activist and writer Sarah Schulman. Hubbard and Schulman also coordinate the ACT UP Oral History Project, a collection of interviews with surviving members of the group.

On 9th December 2016 – shortly after World AIDS Day 2017 – CRUSEV’s Fiona Anderson and members of the fellow HERA-funded project EUROPACH (Disentangling European HIV/AIDS Policies: Activism, Citizenship and Health) hosted a screening and discussion with Hubbard about his life and work at the Cinema Museum in London. For the screening, Hubbard selected four films which span the breadth of his practice, from poetic reflections on personal loss to documentary interviews, and dealt with themes of loss, memory, activism and empowerment.

In the late 1970s, Hubbard recorded protests against the filming of William Friedkin’s controversial movie Cruising in New York’s West Village on Super 8 film, using the material in a short work that he titled Stop the Movie Cruising (1980). Hubbard’s film switches between footage of street protests in the West Village, aiming to disrupt the filming of Cruising, and voyeuristic recordings of extras on the set, chatting, laughing, and dancing inside the leather bars by the waterfront like the Ramrod and the Eagle’s Nest in which Friedkin filmed. Filming the action from outside the bar, peering in, Hubbard utilised the vantage point of cruising in this work. Moving between the club and the street, between inside and outside, setting up clear parallels between the multiple queer bodies congregating, fictionally, in the bars and the crowds of queer activists rallying against the film in the streets of the Village.

Two Marches (1991), shot on 16mm film, juxtaposes scenes recorded at two national marches on Washington D.C.: the first and second National Marches on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979 and 1987. Hubbard’s combination of footage, presented mostly in silence, makes clear the devastating and unanticipated changes that impacted queer communities in the US between the late 1970s and the late 1980s. Hubbard’s earlier film Elegy in the Streets (1989), also shot in 16mm, takes a similar approach, bringing together intimate footage of Hubbard’s former partner, the filmmaker Roger Jacoby, who died in 1985, and documentations of public demonstrations by ACT UP and the public unfurling of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1987.

The event concluded with an excerpt from the documentary film Speak for Yourself (1990), in which the AIDS activists and ACT UP members Sarah Schulman and Maxine Wolfe shared their thoughts on the challenges facing activists as they seek to establish solidarity between the diverse communities affected by AIDS. This rarely screened footage provided a fascinating counterpoint to Hubbard and Schulman’s work with the ACT UP Oral History Project and the interviews which appear in Hubbard and Schulman’s film United in Anger: A History of ACT UP.

In a generous discussion with the audience after the screening, Hubbard shared his thoughts on new challenges facing LGBTQ activists in the present and the relationship between recent activism for marriage equality and the historic examples of AIDS activism documented in his film work. He also spoke about the distinctions between his recent work as a documentary filmmaker and his longstanding investment in experimental filmmaking and his desire to make non-narrative films which explore the emotional and visual experience of personal connection, loss, social exclusion, and activist world making in the time of AIDS and earlier. This collaborative event provided the CRUSEV and EUROPACH teams with an opportunity to cruise the queer visual cultures of the 1970s through Hubbard’s films, and trace the experience of activism, citizenship, and health from the 1970s to the present.

Photograph of attendees sat around small tables at the Cinema Museum. The tables are adorned with flowers and chequered green and white table cloth. To the left of the image is the bar, where two men with hats and beards stand, facing opposite directions.

Text and Photographs by Fiona Anderson.

À propos unmarked, brown paper packaging

Mark Clintberg and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay presented a book-wrapping action as part of the Between the Sheets: Radical Print Before the Queer Bookstore

Artist Mark Clintberg and CRUSEV UK team member Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay presented a book-wrapping action as part of the Between the Sheets: Radical Print Before the Queer Bookstore symposium held at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Art on February 24, 2017. 

The action, created especially for the symposium, responded to the history of printed material of a sexual or queer nature being wrapped in paper that conceals its contents when purchased in shops or sent by post. Symposium guests were invited to bring books or other printed matter to the artists, who provided a wrapping service using screen-printed paper of their own design, created to increase the visibility of the wrapped material, rather than to conceal it. The artists also wrapped and displayed a selection of books from the Glasgow Women’s Library, chosen by Lesbian Archive Project Worker Alice Andrews.

The project evolved out of other collaborative projects between Clintberg and Nemerofsky involving hospitality, wrapping and exchange, including Garde Rose and For the Last Guest. More documentation of the action can be seen here.

How to do the History of Sex

Friday 26 May 2017, Edinburgh College of Art

A one-day interdisciplinary workshop on methodological approaches to the study of sex, between scholars from disciplines including sexology, medicine, law, cultural history, art and design.

One day workshop
Friday 26 May 2017
10:00 – 17:30hrs
Free

Taking place at:
Hunter Lecture Theatre
Edinburgh College of Art
74 Lauriston Place
Edinburgh
EH3 9DF

‘How to do the History of Sex’ is a free one-day interdisciplinary workshop open to all. The event’s main objective is to share methodological approaches to the study of sex between scholars working in varied disciplines, including sexology, medicine, law, cultural history, performance studies, art and design. This will be done through keynote presentations, short talks, and hands-on break-out sessions involving exploring archival materials. The aim of the workshop is for all participants to gain a wider understanding of the complexities of exploring the history of sexual behaviours and practices, and an enhanced interdisciplinary knowledge of ways to approach the subject area.

Whilst sexual behaviours and practices have served as a topic of academic study for a considerable amount of time, recent years have seen the publication of a number of high-profile theoretical texts on the topic. These include ‘Sex, or the Unbearable’ (Berlant and Edelman, 2013), ‘After Sex’ (edited by Halley and Parker, 2011) ‘Unlimited Intimacy’ (Dean, 2009) and ‘Celibacies’ (Kahan, 2013). While all outstanding contributions to the study of sexuality and sexual practices, these books rarely investigate historical materials in depth. The question that this workshop asks is: how is it possible to recover and theoretically scrutinise something as ephemeral as past instances of sexual behaviour?

Keynote speakers for the event are Lazlo Pearlman (University of Northumbria) and Professor Maria Pramaggiore (Maynooth University, Ireland).

Speakers for the event will include: Professor Sharon Cowan (Law, University of Edinburgh); Dr Laura Guy (School of Design, ECA, University of Edinburgh); Dr Agnieszka Koscianska (University of Warsaw); Neslihan Tepehan (PhD student, School of Design, ECA, University of Edinburgh); and Dr Ingrid Young (Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh).

To book a ticket, please click here.

Places on the workshop will be strictly limited to 50. Participants will need to attend the whole day, in order to contribute fully to the event. Tickets are available now!

Access: The Hunter Lecture Theatre is wheelchair accessible, and has level access from College Court Yard. Please click here for detailed information regarding wheelchair access and a map to the venue. If you have any additional access requirements, or would like to contact us regarding the event, please email crusev@ed.ac.uk

Image: from À Fleurer, by Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay.

CRUSEV at SCMS

CRUSEV’s Glyn Davis attended this year’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in Chicago. Here’s his report.

CRUSEV’s Glyn Davis organised and contributed to a panel for this year’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) conference. Here’s his report on the event.

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I put together a panel for this year’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) conference, which took place in Chicago from 22nd to 26th March. The panel was titled ‘Cruising the Seventies: Glancing Backwards at Queer Cinema’, and was comprised of talks by Assistant Professor Greg Youmans (Western Washington University – pictured), Professor Bill Marshall (University of Stirling) and myself, with Associate Professor Richard T. Rodriguez (University of California Riverside) as a respondent. Whereas the focus of the HERA-funded project ‘Cruising the Seventies’ is on Europe, this panel expanded the parameters of investigation to also include the United States. The panel was sponsored by SCMS’s Queer Caucus.

Greg Youmans’ paper, ‘Locating the 1970s: Sex and Cinema at Druid Heights’, focused on a particular geographical location, and its role in the history of sexual representation in the United States. Located deep in the woods of Marin County, California, the artist colony known as Druid Heights was a countercultural mecca in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a haven for young lesbian feminists who journeyed there to visit the older poet Elsa Gidlow, who died in 1986. Since then, however, most of the structures have fallen into decay and disrepair.

Films shot at Druid Heights include James Broughton’s experimental short ‘The Bed’ (1968), sequences of the Mariposa Film Group’s ‘Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives’ (1977), and sections of the Mitchell Brothers’ pornographic feature ‘The Grafenberg Spot’ (1985). Together these films trace the history of sexual politics across the “long 1970s”, from the hippie counterculture of the late 1960s through the explosion of gay lifestyles and politics in the 1970s to the exhausted, post-liberation ethos and conservative backlash of the early 1980s. Greg’s paper explored the films’ competing cinematic visions of sexual liberation. In part, he did this through juxtaposing his own video footage with content from the original films, attempting to recreate or unearth traces of the past through his camera.

Bill Marshall’s talk, ‘Lional Soukaz: Historicity and Time’, discussed one specific film by Soukaz: his four-part documentary on queer history, ‘Race d’Ep!’ (1979). Bill focused in particular on the fourth part of the film, ‘Royal Opera’, which takes the form of a philosophical dialogue of sorts between a straight middle-class executive (played by porn star Piotr Stanislas) and a ‘folle’ or queer (played by Soukaz’s collaborator and theorist Guy Hocquenghem). ‘Royal Opera’ is particularly self-conscious about space and time: made on the cusp of the 1970s/1980s, it follows the pair through a Paris marked by the spatial history of same-sex desire. Bill’s talk connected Soukaz’s film-making practice to the 1970s context in Paris – before the opening of the first gay bar in the Marais, the AIDS crisis, and the creation of an equal age of consent – and to arguments made by Hocquenghem in his book ‘La Derive homosexuelle’ (1977) about queerness, marginality, and social acceptability.

As with the preceding papers, my own talk, ‘Hanging out in Derek Jarman’s warehouse’, also looked at the relationships between sexuality, space and the moving image. The different London warehouse spaces that the artist, filmmaker and author Derek Jarman occupied during the 1970s – at Upper Ground, Bankside, and Butler’s Wharf, all located along the south bank of the Thames – were introduced: Jarman lived and worked in these places, his studio doubling as his home. All of these spaces were inhabited legitimately – rent was paid to landlords – but the state of their upkeep was variable, at worst rudimentary. Their shabby state, I argued, served as a generative geography for Jarman: he turned the run-down locations into sanctuaries, othered spaces, in which a queer demimonde of artists and personalities gathered, socialized, and fostered each other’s work. The queer model of sociality and creativity supported by these warehouse studios, I suggested, was not only fleeting but is difficult to account for within existing understandings of both film-making and artistic practice. Attempting to capture that model allows us to think through ways in which, potentially, similar modes of creativity and interaction might be fostered in the present.

Richard T. Rodriguez’s response to the panel, ‘Looking back, thinking forward’, provided a fitting conclusion, and served as a provocative prompt for audience discussion. Richard drew attention to the historian Antoinette Burton’s insistence on “the need for archive stories – narratives about how archives are created, drawn upon, and experienced by those who use them to write history.” Lionel Soukaz, Derek Jarman, and the filmmakers associated with Druid Heights, said Richard, provide us with rich archive stories that enable us to do a queer history of 1970s cinema that teases out the overlooked elements of that era: they illuminate a rich temporal moment that does more than set the stage for future decades of queer filmmaking, but also illustrates a dynamic interplay between film culture and cultural politics.

 

Felix Rexhausen’s Estate

CRUSEV’s postdoctoral researcher Benedikt Wolf (Berlin) has been spending time working with Felix Rexhausen’s archive. He wrote the following report about his research.

CRUSEV’s postdoctoral researcher Benedikt Wolf (Berlin) has been spending time working with Felix Rexhausen’s archive. He wrote the following report about his research.

The life and works of German gay satirist and journalist Felix Rexhausen (1932-1992) provide a fascinating perspective on the German gay 1970s. After becoming quite well-known to the German general public through a satiric polemic against the reactionary structures in the federal state of Bavaria (‘Living with Bavarians’, 1963) and the fierce and partly hateful reactions to it, Rexhausen published political and/or satirical articles in newspapers and journals and positioned himself in the field of pre-1968 leftist and liberal critique of postwar West Germany. His first novel with homosexual content, ‘Lavender Sword’, published in 1966, imagined a future homosexual revolution. His satiric depiction and critique of both the homophobic majority and the conservative mindset of gay men on the eve of Gay Liberation, pioneered crucial conceptions of the German Gay Liberation movement, namely the twofold critique of homophobic society and male homosexuals, as conducted by Rosa von Praunheim (‘It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives’, 1971) or Martin Dannecker and Reimut Reiche (‘The Ordinary Homosexual’, 1974). His pioneering stance became manifest once more with the publication of the first male homosexual pornographic novel in post-war Germany, ‘Touches’ (1969), published under the pseudonym of Stefan David.

While basic research on Rexhausen’s published gay themed novels has been done already, his other publications have not yet been analyzed for their treatment of homosexuality. These publications include both contributions for non-gay media like newspapers and radio broadcasts and contributions to the post-1969 gay magazines ‘Du & Ich’ (‘You & Me’) and ‘him’.

Next to this published material exists a huge corpus of non-published texts that has not been visible until recently. Rexhausen’s estate is, for the most part, held by the Gay Museum* Berlin, which received most of the materials from the publishing house Männerschwarm. When I asked Wolfgang Cortjaens, the head of the archive of the Gay Museum* Berlin, if I could access Rexhausen’s estate, he told me that no one had looked into it thoroughly and that it had not been sorted and indexed yet. When I expressed my desire to do this work, he was very happy that these important materials would be researched and made accessible for public use.

The materials provide opportunities to examine the complicated ways in which Rexhausen transformed from a closeted homosexual man and politically conscious critic of post-war West Germany to an openly gay intellectual and writer. While he had not yet come out when publishing ‘Lavender Sword’ in 1966 and he published his pornographic ‘Touches’ under a pseudonym, he went on to publish articles in the gay press both under various pseudonyms and under his real name. On the title page of an unpublished manuscript titled ‘Fences: Scenes from the Bushes’ (written in 1964), parts of which were eventually included in ‘Lavender Sword’ and ‘Touches’, he crossed out the typewritten pseudonym of Hans Rudolf Ahrengall and replaced it with his real name. This apparent gesture of pride cannot be dated exactly, but has to be located in the context of change both in the situation of homosexuals in the FRG and in Rexhausen’s private life. In Rexhausen’s literary oeuvre he continued his play with authentic vs. fake authorship throughout the 1970s, for example by presenting himself as the collector and translator of poems he had in fact written himself (‘Lavender Steps’, 1978). In his unpublished texts from the archive, this play with names and literary identities is ubiquitous. There are characters like the strange countess Eckböhnel, presenting her memoirs and poems, including a drawing of her portrait. Most erratic is the character of the mysterious Selma Ada Hotop, from whom even a nameplate has survived in the estate and to whom various texts and drawings are ascribed. The play with this kind of personae leads to Hamburg’s cabaret scene, where Rexhausen seems to have played quite a distinct role, but about which little is known until today.

From the perspective of his estate, Rexhausen’s path from a closeted homosexual to an openly gay writer and journalist can be traced by looking at his play with names, fictitious characters and the strategic use of published vs. private or performative and ephemeral materials. The fact that this did not stop with the emergence of Gay Liberation, but rather transformed from a necessity dictated by the structure of the closet to an ironic tool used to satirically reflect on gay sexuality, opens up a fresh perspective on the German gay 1970s.

Accessibility for Between the Sheets

Information on the accessibility of our symposium, taking place in Glasgow, 23-24 February 2017

Information on Accessibility for our symposium, Between the Sheets: Radical Print Cultures before the queer bookshop.

Thursday 23th and Friday 24th February 2017
Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow

The symposium will be conducted in English.

Live subtitling (speech to text transcription) will accompany both days of the symposium.

On the Thursday, pre-prepared material will be accompanied by closed caption subtitles or a transcript.

 

Access information regarding the venue

The CCA is wheelchair accessible, with level access throughout each of the floors in the building. The building comprises three floors and is situated on the corner of Sauchiehall Street and Scott Street. The ground floor includes a foyer with a box office, Duty Managers’ office, two shops, a cafe bar, gallery, cinema, accessible toilets and lift access to the first and second floors. The first floor has the theatre, Creative Lab, accessible toilets and Terrace Bar. The second floor has Intermedia Gallery and the Clubroom meeting space.

Thursday’s event will be held in the Creative Lab. Friday’s event will be held in the Club Room, with drinks afterwards taking place in the Terrace Bar.

Please note that there is no hearing loop in the Club Room.

Detailed access information for the CCA be found online here at the CCA’s website. A map of the CCA can viewed here. For a detailed statement that includes information regarding travelling to the venue, click here.

The CCA aim’s to make its building as accessible as possible. If you feel that you might need some additional help, please get in touch or ask a member of staff on arrival.

If you have any specific access requirements that the Cruising the 70s team can help you with, let us know. You can email us at crusev@ed.ac.uk

 

We will circulate accessibility information including maps of the venue and fixtures and fittings of the spaces we’ll be using and toilets, with general information about the symposium. We will not be providing BSL interpretation at the event.

Cruising the 70s welcomes any suggestions or improvements to access for our events. Feel free to speak to us at the event, or contact us via email at crusev@ed.ac.uk with any suggestions. We will be discussing provisions to improve the accessibility of our events across the duration of the project and in the run up to our conference in Edinburgh in July 2019.

Programme for Between the Sheets: Radical print cultures before the queer bookshop

Here’s the full programme for our forthcoming symposium in Glasgow, Scotland. Tickets have now sold out but those without a space can join a waiting list by calling CCA Glasgow.

Here’s the full programme for our forthcoming symposium in Glasgow, Scotland. Tickets have now sold out but those without a space can join a waiting list by calling CCA Glasgow. Accessibility information to follow shortly.

 

Between the Sheets: Radical print cultures before the queer bookshop, 23-24 February 2017 CCA Glasgow

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Thursday 23 February, 18.00-20.00, Creative Lab
Bob Orr and Sigrid Nielsen in conversation with James Ley

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Friday 24 February 2017, 11am-17.30, Club Room

11.00 Introduction: Fiona Anderson and Laura Guy
11.30-13.00 Roz Kaveney in conversation with Nat Raha
13.00-14.00 Lunch (not provided)
14.00-15.30 Evan Ifekoya in conversation with Nazmia Jamal
15.30-16.30 Break and ‘À Propos Unmarked, Brown Paper Packaging:
A book-wrapping action’ by Mark Clintberg & Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (with refreshments provided)
16.45-17.30 Discussion

Symposium participants are then invited to join us in the upstairs bar

(Image: Lavender Menace bookshop courtesy of Bob Orr)

Between the Sheets: Radical print cultures before the queer bookshop

Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, Scotland
23-24 February 2017

Between the Sheets is framed around three conversations with a range of speakers who will share their experiences with print cultures in the 1970s,

CCA, Glasgow 23.-24.2.2017

Book online

The 1970s was a crucial time for feminist and LGBTQ activism and community-building. Between the Sheets explores how and why reading and writing acquired such prominence and power in queer communities in Britain in this important decade, engaging with the pleasure and politics of print before the establishment of important queer bookshops like Lavender Menace and Gay’s the Word in the late 1970s and early 1980s. With contributions from artists, activists, writers, and academics, it will stop to consider tactile encounters with the printed word, reflect on collective interactions with print in reading groups and consciousness-raising sessions, and think about the development of spaces for sharing and selling books, magazines, and pamphlets in the 1970s, from women’s centres to nightclubs.

Between the Sheets is framed around three conversations with a range of speakers who will share their experiences with print cultures in the 1970s, focusing on the politics of print, on spaces of distribution and connection, and on how these often ephemeral queer print cultures have been archived and are remembered in the present. These discussions will be punctuated by performances and screenings. Looking at reading and sharing the written word as a call to action, Between the Sheets asks what the role of print was for queer communities in the 1970s and what the significance of these radical queer print cultures is for LGBTQ activists today.

 (Image: Lavender Menace bookshop courtesy of Bob Orr)

A Golden Age for Queer Sexual Politics? Lesbian and Gay Literature and Film in 1970s Germany

Friday 21 – Saturday 22 July 2017
Humboldt University, Berlin

Call for Papers

Friday 21 – Saturday 22 July 2017
Humboldt University, Berlin

Call for Papers

The German Gay Liberation Movement began with a work of art. Rosa von Praunheim’s film It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives (1971) was the trigger for the formation of homosexual emancipation groups all over West Germany. With its fierce critique of the approaches to assimilation of the 1960s homophile movement and with its revolutionary impetus, the film marked itself as a threshold towards a new time of liberation.

From the very start of the movement, women took part in the various emancipation groups. Nonetheless, gay men were dominating these groups. Since the early 1970s, homosexual women also formed up all-female lesbian groups, inspired by the women’s movement’s critique of the patriarchy. Verena Stefan’s book Häutungen (Shedding, 1975) played a substantial role in the process of shaping a political lesbian identity and eventually turned into a cult text of both the feminist and the lesbian movement.

Historical accounts of gay liberation movements have often been presented in the form of a saga, as Scott Bravmann has pointed out in his 1997 book Queer Fictions of the Past. This certainly applies for the 1970s in Germany: the period between 1971 (Praunheim’s film) and 1982 (when the term AIDS was coined) has regularly been constructed as a Golden Age of German queer history. This view is dependent not only on the historic facts themselves, but also – and significantly – on the way in which they are narrated in works of art, both of the 1970s themselves and of our times. Individual memory and historical construction are fundamentally structured by narration – and literature and film do not only participate in this process of shaping an intelligible past, but are also spaces of reflection on this process.

In the last few years interest in the more recent past of LGBTI movements has increased in the humanities. In particular, the period that is characterized deeply by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the politics of activist groups such as ACT UP! and Queer Nation in the US context has been reread in the frame of concepts of trauma, loss and temporality. The German context did not see mass movements against the social, political and ideological consequences of HIV/AIDS like in the USA. The media reactions to AIDS nonetheless brought about a homophobic climate of repression and hatred, and German queers found effective strategies for self-aid. It seems that LGBTI activists as well as academics have only started the work of mourning the deaths of the AIDS epidemic in the past few years.

Against the backdrop of this rather dark and negative decade, its predecessor, the 1970s, begins to appear as a heyday of Gay Liberation, radical politics and sexual freedom. In Germany, the 1970s are often seen as a “legendary decade”, as the editors of  a collection of essays about the so-called Rosa Radikale (‘Pink Radicals’) write – being aware of the historical construction this understanding is based on [1]. The years after the students’ revolt of 1968 were a departure for queers both in the FRG and in the GDR. Sodomy laws were liberalized in both German states in 1968 (GDR) and 1969 (FRG). Important homosexual emancipation groups such as Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin (Homosexual Action West Berlin, FRG) and Homosexuelle Initiative Berlin (Homosexual Initiative Berlin, GDR) were founded in 1971 and 1973 respectively. When the catastrophe of the epidemic hit the movement in the early 1980s, it was desperately estranged and almost incapable of united action.

However, what exactly made the 1970s a “legendary decade”? What was its revolutionary potential and its path-breaking political and aesthetic strategies? Which elements, movements and memories had to be marginalized in order to facilitate the historical construction of the “legendary decade”? Have the 1970s been narrated differently by the heterogeneous groups involved in LGBTI movements – especially by lesbian women in contrast to gay men? Why has the lesbian movement often been made invisible in academic discussions about both the Women’s movement and the homosexual movement [2]? Can the movement of the 1970s Pink Radicals not only be seen as an unreachable and irretrievable past, lost forever because of the AIDS crisis, but also as a foundation and inspiration for the AIDS movement of the 1980s?

In recent years some artists, film makers and writers have created works of art reflecting the queer 1970s in complex ways. In her 2014 novel Sisterhood, Claudia Koppert turns toward the early years of feminist and lesbian activism by staging the generational conflict between the protagonist and her adolescent daughter. By focusing both on the mother’s and the daughter’s perspectives, the novel creates a highly intricate reading of the ‘legendary’ feminist and lesbian past. Yoni Leyser’s film Desire Will Set You Free (2015), tells the story of a migrant to Berlin who discovers her trans identity. Both the plot of the film and some of its scenes are reminiscent of Praunheim’s 1971 film, and Praunheim finally appears in the film along with other ‘heroes’ of the 1970s such as Blixa Bargeld and Nina Hagen. The queer 1970s seem to exercise quite a strong appeal for contemporary reflections of queer culture.

The conference aims to explore the queer appeal of the 1970s by both highlighting the legendary aspects of the 1970s and questioning the historical construction. It also seeks to unearth marginalized, erased or ephemeral cultural expressions of the time and to investigate to what degree women, marginalized masculinities (proletarian and migrant) and the reality of the GDR have been excluded from historical narratives. The conference will focus on the representation and construction of the queer 1970s in literature and film and highlight the process of cultural canonization, the differences between male and female homosexual expression, the characteristics of trans* and racialized experiences, and the queer culture of East Germany.

We invite papers that focus on literature and films of the 1970s as well as papers that investigate contemporary cultural expressions that reflect the 1970s. Papers may scrutinize either individual authors and film-makers or thematic aspects in various works of art. We invite papers on ‘serious’ as well as experimental, avant-garde, underground, trivial and pornographic texts or films. Papers that analyze German culture in a broader European context are especially welcome.

Possible contexts and topics include:

  • lesbian and gay literature
  • lesbian and gay film
  • heteronormative works referring to LGBTI issues
  • works referring to trans issues
  • works referring to issues of race
  • Punk and Glam Rock
  • Drag Culture (Tunten)
  • Pornography

The conference will take place from July 21-22 2017 at Humboldt University of Berlin.

The conference language is English.

For individual proposals, please submit a one-page, double-spaced abstract in English with a short biographical note before 31 December 2016 via kulturgeschichte-sexualitaet@hu-berlin.de.

The accepted papers will be published as a collection of essays after the conference.

Unfortunately, we are not able to fund travel or accommodation costs.

The Conference is organized as part of the HERA-funded research project “Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS queer sexual cultures” by the Research Center “Cultural History of Sexuality” (Institute for German Literature, Humboldt University of Berlin).

Janin Afken, Andreas Krass, Benedikt Wolf
Forschungsstelle Kulturgeschichte der Sexualität
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Institut für deutsche Literatur
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin
References

[1] Andreas Pretzel/ Volker Weiß: Die westdeutsche Schwulenbewegung der 1970er Jahre. Annäherungen an ein legendäres Jahrzehnt, in: Pretzel/ Weiß (eds.): Rosa Radikale. Die Schwulenbewegung der 1970er Jahre, Geschichte der Homosexuellen in Deutschland nach 1945, Vol 2, Hamburg 2012, p. 9–26.

[2] Gabriele Dennert/ Christiane Leidinger/ Franziska Rauchut: Lesben in Wut. Lesbenbewegung in der BRD der 70er Jahre, in: Dennert/ Leidinger/ Rauchut (eds.): In Bewegung bleiben. 100 Jahre Politik, Kultur und Geschichte von Lesben, Berlin 2007, p. 31–61.

Cruising the 70s is funded by HERA.

The project Cruising the 70s is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme 3 Uses of the Past which is co-funded by AHRC, AKA, BMBF via DLR-PT, CAS, CNR, DASTI, ETAg, FWF, F.R.S. – FNRS, FWO, FCT, FNR, HAZU, IRC, LMT, MIZS, MINECO, NWO, NCN, RANN?S, RCN, SNF, VIAA and VR and the European Commission through Horizon 2020.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and  innovation programme under grant agreement No 649307