02/10/2019 | Writer: Gözde Demirbilek
LGBTI+ and queer museum experiences were discussed at the International Memory and History Conference.
The International Memory and History Conference organized by Kaos GL Association started on September 27th with a workshop held in Izmir. The conference continued with the session "In pursuit of history: LGBTI+ and queer museum experiences".
In the session moderated by Yildiz Tar of the Kaos GL Association; Dr. Peter Rehberg and Dr. Birgit Bosold discussed the LGBTI+ museum experience in Germany through the Schwules Museum (Berlin/ Germany), while Florent Molle discussed the issues raised during the preparation of the exhibition on HIV and AIDS.
Schwules is becoming queer
Dr. Peter Rehberg, the first speaker of the session, began their speech by addressing the three meanings of the queer: "Queer is the one who stands in the way of heteronormative society. secondly, it relates to the history of LGBTI+. Queer can also be called as another form of information.”
Rehberg said that photography is a semiotic text, as bourgeois museums make bourgeois visible; Schwules Museum is a counter archive initiative that makes "faggots" visible. Rehberg explained the Schwules' attempt tp queerize in recent year, which started with gay visible works, based on the definition of queer that they stated:
"There are two exhibition spaces in our museum, one side bears traces and works from the history of LGBTI+. This is done with donations from volunteers. As more gay men donate that part becomes gay-visible. On the other side, queer works of art are on display. Schwules also exists as a research center."
“While lesbian invisibility is being talked, the misogyny and sexism is not”
The second speaker of the session, Dr. Birgit Bosold, began their speech with photographs of lesbian visible exhibitions held as part of the "Year of Women". After the exhibitions of works from lesbian history, the debate on feminism and queer feminism by white gay men began, Bosold said, stressing that instead of discussing visibility, we should talk about power, money, and influence.
Bosold said that 50% of the budget for LGBTI+s in Berlin is reserved for associations headed by gay men, and that lesbian invisibility is not spoken on the grounds that misogyny and sexism are harsh subjects to talk, adding that those who say "we are not against feminism, we are against queer feminism" are making these attacks by queer feminism.
“Standing out for your own life”
Florent Molle, the final speaker of the session; shared their sensitivities in preparation for an exhibition on HIV and AIDS.
Pointing to the beginning of the epidemic in 1983, Molle shared on how to make visible the anger of people who stood out for their own lives. Molle stated that they are planning various events about exhibiting the experiences of "standing out for own life", which they found important to make the narrative relatable, from the perspective of the bodies, careers, and lives of the individuals.
Molle also said that they invited people from various disciplines to the study. They stated that in joint studies, where employees from hospitals and NGOs in France are involved and people from the art world are invited; they decided the content of the exhibition by identifying the common problems through these gatherings.
*Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz
Tags: arts and culture, life