Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival
GREECE JUNE 7- 23, 2019
Co-Curator, International Research & Development
TQAF is a grassroots initiative designed to effect long-term change in entrenched misconceptions and prejudice towards queer and LGBT community through art and cultural activities. The festival, believing in the power of art to reach both the heart and the mind, will open new channels of communication between a broad cross section of individuals and social groups. The aim is to foster dialogue and develop alternative methods of addressing social discrimination.
Thessaloniki is strategically located at the center of the Balkans, Turkey and Middle East, regions with significantly more entrenched and dangerous attitudes toward queer bodies. As we develop strategies for addressing prejudice and resistance to queer inclusiveness in Greece, TQAF will serve as a political and inspirational link to neighboring societies. As a meeting point for key activists, scholars and artists to leverage knowledge, resources and creativity, the festival will reach beyond the borders of Greece.
Through discussions with artists, educators, cultural workers and the public, the need for a radical change in how we approach queer themes in Thessaloniki became clear. As a result we are creating a platform that will take the idea and goals of TQAF one step further.
The main obstacle is the way in which education about queer issues is influenced by the media, the church and the police. The festival will work with artists and cultural workers to open contact and discussions with these powerful institutions in order to establish new relationships and better standards for a healthier social fabric. In short, the festival aims to change the way in which society perceives sexual orientation and gender identity and reduce the distance between art and daily life through various public actions and educational programs.
We have developed alternative, more inclusive teaching methods to address stigma of homosexuality and ignorance of gender issues. With the goal to eliminate prejudice, discrimination, and violence, verbal, physical and psychological, TQAF offers a rich and full series of actions and exhibitions. Artists, researchers, educators, performers, musicians, activists will come from all over the world to give us their insight into what is Queer, what is eros and how we operate within a society as being- in- love queers.