What is QueerCity
Queer City: Art and Conversations with Legends & Riots will be an interdisciplinary programme including cabaret, music, performance, spoken word, poetry and drag celebrating the queer community. The essence is simple and urgent: they are all queer.
In this year-long series, we want to give queer “rioters” and “legends” the stage and share queer art with a wider audience. By creating a “safer-space”, Fite Qlub aims to facilitate these artists and rioters in sharing their art as a form of resistance; wonder, celebration, and self-actualisation.
Each programme is marked by an urgent theme related to the LGBTQI+ movement and consists of a performance and an in-depth component that both address the theme. In this way, QueerCity aims to provide space for different collectives and artists so that they can represent themselves in a full and dignified way. This application comes at a crucial time when, after much preparation, Fight Qlub has found a partnership with Pakhuis de Zwijger. In doing so, by working closely with Pakhuis de Zwijger, Fite Qlub hopes to reach a wider audience.
The idea of polyamory and polyamorous experiences are fluid and in constant change, there is no formula to understand it, experience it and define it. There is a need to decolonize the established idea of love, to start enjoying relationships that help us grow in community.
For this edition of Queer City we are ready to break all conventional and binary ideas of love, intimacy and connection. Let’s explore love and relationships from a non western perspective, letting go of the established ideas and bringing in new ways to love.
Whether you are interested in developing your relationships, poly curious, or trying to find a safer space, get ready to go on a journey of self-discovery and exploration through performances, rituals, personal stories and different life experiences from BIPOC queer & trans community members that have chosen to experience love from openness, freedom and community care.
Kink is commonly seen and used just as an umbrella term for sexual and sensual practices, but kink has been used for generations in different cultures as a healing and empowering practice. For this edition of Queercity we are ready to break all preconceived and heteronormative ideas of kink and give space to re-discover kink as a liberation, healing and reconnecting tool. Let your fears and taboos go and join us in this evening full with sensual performances, erotic poetry, healing rituals and intimate conversations with members of our community that have chosen kink as a way to reclaim their queer bodies. With this Queercity, we are also celebrating our two year anniversary, so join us and help us keep creating accessible spaces for BIPOC queer and trans people.
The month of June is all about Pride. Worldwide, thousands of people take over the streets to protect the rights of LGBTQI+ persons. Unfortunately, this celebration has also become a space for rainbow capitalism and does not fully represent the work and effort of some communities. So, how do we create a celebration that is also activist and socially aware? How do we heal from our colonial past while celebrating who we are? How can we break with the already designated idea of Pride and create something new? For this edition of Queer City, we are giving the stage to Black Pride, Papaya Kuir, Asian Pride and other collectives and artists from the BIPOC Queer community who actively work on visibility and celebration throughout the year. Join us in this journey of decolonizing and reclaiming Pride through performances, music, dance, conversations and a lot of BIPOC Queer joy and activism.
Decolonizing the Queer Bodies
Our bodies are archives that continuously collect information about pleasure, pain, oppression and joy. For this edition of QueerCity, we will discuss the impact of colonization on BIPOC trans and queer bodies. Let’s explore together topics such as generational trauma, body healing, self-care practices and decolonizing body rituals.
A World of Decolonisation
The term decolonisation has become more common, but what exactly does it mean and what do we understand and how do we experience decolonisation in our daily life? During this edition of QueerCity, we want to explore and understand the term of decolonisation through talks and performances by several BIPOC LGBTQI+ community members, who have been working on this topic for years.
We’ll kick off QueerCity’s decolonisation series, where we will dive into the impact of colonisation on the BIPOC LHBTQI+ community. We want to take the audience through different stories of different parts of the world, where colonisation has taken place. Different unheard stories and rituals from different parts of the world will be told in an interactive way. Come and join our stories and rituals!
Radical Self Care
In a society that is constantly demanding efficiency and productivity, is self care a radical act of love? This edition of QueerCity is dedicated to all the siblings of our BIPOC Queer & Trans community that struggle with finding a moment to recharge and heal from their hectic daily life. Get ready to have an evening of radical self care with performances, talks and rituals specially curated to help you take a break and find a safe space to recharge and heal.
Is self care within our BIPOC Queer & Trans community a radical statement?
New Family Structures
Who’s your family? And what kind of family do you want to create?
Join us during this edition of QueerCity on a search of finding, building and having a Queer Family from a non-western and decolonized perspective. We will explore subjects such as co-parenting, divergent families, raising gender non-conforming kids and polyamory. But most importantly, we will create a safe space for you to understand what is the family that you want to have.
We are throwing a party that opens the door for all at Mezrab. You are no longer the audiences, but part of the QueerCity. You may express your creativity in any form of artistic work, such as spoken word poetry, stand up comedy, or dance performance. The night will end with DJs playing passionate beats and we can all enjoy each other’s company on the dance floor.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Violence towards trans people is increasing by the day. It is not just a problem encountered in the Global South; it is a global problem. As a result, thousands of trans persons, especially trans women are mistreated, abused and murdered purely because of their gender identity and gender expression. Every year during Transgender Day of Remembrance, we reflect on the victims of violence. This year, we will devote a QueerCity show to all trans people who have become victims of hate, violence and transphobia. We will take a journey together where we will honor the dead with strength and prosperity. And create awareness about the amount of violence the trans community is facing daily.
A Queer Celebration
For this edition we are pulling all the stops to create space to celebrate our queer community, and you are our main guest! Expect an evening filled with dance, music and art that celebrate and give a voice to the BIPOC-queer community. We will celebrate the 1 year anniversary of QueerCity. We will look back, look in the future and embrace all aspects of queerness. How do you celebrate life? And what is life without celebration? Come and celebrate our first anniversary with us.
Queer & Polyamorous
We live in a society where monogamy and heterosexual relationships are considered to be the norm. Any other form of sexuality and relationship is perceived as absurd, abnormal and deviates from that set norm. This imposes enormous restrictions on different sexual identities which affects our right to self-determination. The Netherlands and Amsterdam regard themselves as being very progressive, but how does that work practically? How do institutions and governments adhere to the Christian norms and values of cisgender marriage between men and women? How can we enter into poly-relationships without having to constantly explain ourselves? How many people actually have the courage to speak openly about this?
June kicks-off Indian History Month: A yearly initiative from Sarnamihuis to shed light on the Dutch history of the indentured laborers that migrated from South Asia to Surinam to take over plantation labor from the formerly enslaved Afro-Surinamese. In addition to history, it also focuses on the stories, traditions and practices that accompanied this history. This year’s edition centers Pride as its theme, which is why they invited the foundation Hindostaans & Queer to provide content and resources that show how queer identities have always been part of this history. In doing so, this collaboration contributes to the visibility and emancipation of Surinamese-Hindostani queer people in the Netherlands. Furthermore, it offers an exciting opportunity to connect internationally to descendants with similar histories of indentured labor migration.
Driving into a Queer Night Life
Music, art, fun and visibility are the central themes of QueerCity. During this edition we want to focus on queer music performances and DJs! We are going to bring the nightlife to Pakhuis de Zwijger. The DJs will bring all kinds of tunes from all over the world. With this we want to turn the current mainstream music industry upside down and give a stage to queers, trans persons and non-binary persons to share their tunes with us.
They say Drag Kings and Drag Queens and in between, but there is so much more to say about dragging and drag performance. The history lies within the trans community. They started dragging, as form of resistance against the binary and patriarchal society. We now see that primarily white cisgender people are taking over the stage and steeling the show, yet forgetting its history. This is not a new phenomenon, white people have been colonising, whitewashing and claiming like they invented it. Together with BIPOC Drag performers, we will reflect on how they navigate the drag scene as a BIPOC LGBTQI+ person. During the show, we will have several BIPOC LGBTQI+ performers, showing and celebrating diversity within the community.
Claiming Joy, a Queer & Intersectional Talk
Join us for this panel talk that aims to share collective ideas on navigating spaces that often label Black Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) AND queer bodies as marginal or ‘other’. Rather than dwell on the harm, we instead shift the narrative to consider ways we can uplift ourselves in the face of (discrimination) fatigue and the pressure of excellence.
To further compliment this discussion, moments of musical interactions are embedded within the conversation, empahsising that we all have something to gain by encouraging spaces for queer and BIPOC openness.
Here, we question whether it’s possible to challenge boundaries that seek to limit us by dancing in the morning? If relief awaits us in the forming of community? What does it really mean for us to claim our joy, and how exactly do we do it? veritatis qui ut
The Netherlands and the world is familiar with several feminist and queer movements. The first feminist wave was by the enslaved black women who revolted for their basic human rights and against the colonial state. Over the past four centuries, women (white and of colored) and queer people have taken to the streets en masse for various social and economic issues, from the right to self-determination to voting rights. For economic independence to sexual liberation. And when we talk about sexual liberation, in the West they talk about the 1970s. The so-called “fourth” feminist wave. But to what extent can we speak of true sexual liberation when the right to self-determination is under pressure? Is there sexual liberation when heteronormative norms and nuclear family are seen as the cradle of society? What does this mean for queer and trans persons in this society? And how does sexual liberation relate to women and queers of color? All of these questions and many more will be bared during the conversation with the legends.
Past meets the present
Queer City is organizing its third activity, this time in collaboration with Survibes Foundation, former members of the first Surinamese Gay organization (SUHO) and activists of today. We will discuss the SUHO documentary ‘Matisma’ and make connections with themes from the past AND the present. What were the themes in the 1980s and to what extent do they still play a role today? What can we learn from each other and what is our view of the future?
Queers against racism and discrimination
In October and November the discussion about Zwarte Piet and institutional racism erupts. In recent years, the BIPOC LGBTQI+ community has made an enormous contribution to raising the issue of racism and discrimination, one of those pioneers is Naomie Pieter, part of Black Pride and KOZP. She and many other queers have fought a huge struggle for an equal and inclusive society in recent years; but what does that world look like, is the central question. And how do we ensure that the most marginalized voices have a place in the fight against racism and discrimination? What about the position of undocumented migrants and refugees? At the same time, we see a huge growth of the far-right, which means we see more incidents against Jews and Muslims. How do we ensure that we join forces in the fight against racism?
Arts & conversations with riots and legends
Conversation by (future) Legends: The first program of the new Queer City series. We introduce the BIPOC LGBTQI+ Alliance Amsterdam through conversations, debates, theatre, music and spoken word. This will be a special evening for Amsterdam, which is why we are going extra big with a launch. Where we see a lot during the Amsterdam Pride, we now really get to know the community and various artists, representatives and artists take us into their story.
We are going to give the various ten organizations a stage and introduce the city to the various BIPOC LGBTQI+ groups of the Alliance.