“Black Rose. Black Carnation. Baltic Queer Art and Politics Network” is a new collaboration initiated by Kaunas Artists’ House (LT) and Feministeerium (EE) with an aim to connect Baltic queer artists, performers, activists, and scholars. Together we wish to explore how to think about queerness in the Baltic context and create a dialogue with different partners from the region.

The project aims to connect Baltic queer artists and activists after the COVID-19 crisis, which overlaps with the rise of anti-pluralist politics that targets all minorities. In recent years, critical and queer art practices in the Baltic region have proliferated and, thus, queer artists and thinkers from the post-Soviet Baltic region would benefit from exchanging experiences and building alliances in addition to the existing co-operations. Until now, the Baltic queer artists have only started to look for contact with each other. It is the first initiative involving the wider Baltic region.

The short-term network will start with online meetings and events between the groups and will continue with a four-day meeting in Kaunas, which consists of discussions, performances, roundtables, and workshops. The program is put together, moderated, and led by Edvinas Grinkevičius (KAH) and Rebeka Põldsam (Feministeerium) together with invited participants, guests, and with help of volunteers. The outcomes of the network will be new performances performed in Kaunas, a number of articles published on the Feministeerium website that summarize the discussions. Most importantly, the meeting will have an impact on collectively mapping and comparing local queer (art) histories and contemporary practitioners, which will improve future organizing of performance festivals, exhibitions, publications, and writing.

The network will help to build intellectual and cultural bridges between Baltic and Finnish queer performers, art writers, and activists. Such cross-disciplinary collaborations are rare but needed for widening the artistic and scholarly perspectives. This particular network could not happen without funding and no Baltic public fund is supporting queer cross-disciplinary regional initiatives. When the network is established, every member of the network would be more eligible for future collaborations. Whereas internationally queer artists and scholars are supported and demanded, in the Baltic region they are still marginalized both on the individual social level as well as by the institutional art scene.

If you would like to know more about the project, we invite you to read the interview of curators Edvinas Grinkevičius and Rebeka Poldsam.

Photos by: Laima Stasiulionytė. Full photo album.

The project is funded by: