European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Nachts sind alle Katzen grau: Lesbian Visibility Day

EQUAL PostOst e.V.

The event is planned as a platform for exchange between individuals and collectives who explore gender and sexuality in their work, research and art and strive to achieve lesbian visibility. By conducting the event we hope to initiate and stimulate discussions of lesbian histories under totalitarianism applied to the contemporary times and political processes of the current day, but also to give space for lesbian artists to be seen and recognised for the topics they raise in their work.

The female history oftentimes stays invisible. For instance, in the Nazi Germany female sexuality was not considered separately from men’s, gay men were persecuted while lesbian women were simply forced into marriage, “assigned” to the “normal men”. If they were arrested and sent to concentration or death camps, it was for the so-called “antisocial behaviour”. It becomes practically impossible to identify the stories of these women and find testimonies of their lives. It is largely believed that lesbians have “suffered less”. To this day, there is no memorial in Germany dedicated specifically to their struggles.

For a long time it has been discussed if they are to even be included into the Berlin memorial to homosexuals killed under the rule of Nazis. Now other countries, too, undergo a similar repressive process in regard to LGBTQ people. In the current political context it is all the more important to learn from the German experience, to create platforms to discuss how it has been and is still being processed by the society and how it can help the situation in other countries which face totalitarian regimes.

The outline of the event is the following: 15:00 Film screening “Ufer Frauen – Lesbian Life in the GDR”, 2019, OmU 16:00 Discussion with the experts and researchers “Lesbians under totalitarian regimes” 19:00 Performances, art pieces, stand-up routines, etc. prepared by lesbian artists and allies to explore the questions of sexuality, gender, repressions.

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