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Sofia Queer Forum 2015 – Sweet Union

Collective for Social Intervention, Sofia

Sofia Queer Forum is an event that investigates, with the means of contemporary arts, gender and sexuality as parallel systems through which we value ourselves and the others around us. These systems have a strong influence on all aspects of culture and society. The influence is, of course, two-sided. This is why in focus here is also the changing of the concepts “gender” and “sexuality” depending on social, political, cultural and medical factors that are inherent in a given time and space.


During the last century, the issue of gender equality finds various representations in the history of Bulgarian arts and culture. This issue is always treated in relation with a concept such as parenthood, sexuality, ethnic, national and class background, professional realization and education, access to basic human rights, among which are the right to labor, the freedom of speech and expression, etc. In the context of this forum, these interrelations acquire a contemporary dimension in keeping with the problems of today’s society.


The forum puts all of these together in an international context with a special attention given to postsocialist societies. Apart from the included Bulgarian participants, we invite artists from various countries. We feature art works from the areas of documentary and experimental cinema and video art, contemporary visual and performance arts, fashion, as well as artistic parties. The program also includes presentations and theoretical discussions that will touch upon subjects such as technologies and cyber feminism, as well as creating activist networks.


Directors of the forum are Boryana Rossa and Stanimir Panayotov.

The forum is being realized within the framework of New Left Perspectives


Email: sofiaqueerforum@xaspel.net
Web site: http://xaspel.net/queer/en/


Vladia Mihaylova

Photo: Kalin Serapionov

Sofia Queer Forum 2015 – Sweet Union

03 – 19.12.2015


Curator: Vladiya Mihaylova


The Forum traces the crossing points between the LGBTIQ issues and different problems inside the family ideal frame. It calls into doubt the daily, often clichéd concepts of “normality” and attempts to interpret the differences in the light of human rights, democracy and the personal, intimate understanding and notion of togetherness between people.  


Within Sofia Queer Forum 2015 you may see: They Will Remember Us in the Future – an exhibition featuring works of artists from Bulgaria, Poland, Estonia, Russia, USA and Turkey, at the Academy Gallery, National Academy of Art; Circus! My Different Family at the fridge & Social Centre Xaspel - an open platform for participation and debates that addresses marginalized groups, people with limited access to cultural life, and those who feel themselves different and/or unrepresented in the public space. You may also visit the exhibition Life - These Are Two Women starting on December 11th at Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, which is dedicated to the image of the mother in line with the tradition of Bulgarian visual arts. 


Particular threads and themes that can be traced through the various events within the Forum are: the image of the mother and the issue of motherhood; the problems faced by intersex and transgender people; discrimination and lack of understanding of/about the differences at the institutional level and in everyday life and the daily, sometimes indiscernible, forms of violence. These serious issues, however, are raised in terms of the understanding for a “human world”. They are visible in different images and stories about love, longing, desire, empathy, happiness and/or loneliness, which intertwine with the concepts of generations, cultural boundaries, communities and economic, social and psychological conditions and ways of life of people.