TROPICAL VIDEO ACTIVISM. Transformative Illegalities & Post-Porning Genders

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Curated by Fernanda Nogueira

March 7, 2015, 4-9pm, VBKÖ, Vienna

This screening program stems from the urgencies of a collective body, a body formed by fragments, a mutant, which resists any classification, provocative, unsatisfied, which creates new ways of living by acting in the territory of transgression. Tropical Video Activism presents video productions – either registers of actions or more experimental poetics – as signs to make visible, read and spread social transformations, which are in furious excitement in the public sphere in many Southern geographies.

These processes are not happening just in a single territory. We can map the social effervescence, the networks arising and intensifying the emergence and encounter of new transborder communities capable of sharing activist tools and circulating critical information which in the past could only be found in independent, underground and thought marginal networks. Facing the urgency of action and its various potentialities in these different territories, the modern categories such as “originality” or “authenticity” are turned obsolete. In contrast, a broader notion of “network” is strengthen daily in the configuration of a collective battlefield […]

Shu Lea Cheang: FLUIDØ (2017)

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Following the acclaimed cyberpunk movie I.K.U., which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and screened worldwide, Shu Lea Cheang is set to direct FLUIDØ in 2015 with Jürgen Brüning Filmproduktion and Berlin-based crew and cast members.

Set in the post-AIDS future of 2060, where the Government is the first to declare the era AIDS FREE, mutated AIDS viruses give birth to ZERO GEN – humans that have genetically evolved in a very unique way. These gender fluid ZERO GENs are the bio-drug carriers whose white fluid is the hypernarcotic for the 21st century, taking over the markets of the 20th century white powder high. The ejaculate of these beings is intoxicating and the new form of sexual commodity in the future. The new drug, code named DELTA, diffuses through skin contact and creates an addictive high.

Giuseppe Campuzano: Museo Travesti de Perú (2009-2013)

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El Museo Travesti de Perú nace de la necesidad de una historia propia —una historia del Perú inédita—, ensayando una arqueología de los maquillajes y una filosofía de los cuerpos, para proponer una elaboración de metáforas más productiva que cualquier catalogación excluyente. Lo travesti se plantea entonces como subversión de la condición espuria que tanto el museo tradicional, como los presupuestos sociales, le endilgan. Al respecto, contextos históricos tan diferentes como el Perú prehispánico y el marco propuesto por Magnus Hirschfeld durante la República de Weimar, admiten todo un rango de posibilidades entre los extremos de lo masculino y lo femenino.

Jai Arun Ravine: Tom/Trans/Thai (2013)

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Tom / Trans / Thai is a short experimental film that approaches the silence around female-to-male (FTM) transgender identity in the Thai context by addressing tom and trans-masculine identities in Thai and Thai American communities and the transnational relationships between gender and language.

Interviews conducted with Thai and Thai American toms and trans-masculine people are channeled through the moving body in an effort to locate ourselves in the Thai landscape and create a new language for our kind of being.

Wu Tsang: Wildness (2012)

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Directed by Wu Tsang. Wildness is a portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic, LGBT-friendly bar on the eastside of Los Angeles that has catered to the Latin immigrant community since 1963. With a magical-realist flourish – the bar itself becomes a character in the film – Wildness captures the creativity and conflict that ensue when a group of young, queer artists of colour (Wu Tsang, DJs NGUZUNGUZU and Total Freedom) organise a weekly performance art party, called Wildness, at the bar. What does ‘safe space’ mean, and who needs it? The search for answers to these questions creates coalitions across generations.

Folkbildningsterror (2014)

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Folkbildningsterror és una producció feta per activistes de Göteborg i es defineix com un musical socialista, queer, feminista, militant, revolucionari i amb molt odi a la autoritat, que enllumenarà els vostres cors i ments en els temps oscurs que estem patint.

Sam Feder: Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger (2014)

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Performance artist and writer Kate Bornstein explodes binaries while deconstructing gender—and her own identity. Trans-dyke. Reluctant polyamorist. Sadomasochist. Recovering Scientologist. Pioneering gender outlaw. Sam Feder’s playful and meditative portrait on Bornstein, captures rollicking public performances and painful personal revelations as it bears witness to Kate as a trailblazing artist-theorist-activist who inhabits a space between male and female with wit, style and astonishing candor.

Michael Kasino: Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson (2012)

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This feature-length documentary focuses on revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson, a Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, sex worker, starving actress, and Saint. “Pay It” captures the legendary gay/human rights activist as she recounts her life at the forefront of The Stonewall Riots in the 1960s, the creation of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s, and a New York City activist throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. Through her own words, as well as in-depth interviews with gay activist Randy Wicker, former Cockettes performer Agosto Machado, author Michael Musto, Hot Peaches founder/performer, Jimmy Camicia, and Stonewall Activists Bob Kohler, Danny Garvin, Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, and Martin Boyce, Marsha’s story lives on.

Suzana Tratnik/Maja Wiess: Ime mi je Damjan (2015)

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Prvi slovenski celovečerec po romanu Suzane Tratnik “Ime mi je Damjan”. Režirala ga bo Maja Weiss, ki s Tratnikovo piše tudi scenarij. V središču zgodbe romana je razlomljen svet odraščajočega 19-letnika, ki svojo samostojnost vzpostavlja na skrajen, brezkompromisen in hkrati zelo samoten način, med drugim tudi skozi odpoved svojemu imenu in pripisani ženski družbenospolni identiteti. Film “Ime mi je Damjan”, ki nastaja v producentski hiši Vertigo Emotionfilm, bo t. i. ‘dramedy’ oziroma komična drama, namenjena širšemu občinstvu.

Transgender activism in Russia

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LGBT issues in Russia receive a lot of attention from the media worldwide. However not all groups that are included in LGBT, or even broader LGBTQI, abbreviation are covered equally. While problems faced by Russian lesbian and gay people are considered in detail, queer, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues remain almost invisible. This article is aimed at filling this gap by describing the situation that Russian trans* people live in and our struggle as trans* activists.

Ana Hoffner: After the transformation (2012)

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After the Transformation actively uses the concept of the queerness of memory in order to rework the notion of Eastern European transformation. The video is situated in the voice training of a queer person posing questions around a desire for a time after the embodied social and political change.

Reclaiming Afrikan. Queer Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Identities

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Zethu Matebeni (eds.) A collection of essays and images, Scholarly archival and critical work. Reclaiming Afrikan: Queer Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Identities is a collaboration and collection of art, photography and critical essays interrogating the meanings and everyday practices of queer life in Africa today. In Reclaiming Afrikan authors, activists and artists from Nigeria, […]