Adrian Blount (better known as GodXXX Noirphiles): “My gender non conforming and BIPOC friends are constantly attacked. Berlin may be liberal but it is not inclusive in any sense of the word.”
“[Coming from the States] I’d only seen cis gay men doing drag, so arriving to Berlin and seeing other genders perform, it was a huge deal to know that it was ok to do so as a femme person and to be able to reclaim and make a statement on my own femininity.”
“Drag is an inherently political act,” Purrja says, and it’s true—it’s at once an expression and rejection of gender and sexuality in its binary form. But Berlin’s drag especially goes beyond this as well, fostering a space for art and activism. “For a very long time I avoided political conversations because I never felt informed,” Purrja explains. “I always felt scared of making statements about things I believed in because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, but I’m learning now being political is really important. There’s really a space for something deeper to happen on these stages. We’re all queer people, we’ve all experienced trauma, and while it’s amazing to highlight the good parts of our life, I think it’s also important to talk about the times when it’s not so great.”
Barbarismos queer y otras esdrújulas es un texto colectivo que surge de la necesidad de pensar sobre cómo se produce el lenguaje que usamos, con una mirada crítica sobre cómo somos sujetos, objetos y productores de conocimiento, al tiempo que somos conscientes de los procesos coloniales y de asimilación en los que estamos inmersas. Ofrecemos cincuenta y tres entradas que analizan estos barbarismos, muchos de ellos anglicismos, y que han sido realizadas por especialistas que tratan de ofrecer una definición imperfecta e inacabada, así como una historia de su uso y sus viajes entre lenguas y culturas. Dichas entradas persiguen provocar curiosidad y ser un punto de partida posible para el debate, un debate en que puedan converger los movimientos sociales y los estudios críticos sociales, culturales y artísticos.
Graham Kolbeins is a Canadian queer filmmaker, writer, and designer living in Los Angeles. He’s the director of the short film The House of Gay Art, and the co-director, with Dorian Wood, of the short film PAISA. His documentary web series, Rad Queers, profiled subjects including trans artist Edie Fake and Latinx leather organization Payasos L.A. The Japan-U.S. Friendship Council named Kolbeins a recipient of their Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship in 2016, and he subsequently spent five months directing Queer Japan, a feature documentary about sexuality and gender identity in Japan.
“It’s not necessarily that being gay or lesbian is the problem, but it’s the family values and format that traditional Japanese are afraid of breaking,” suggests a narrator over images of two women dancing and kissing in a club, intercut with shots from a traditional heterosexual marriage ceremony. Soon after, another voice offers, “the first thing we have to do is get rid of our phobia towards ourselves.” The documentary Queer Japan exists between these two poles. By showing that being queer is just another way of expressing one’s identity and navigating romantic relationships, it celebrates the creative work, thriving nightlife, grassroot activism, and community services of the LGBTQ+ people of Japan.