Ljubljana Pride Festival 2023| International Queer Solidarity: Images of Resilience and Hope
You are cordially inviated to the second part of the art exhibition International Queer Solidarity: Images of Resilience and Hope on Friday, 9th June at 7 pm at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova. The exhibition is a part of the Ljubljana Pride Festival 2023.
Exhibiting artists: Oleksandr Halishchuk (Ukraine), Anton Karyuk (Lithuania), Oleksa Konopelko (Ukraine), Lazutkina Elena (Germany) and Seymour Nezoriy (Ukraine)
Curated by Iris Pokovec
We welcome you to the opening event of the second part of the art exhibition. The exhibition focuses on raising
awareness of the struggle for survival and existence of LGBTIQ+ people and community in Ukraine in the current state of war. It showcases the importance of international queer solidarity in the lives of LGBTIQ+ people living in Ukraine and the ones that had to flee to other parts of Europe and the world due to war.
We also cordially invite you to see the first part of the exhibition in the Right Atrium of the Ljubljana City Hall and other events of the Ljubljana Pride Festival 2023
Curator: Iris Pokovec
Guided tours with the curator:
- In Slovene: June 10th at 7:15pm.
- In English: June 13th at 6pm.
Antiracist Book Club:
- In Slovene: June 12th, 7 - 20:30 pm
About the exhibition
The underlying concepts of this year’s Ljubljana Pride Festival are international queer solidarity, resilience and hope. They are also at the core of this year's festival slogan – Diverse communities, one fight. Step by step, Pride march after Pride march, protest by protest, together, shoulder by shoulder, they openly call for a joint fight for human dignity. The cultural and political festival organized by Ljubljana Pride Association is a demand to end the silence and oppression of LGBTIQ+ identities, a fight for visibility and public space, and the representation of life and work of the LGBTIQ+ community. Thus, this year's visual art exhibition offers the opportunity to reflect on international queer solidarity through the visual narrative of thirteen international LGBTIQ+ artists.
We have decided to exhibit their art in two venues – in the Right Atrium of the Ljubljana City Hall and in the Alkatraz Gallery. The exhibition in the City Hall aims to stimulate the understanding and awareness of the importance of queer solidarity in the lives of LGBTIQ+ people in the most vulnerable circumstances and places in Europe and around the world. We wanted to create a space for artistic and cultural expression that gives us hope and strength to continue the joint struggle in times of confrontation with the cruel reality of war and other forms of oppression faced by LGBTIQ+ communities. The core of the exhibition in the Alkatraz Gallery in AKC Metelkova city is raising awareness of the struggle for survival and the existence of LGBTIQ+ people and communities in today's Ukraine.
The exhibition showcases the artists who submitted their works to an open call. The jury members – Ana Čigon, who is a video, animation and performance artist, Piera Ravnikar, a gallerist and cultural manager, and Iris Pokovec, visual artist and curator – chose from a wide variety of media and techniques, ranging from the photo-documentary book by the Serbian author Aleksandar Crnogorac, in which you can slowly flip through a hundred portraits of trans people from different parts of Balkans, to a new vision of heroism through illustrations of knights, as imagined by Katarina Babič Derenda (Slovenia). The work of Meta Mežan (Slovenia, United Kingdom) is a digital image of a couple made of two vintage photos from a photo booth in Canada from 1953. Hassan Dib – Queen of Virginity (Lebanon, Germany) used the medium of film to question the definition of home – is it an apartment, is it a country? Is home a result of coordinates or feelings? Ukrainian artist Anton Karyuk, who works in Lithuania, is exhibiting ten of more than a hundred personal flags, which he draws performatively for each person based on a short interview. He believes that every person has the right to a personal flag.
German-based Spanish-Italian photographer Francesco Giordano joins the exhibition with a portrait of Ukrainian queer refugee Maja, showing her just the way she is – alive, real, dignified, proud, but also tired and wounded. Sandra Grbić, the author of illustration Šetamo, wittily played with one of the homophobic slogans spread by the extreme right in Serbia. With his artwork in the form of an advertising pamphlet, Edvinas Grinkevičius from Lithuania comments on the growing issue of queer tokenism and the exploitation of LGBTIQ+ culture in the pop language of commercial advertising. Oleksandr Halishchuk, Ukrainian visual artist working in Austria, joins the exhibition with a video in which they dance in front of footage of Ukrainian police violence accompanied by a commercial pop song, but also with a socially critical zine, full of authentic drawings and poignant comments.
The work of Nuka Horvat (Slovenia), which resembles a window or a portal, concentrates on the feeling of helplessness in the face of systemic orders and major world tragic events, which a person has difficulty influencing, even if they work in activism. The presentation of the Ukrainian visual artist Lazutkina Elena, who currently lives in Germany, requires our active participation, as the viewer has three minutes to collect objects that they can take with them when the air raid siren goes off. In his artistic presentation, Seymour Nezoriy captured a moment from his personal life during the war in Ukraine, when despite his fear – or because of it – he finally decided to undergo a medical transition, he decided that life would prevail.
The selection of the exhibited works was based on the exceptionality of their visual language and the poetic nature of their narrative. Even though the works share the starting point, they are as diverse as personal poetics of each and every contributing artist is – at times raw and rough, sometimes tender, sometimes prone to tease, but always true and authentic. We are truly grateful that the artists shared their images of resilience and hope, and their belief in the importance of international queer solidarity with us.
Production: Ljubljana Pride Association
and KUD Mreža/ Galerija Alkatraz
Design of the festival image: Hana Gartner, Ljubljana Pride Association archive.
Translation (to English): Maja Šučur; Language review: Maja Šučur, Julia Scharinger.
Financial support: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City of Ljubljana, European Cultural Foundation.
Photographies of the exhibition by: Nada Žgank.