Exhibition Queer as German Folk: Perspectives on Stonewall 5.0

Queer as German Folk © chezweitz

06/11-08/03/19
Mo-Fr, 1-6:30pm
Sa, 1-5:00pm

Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

Guided tour w/the curators: June 13 & 14, 6:00pm

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn. For the queer patrons, many of them people of color, this had already become routine harassment, but this was one time too many. The customers rioted and defended themselves, and the two days of uprising that followed catalyzed a movement for queer empancipation, both in the United States and abroad.
 
This story has often been told, mostly as a gay success story with the happy ending of civic recognition. But the struggle for queer liberation is ongoing, and many voices and stories remain unheard. Queer as German Folk is an exhibition that aims to honor 50 years of queer activism by offering perspectives from West Germany, East Germany, and reunified Germany in relation to the activist scene in the United States. Along with New York, the exhibition is being put on by the Goethe-Instituts in Washington, DC, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, Mexico City, and Guadalajara. It will also be on display at the Schwules Museum Berlin from July 18.
 
Curated by Birgit Bosold and Carina Klugbauer of the Schwules Museum, the core of the exhibition includes 100 items that capture moments in queer movements that caused shockwaves both big and small, from early leather meeting places in Kreuzberg to the feminist scene in East Germany; from the legendary Tuntenstreit of leftist gays to the so-called Witch Trial of Itzehoe; from the founding of the Network of Black Women in Germany to today's trans demonstrations. Each of the host Instituts will also include a localized portion specific to their city's queer scene and history. In New York, clips of queer activists describing their "Stonewall Moments" will be screened, highlighting both the relevance of queer history and the urgency of today's struggle.
 
An exhibition in honor of revolution calls for an unconventional methodology. As such, Queer as German Folk was conceived as an "Exhibition on Demand," in which all of the core materials are digital and the exhibition can be set up anywhere in the world using simple objects. As curator Birgit Bosold says, "the exhibition aims to produce its own space and create a mood that reflects the keynote of our narrative." The exhibition architecture, designed by the renowned Berling agency chezweitz, is as sophisticated as it is simple - items are printed on media such as plastic, posters, t-shirts, flyers, and adhesive tape, and are installed in the space using clothing racks.
 

Birgit Bosold has been a member of the board of the Schwules Museum since 2006 and, along with co-curating exhibitions, was instrumental in the strategic reorientation of the Gay Museum. She was project manager and co-curator of the exhibition "Homosexualität_en", which was initiated by the Schwules Museum in collaboration with the German Historical Museum. Most recently, together with Vera Hofmann, she curated the Year of the Frau_en - a queer-feminist annual program of the Schwules Museum for 2018.
 
Carina Klugbauer
is a research assistant at the Schwules Museum Berlin. In 2017, she was involved in the conception and curation of the touring exhibition "Outrageous." which focused on the persecution and discrimination of lesbian women and gay men in the German state of Hesse. In 2018 she curated the queer art exhibition "Lesbisches Sehen" together with Birgit Bosold for the annual program Year of the Frau_en.
 

This event is part of the Goethe-Institut New York’s Queer as German Folk series, with which we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 2019 as a milestone in the fight for gender diversity and equality.

Queer as German Folk is a project of the Goethe-Institut North America in collaboration with the Schwules Museum, Berlin, and the German Federal Agency for Civic Education.

With thanks to Jordan Reeves of VideoOut for his advisory work and help, and to the Stonewall 50 Consortium for building a supportive network.

#queerasgermanfolk #qagf #stonewall50 #smu #bpb

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