2020-Residente o Visitante

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9-12h January 2020 at ΡΟΜΑΝΤΣΟ

The festival of queer arts “Civil Disobedience” returned for an 8th time at the venue Romantso. This year’s themes was borders, nations, tourism, immigration and refugees as they were interpreted by 16 visual artists/photographers, 1 choreographer, 1 film festival director and 5 performers. The programme lasted for 4 days during which the first floor of Romantso became a designated safe space for liberated queer expression. Long live the Nation!

The exhibition

On the first floor people found works from 16 visual artists which comprised the main exhibition:

Alexandros Emmanouilidis, Alexinos Piravlos, Emmanuel Barrouyer, François Harray, Menelas, Nikos , Lito Moustakaki Georgios Kaparounakis, Narkissus Scarlaftis, Johann D’Nale, Manel Ortega, Stiofan O’Ceallaigh, Chrysostomos Galathris, G O D Photography , Pepper Levain and George Kanis.

Also, on the exhibition space, selected works from the project “Borders” were projected. These works were selected from 40 artists from around the world, who on the 8th of January flooded the social media with their images with the hashtags #civildisobedience #balaclavadotq #queerborders. The project was curated in collaboration with Balaclava.Q and G O D Photography.

The opening night

The opening started on Thursday the 9th of January at 21:00. Besides the exhibition and the “Borders” project there were three happenings. Alexino Piravlos gave us  a performative tour on the borders of erotic and politic disobedience titled: “Pigs and Feathers”. The irreverent punk artist Andi Sex Gang recited poetry. And Dimitris Pagonis gave us a little taste of his Saturday performance “Becoming Ithaca”

The Concentration Camp

The Concentration Camp was open from 14:00 to 20:00 on Saturday the 11th of January and hosted three segments. Firstly, we presented on video selected works from Jay Rerchsteiner’s series “Bad Paintings”. Inspired by global journalistic and historical events, these bad paintings give light to a darker side of our world. Later, at 16:00, dancer and choreographer Dimitris Pagonis presented his new work made especially for the exhibition, “Becoming Ithaca”. Borders, holidays, passport control, were all mixed up in this dance performance with the goal of not arriving at, but becoming the legendary “Ithaca”. Finally, at 17:00, Yavus Kurtulmus, director of Transition International Queer Minorities Film Festival , presented 4 short films about queer refugees.

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Homoerotic Poetry 4

On Sunday the 12th of January at 20:00 on the ground floor of Romantso we had the 4th return of the show Drag Queens read Homoerotic Poetry. The famous artist and poetry lover Anna Goula presented a night of poetry, song and debauchery, which is a crowd favourite. She was accompanied by the drag queens: Melita Scabeau, Aphrodite HGW, Lala Colopee  and the drag king Nikolaos the Great. Also contributing via special pre-recorded live appearance was: Vanessa Cardui. After the show, the exhibition remained open for one last visit until midnight.

Programme Summary

9th of January Thursday 21:00-00:00: Opening Night

  • Pigs and Feathers: a performative tour on the borders of erotic and political disobedience by Alexinos Piravlos
  • Poetry Reading by the irreverent punk artist Andi Sex Gang
  • A little taste of “Becoming Ithaca” by Dimitris Pagonis
  • World Premiere of “Borders”: a selection of artwork from around the world curated in collaboration with Balaclava.Q and G O D photography.

10th of January Friday 14:00-16:00: The Curator’s tour. Me, the curator gave a tour of the exhibition and explain wtf is happening.

11th of January Saturday “The Concentration Camp” 14:00-20:00

  • 14:00-16:00 Jay Rechsteiner’s Bad Paintings (a video selection)
    • 16:00-17:00 Becoming Ithaca: a dance performance by Dimitris Pagonis
    • 17:00-19:00 Queer Refugee Short Films. Yavuz Kurtulmus, festival Director of Transition International Queer Minorities Film Festival will present 4 short films about queer refugees.

12th of January Sunday Drag Queens Read HomoErotic Poetry 4:  Doors open: 19:00. Show starts: 20:00 (Stamp duty: 8€)

Anna Goula presented the usual night of poetry, song and debauchery that is a crowd favourite. After the show the exhibition was open until midnight for one last look.

Borders what’s up with that? (The curator’s statement)


The first division on earth happened 175 million years ago with Pangea slowly breaking up into the continents we know today.  When the humanoids appeared about 1 to 2 million years ago in Africa they started to migrate and populate the world. Migration was often in search of space, better living conditions and often had a warlike conquering character. For example, Homo Sapiens in the last hundred thousand years was free to roam, settle in Europe and make the Homo Neanderthalensis extinct.  Notable migrations in western history are associated with the Agricultural Revolution, the Indo-European expansion, the Gothic migration, the Turkic migration, Colonialism and the Slave Trade.

From the beginning of civilization people have been relatively free to migrate to where they wanted, with the possible exception of cities where populations had a higher degree of control. Areas of land were under the dominion of Generals, Kings or Emperors with a level of fluidity due to war and royal marriages.  The modern idea of nation-states started in the 17th century but solidified in the 19th century with the romantic movement and its nationalism component.  But it wasn’t until WW1 that border control became what it is today and passports became essential for travel.

We invite artists to explore issues of: nationality, citizenship, racism, ethnocentricity, patriotism, nation-states, empires, migration, refugees, colonialism, slave trade, home and country, tourism, passports, visas and Eurocentricity (which we are guilty of).  Queer and feminist perspectives are encouraged and preferred.

Menelas 2019