The seventh film program titled LOOKING FOR QUEERDOM is dedicated to the adventurous search of numerous adolescents for a place of self-assurance and self-determination that exists outside of societies heteronormative majority. Where can young girls, young women, lesbians, trans* and inter*persons find themselves? Who portrays their experiences truthfully? With which tools can individual pain and collective progress be made visible?
For young people, the Internet is the central place for queer empowerment. Most crucially in the unprotected public space of the Internet, teenagers need alternative spaces for their personal development in order to adequately negotiate the sensitive questions they face in dealing with queer identities and experiences. Self-help and third-party support in exploring one’s own sexual orientation and/or identity are the common features of these five selected online formats. Here, these strong voices aim to build resistance against hate speech and trolling online:
Just like german Youtuber Jans on his channel EINJANS, teenagers around the world use the possibilities of this video platform to talk about their own personal experiences. Confident and direct, Jans talks about everyday sexism in school, about gender ascription based on looks and behaviour, and about everyday life as a genderqueer person.
2 videos / Language: German
Equally brave is Poliana Baumgarten’s YouTube channel BERLINER FARBEN [English: Colours of Berlin]. It portrays dedicated People of Color and LGBT*I*, who shape Berlin’s cultural and political landscape, such as the makers of the queer-feminist hip-hop party series Hoe_Mies. Baumgarten, who has taught herself how to work with the camera for the production of Berliner Farben, creates impressive role models for young people in her documentary episodes, whilst offering a platform that breaks down stereotypes and creates spaces for creativity and empowerment.
1 episode / Language: German with English subtitles
The web series MIXED MESSAGES by director Kanchi Wichmann is also based in Berlin and draws an authentic and undistorted picture of the queer-lesbian community around Kotti. Originally produced as a miniseries with the idea of making all episodes available online to the film team’s friends, the series is now available on Vimeo through the surprising interest of a distributor. Entertaining and with a lot of humor, Mixed Messages follows the protagonist Ren’s quest for love. In the dating troubles of queer Berlin, Ren constantly stumbles and falls, but never loses her grounding.
3 Episodes / Language: German and English with subtitles
Similar to Mixed Messages, the film project GENDERS* from Cologne was created by the community for the community: for the first time in the German-speaking world, trans*people developed a series around the topic of gender diversity. On YouTube and in the style of a soap opera, young adults show the complex involvement with gender identities and negotiate experiences of non-acceptance and of being misgendered.
2 Episodes / Language: German
AUF KLO [coll.: in the loo], a YouTube production of the youth broadcaster funk by ARD and ZDF, builds on these successful social media formats and mini-series. The feminist talk format uses the intimacy of a toilet stall for private conversations and answers those questions many young girls* have trouble asking. In a youthful manner, the moderators talk with their guests about female* masturbation, body images, asexuality and body positivity, whilst addressing various topics from sexuality to lifestyle.
4 videos / Language: German
While the Internet enables a worldwide digital community, the SMU is an analogous space for the negotiation of everyday experiences of discrimination. In this respect, the SMU with its seventh moon program is not only the appropriate place for the urgently needed representation of female*, lesbian, trans* and inter* realities of life, but also turns into a studio for moments of collective empowerment. In a film workshop within the framework of the program and under the guidance of filmmakers Sanni Cabral and Mareike Bernien, girls, young women, lesbians, trans* and inter*persons have been given the chance to practice queer thinking by challenging gender roles and raising awareness for homophobia and trans*phobia. From July 18th, the cinematic results of the participants will also run alongside the other works in the 12 Moons Film Lounge.
Curation: Anina Falasca and Felix Roadkill
Engl. Proofreading: Hannah Curran-Troop
The 12 Moons Film Lounge is a project by Vera Hofmann and is supported by the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa in the context of the Year of Women*.