Rosarot in Ost-Berlin: Hard-Won Spaces in Changing Times
Beginning in the 1980s, more and more gay, lesbian, trans*, and bisexual people organized within the borders of the GDR. They demanded their own spaces, fought for recognition and participation, and advocated for their own rights. The scene in East Berlin was especially diverse. Sometimes gay, lesbian, trans*, and bisexual people celebrated together, other times they did so separately. Members of the scene organized a variety of activities and initiatives, such as hiking groups and artist collectives. The political positions towards the GDR, and later, the kinds of political changes that began to come about in 1989/1990, also ranged significantly. People gathered in oppositional church communities, isolated clubhouses, and the bars that welcomed each respective group – or, in the absence thereof –, their living rooms.
In the 1990s, most of these spaces disappeared, often together with the groups that fought for them. The exhibition “Rosarot in Ost-Berlin” seeks to make them visible again. It shows the history of the GDR from a different angle: it is about lesbians and gays in church, transsexual discussion forums, beard-groups, and much more.
Curators: Lotte Thaa, Birga Meyer
Props from the cabaret group “Hibaré” that entertained the audiences in the 1970s in east Berlin
Supported with funds from the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur