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Newsletter 08 2020

SMU in August

Things are feeling almost as before the lockdown, just with added safety distance and exquisite face mask fashions. Our guests enjoy the exhibitions, the library is open again four days of the week, you can even relax in the cafe again, or on its popular outdoor terrace. In order to stay safe, our event programme for August will remain virtual. However, in consolation, we integrated two special highlights into the schedule: On Thursday, August 6, British activist and artist Dan Glass will present his new book United Queerdom on our Facebook-Channel, and discuss queer utopias with four fabulous guests. For another virtual panel on August 27, several groups and campaigns concerned with anti-racist work will be talking about police brutality.

What we are especially excited about: From August 6, guided tours of our exhibitions are back: our guides will take you through our halls every Thursday at 6PM. Participation is limited to six, so please register your slot in a list to be found at the ticket box – like before, there will be no extra fee on top of the regular ticket. Guides as well as visitors are asked to wear a face mask. A safety distance of 1.5 meters between participants is to be maintained during the tour.

We will also begin to host guided tours with a changing special focus on Fridays. To begin, our guide Henrik covers “Queer Movements through the ages” on August 7. Again, there will be a list for registration on the day of the public tour at the ticket office, no extra fee. We will keep you updated about further dates.

Summer is here – let’s enjoy it together.

the SMU-Team

Tours in August

Thu 6.8 at 6 PM: “Love at First Fight!” with Henrik (ger.)
Thu 13.8. at 6 PM: “Love at First Fight!” with Chris (engl.)
Thu 20.8. at 6 PM: “100 Objects” with Felicia (ger.)
Thu 27.8. at 6 PM: 100 Objects” with Chris (engl.)


Current Exhibitions

So that’s what a digital museum looks like (Image: Goethe-Institut)

The exhibition “The Souls Around Us” finished at the end of July,  – Amos Badertscher’s pictures have returned home to the Leslie-Lohman-Museum in New York, after their arrival in Berlin five months ago. To ease the pain of saying goodbye, we extended two other exhibitions: “100 Objects” with the biggest treasures from our collection will be continuing until October 26 as well as “Queens” with Nihad Nino Pušija’s stunning photography.

You can also still see the project “Love at First Fight!” until the end of November, a collaboration with the Goethe-Institut about queer movements in Germany since the Stonewall riots in New York. After launching in cities in the USA, Canada, Mexico and France under the title “Queer as German Folk”, the exhibition is taking its next big step by entering the digital world. On August 9, the Goethe-Institut launches the online version at www.queerexhibition.org – and this has what it takes: a fundamentally new museum experience, which translates all the content from the exhibition interactively and innovatively into the digital world. Try out for yourself!


Live from the Schwules Museum

Has stories to tell: artist and activist Camille Barton (Image: private)

August 6 starting at 7PM via Facebook live: Queer Imagination Enriching Queertopia

We are celebrating the radical origins of the pride movement. British activist, artist and author Dan Glass presents his new book United Queerdom in the online event “Queer Imagination Enriching Queertopia” ,  inviting us to an evening  of debate and agitation. With guests Camille Barton, Daddypuss Rex, Erkan Affan and Standa Iliiv he discusses art, creativity and fantasy on the journey to Queertopia. The event will be in English.

August 27, 7PM – 9PM, Facebook live: Panel about racist police brutality

Racist police brutality is not just a problem in the USA but also an everyday reality for BPOCs in Germany. We will be talking to anti-racist groups and campaigners that have dedicated their work to topics such as the workings of structural and institutional racism in Germany. Online Event. Participants: Death in Custody, Each One Teach One, Kampagne für Opfer rassistischer Polizeigewalt and the Roma Antidiscrimination Network.


Volunteer of the Month: Klaus Kruska 

Klaus Kruska. Foto: Harriet Riemer
Klaus Kruska. (Image: Harriet Riemer)

There is no way of imagining the Schwules Museum without Klaus Kruska. This doesn’t come as a surprise, since he is among the longest-serving volunteers to have been caring for the museum and its visitors. In an interview on our homepage, Klaus tells us, amongst other things, about the former location of the museum at Mehringdamm, and his hunt for a job as a gay theology graduate in the GDR during the late 1960s.


Object of the Month: Map of queer locations of the Black Community in London

A queer perspective on London in the 1990s (Image: Harriet Riemer)

Queer history is often connected to specific places. Every community has had their bars, clubs, community centers, theaters and parks for parties or to hang out, to plan actions or to have sex. But how can you preserve history, when these places are gone – especially in a place like London, with some of the highest and continually rising rents in the world?  The fold-out A3 map “Black Sex in the Archive” tells the story of 18 locations in London, where the Black queer community met in the 1980s and 1990s to organise and network – but primarily to debate, live and celebrate lust, sex, passion and desire.

For example: the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre Project (BLGCP), founded in 1985 in the district Tottenham, and which later on found a new home in the south of the city in Peckham. The Lesbian Meet Up for Black lesbians was held here, whereas on other days gay Black men from the support group Let’s Rap gathered to talk about sex. Other entries honor the Audre Lorde Clinic, the first Black Gay Mens Conference or the legendary Black women party Shugs, that was celebrated every last Sunday of the month in Covent Garden.

The map was published approximately 2017 by an organisation called Pleasure Principles, which is apparently no longer active and describes itself on the map as “an independent multi-medium platform tracking formations of desire and connection through archives, activism, community and culture.” You can see the map as our Object of the Month throughout August in our café at the museum. More information about the map and its locations can be found here on our webpage.