Through a series of online interventions, TQAF 2020 aims to offer the opportunity for underrepresented LBGTQIA artists, writers and activists from across the Balkans and other selected regions to reveal their practice to a spectating audience from 20-28 June, 2020. This year, TQAF will be showcasing selected works, performances and workshops digitally.

During our Open Call, we welcomed proposals across disciplines, such as, visual artworks, poetry and writing, workshops, performances, video and film presentations, community interventions and talks or lectures that investigate the question: what is fear? These will be presented through a curated series of social media, blog and website posts and live streamings, according to the needs of each selected project.

While climate emergencies are posing greater threats to survival; economic and political responses have been slow. International trade is expanding markets whilst capitalism continues to thrive. Balancing our finite resources with the ongoing pressure we impose on ourselves is one of the main challenges we face as a global community and through our individual queerness. What is fear? invites cultural practitioners to investigate what fear is to them on a personal and communal level. 

Queerness itself seems to be an outcome of and an exercise in alternate temporalities, creative life plans, and eccentric financial strategies that stand against the structures that led us to today’s increasing conservationism and environmental crises. Being queer encapsulates the potential of a liberatory relationship with time, space and society. We aspire that the lack of topospecificity in this year’s edition of TQAF will not only help us share the work of queer artists with a wider audience, but will subsequently open new pathways for connecting and collaborating with LGBTQIA organisations across the Balkans and internationally. We are therefore inviting artists, performers, writers and academics to design proposals that can be displayed, shared and distributed online.

Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival (TQAF) is a grassroots initiative that sets out to alter deeply entrenched misconceptions and prejudices toward the queer and LGBTQIA community through artistic and cultural practices. 

The festival was founded in 2018, and is led by a dedicated team of volunteers, including Tomas Diafas, Dominic Sylvia Lauren, Vassia Magoula, Evi Minou, Aristea Rellou, and Magda Vaz, who endeavour to provide queer artists with a platform to investigate sociocultural phenomena relating to queer identities and experiences. TQAF has been formed through collaborations in which our team has collectively curated the festival programme.

The festival is driven by the belief that art has the power to open new avenues of communication as well as serve as a bridge between a diverse array of individuals and social groups. TQAF aims to foster dialogues and develop alternative methods for addressing social discrimination.

Through a series of online interventions, TQAF 2020 aims to offer the opportunity for underrepresented LBGTQIA artists, writers and activists from across the Balkans and other selected regions to reveal their practice to a spectating audience from 20-28 June, 2020. This year, TQAF will be showcasing selected works, performances and workshops digitally.

Thessaloniki is strategically located between the Balkans, Turkey and the Middle East, regions where LGBTQIA communities are often marginalised. As we develop strategies for addressing prejudice and resistance to queer inclusiveness in Greece, TQAF will serve as a political and inspirational link to neighbouring societies. As a breeding ground for queer discourse and artistic creation, we hope that the festival’s impact will extend beyond the borders of Greece.​

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tqafinfo@gmail.com 

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TQAF 2020 IS IN LOVING MEMORY OF ALEXANDRA NAKOU

FESTIVAL TEAM

CURATORIAL

Tomas Diafas, Vassia Magoula, Aristea Rellou

SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

Evi Minou & Magda Vaz

DIGITAL | COMMUNICATIONS

Dominic Sylvia Lauren

PRE-FESTIVAL PROGRAMME

Co-organised with Nikos Gkinis

POSTER DESIGN

Mila Fan

Special thanks to Dimitra Mitsaki, Balkan Can Kino, Athanasia Makri & Joanna Poupaki