started in the summer of 2016. Transnational Queer Underground
had already existed for seven years, but was more or less a small website where me and a few friends had published a couple of articles and interviews as well as some links, contacts and resources about queer culture I had collected over the years. I had a weekly radio show and wrote and spoke about queer music and theory academically, so there was quite a bit of information that had accumulated over the years.
But I had always dreamed for TQU to involve more people; to actually get people from all parts of the world together. At that point I had no network to speak of, no money personally and none to spend on the project. But I was sure that there had to be a way to make it work.
Up until that point my main (sub)cultural focus had been on music. It’s what got me out of suburban life in Hamburg, it’s what gave me hopes and dreams and most of the wonderful connections with people I had made until then. I wrote about it, I talked about it, I played it and I made a lot of people dance at Soli-Parties all over Germany.
I guess I just wanted something else.
So I came up with the idea of #TheGalleryProject
, where I invited people to show their artwork on TQU. They were asked to send in 5-12 pictures of their visual artwork and write a short bio and a couple of lines about their work. I spent days and nights researching art schools, contacting people on Etsy, finding Facebook groups and blogs where I could share the call. In the end, there were
almost 60 artist pages online, and even before the call ended in December 2017, I’d been invited to show the works in Tallinn, Estonia at the Ladyfest.
So after inviting the artists to take part in a series of physical exhibitions, I kickstarted the production of the exhibition with 45 artists and 90 artworks. And in the first year we showed the exhibition in Estonia
and Czech Republic
During this time, Transnational Queer Underground
had also grown as a platform. The site started getting press coverage, and the attention keeps growing on a daily basis. People can still share their artwork, but also other projects on PROPSLIST
, we’re a registered NGO (e.V.) in Germany and people can join TQU’s Star Club
to become a part of a great network of artists and activists that supports and collaborates.
(This text was written in 2018)