Antwerp Queer Arts Festival 2021 programme and schedule

Antwerp Pride Queer Arts Festival returns this summer, from 7 to 15 and to 29 August, in Antwerp. The programme includes concerts, performances, film screenings and exhibitions.

A last minute surge of COVID-19 infections in Antwerp curtailed the 2020 edition. Let’s hope the COVID-19 proof events of this year will remain.

Saturday 7 August

  • Opening Concert, 9 to 10 PM. De Studio. € 10. “Kick-off on Saturday with a live concert by Die Hässlichen Vögel. As with most avant-garde acts, Die Hässlichen Vögel (‘The Ugly Birds’) do not fit into a genre – a fact made even more unique by the group’s refusal to record or release any music. Die Hässlichen Vögel is a place for perspective and poetry, for longing and belonging. The collective’s last shows took place at Schinkel Pavillon’s Performance Programme Disappearing Berlin, the Institute Of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London and Berghain in Berlin. The Ugly Birds approach the future as they’ve tackled the past: with a seriousness coiled on the edge of provocation.
  • Short films, 5 to 6.30 PM. De Studio. ‘Amine‘, ‘Meisjesjongensmix‘ and ‘La Chartreuse‘. Q&A’s with directors.
  • Expo Ervin Latimer. De Studio. “Ervin Latimer‘s (Finland) installation explores through clothing, image, text and sound the endless possibilities of our gender identities. The clothing at display can be taken apart, mixed and put back together to better reflect the user’s identity. Simultaneously, the audiovisual experience reinterpets and challenges the Nordic identity at large. You can visit the installation during opening hours at De Studio. With kind regards to our partner The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux.”
  • Expo + performance Alexander Schaef. De Studio. “Alexander Schaef (USA), is a Porto based installation/performance/chaos artist. He will bring all that to Antwerp. Expo on display at De Studio during opening hours. Performances TBA.” 

Sunday 8 August

  • Opening Exhibition, 2 to 6 PM. Galerie Verbeeck – Van Dyck, Verbindingsdok-Westkaai 12. Free. “Join us at the picturesque Antwerp quarter Het Eilandje near the harbor. Sunday afternoon we open the group exhibition with works by visual artists Luki Von der Gracht, Tyna Adebowale, Tom Hallet and Che Go Eun. A unique and eclectic mixture of drawing, installation, video, photography.”

Monday 9 August

  • AQAF @ De Carrousel, 8 to 10 PM, De Carroussel, Lange Lobroekstraat 77, 2060 Antwerp. € 12. “Your host, spoken word artist Hind Eljadid, invites you for a kaleidoscopic evening. Queer punk duo LIONSTORM, theatre maker Maxime Dreessen, dancer Mohamed Boujarra and drag king Lucian Squid take turns on stage and show you all kinds of queer.”

Tuesday 10 August

  • Video ‘What Love Means: The Wedding‘ + talk + summer bar, Permeke Bibliotheek, De Coninckplein, Antwerp. “Photographer Ines Vansteenkiste-Muylle assembled a young and enthusiastic team to create a multimedia project. In the video “What love means: the wedding” we witness the wedding party of two young queer people. The proximity of their family of choice, their playful, natural handling of the whole spectrum of masculinity and femininity. Trans non-binary person Emiel Lenaert wrote text that accompanies the video, and will be there for Q&A.” 

Thursday 12

  • Short films, 8.15 PM. De Studio. 
    • ‘Amine’.
    • Le dragon à deux têtes‘.
    • Playback. Ensayo de una despedida‘.
    • Zapatos de tacon cubano‘.
    • Motta‘.
    • La Chatreuse‘.

Friday 13

  • Analemma 6.0‘, 8 to 9 PM. De Studio. “Decolonizing club dance ritual centering queer people of color. Performed by Fazle Shairmahomed, Mohammed Boujarra, and local dancers. A group of queer people of color create a common space for a spiritual process of decolonization in a reality where different ancestries have been brought together in painful ways. Through this club ritual, you are invited to think about the relationship with your ancestors. Together, we create a space of intimacy, even when we experience distance through our personal histories and current realities, which are filled with trauma, but also with a desire for healing and resilience. When it comes to reflecting upon our shared colonial history, we all have different roles and places in the process of healing. In this ritual, we center queer people of color. We will question how supporting one and another looks like in the process of decolonization, and in the reflection of our shared colonial histories. Inspired by Muslim/Sufi traditions of Gnawa, Zar and whirling Dervish; Japanese Butoh, Surinamese Winti, Hindu rituals, Caribbean Bubbling, and South-African Gqom. ‘Analemma’ is a queer manifest to create rituals from hybrid identities, and from multicultural realities, that came into being because of painful histories and realities of colonialism.”
  • Queer Lab, 9 PM. De Studio. “AQAF wanted to do more for young queer artists. Therefore we are organizing a Queer Lab at De Studio. Six young people can experiment, create and inspire one another for ten days. You are invited to come and see what that leads up to. The enthusiastic artists taking over De Studio this summer, are Vural Saglam, Merel Claes, Anna Schlooz, Michael Van Remoortere, Mick Galliot-Fabre en Beyza Batmaz.
  • Youth For Sex, 10 PM. De Studio. “For three months nine youngsters came together on a weekly basis. They united in a struggle for freedom and equality within sexuality. At De Studio, lead by theatermaker Maxime Dreesen they collaborated on ‘Youth For Sex - an activist research trajectory’. The result? This protest performance.”

Saturday 14

  • ‘Lucian Squid’, 8 PM. De Studio. “Lucian is an Amsterdam based drag king, and founding member of the House of LøstBois. Their performance has been described as ‘drag noir’. Lucians spoken word is a mixture of autobiography, queer erotica, and philosophical contemplation. In Unbeing, they defy the reality that clashes so hard with their sexuality, identification and beliefs. They take you on a trip, teasing, stripping, ravaging. Using all their skills to pull you in through video, electronic music, spoken word and yes, drag! They invite you to follow their lead. With butoh inspired dance moves, they illustrate a carnal struggle. Their music’s like a stormy mood swing. They will shed off layer by layer, changing chameleonic, both literally and figuratively. But most of all, they want to celebrate and party with you, because they found a maze in existence, perfectly fit for their needs.”
  • Queer Lab, 9 PM. De Studio.
  • Youth For Sex, 10 PM. De Studio.

Tuesday 24

  • Beyond Borders‘, 8 PM. De Studio. “Spoken word artist Hind Eljadid and her wife Ellee Mihajlovich travelled to Hungary. They returned with a documentary about the local LGBTQ community and art scene. In a time when acquired rights are under siege, we owe it to ourselves and our community to share this story.”

More information, updates and tickets here

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