KuirFest Berlin is back for a rebellious engagement with dominant modes of filmmaking and mainstream LGBTI+ representations! For the Opening Party, we bring you the most prominent queer performers and DJs from Turkey!
KuirFest Berlin Opening Party will host the first ever Berlin show of Korospular. This radical and humorous queer choir from Istanbul will be later joined on stage by Gazino Neukölln, who will play their mostly Turkish queered kitsch hits. The party will continue until the early hours of the morning with DJ sets by the stars of Istanbul’s lubunya nightlife: Şevval Kılıç, Samy Winehouse and Elif KK!
KuirFest Berlin is brought to you by Pembe Hayat KuirFest – Pink Life Queer Fest and bi’bak to transgress the boundaries and to (re-) create areas for transnational solidarity against the "indefinite ban" on LGBTI+ events in Ankara.
Korospular is a queer feminist choir started by a group of artists and activists based in Istanbul. They re-interpret the already existent songs with lubunca (a slang used among queer people in Turkey) lyrics. There is no hierarchy between choir members and there is no fix members in the group. It is rather open to grow with new members. They perform in the human rights based queer and feminist events aiming solidarity. Korospular is focusing solidarity and queer joy rather than making perfect music. They make the audience a part of this very experience and joy in the shows.
Gazino Neukölln is a Berlin based band playing re-makes and mash-ups of Arabesque/ Pop hits primarily from Turkey. The band consists of women and non-binary members, who made Berlin their place of living within the last decade. “Gazino” refers to a very particular venue and an entertainment format appeared in the early 1930s in Istanbul, which later on expanded to other metropoles in Turkey. With this inspiration, Gazino Neukölln aims at recreating glamorous, kitschy, diverse and sincere atmosphere while maintaining the hybridity emanated from Gazino culture by blending different musical genres across geographies and histories. In this very hybridity, Gazino Neukölln senses and follows the queer potential of performing music.
Şevval Kılıç is an Istanbul based DJ and trans rights activist. She plays various forms of melodic techno and house in her sets. Şevval intuitively learned and developed DJing, and continues to perform in queer parties in Istanbul and occasionally in Berlin.
Samy Wine House (Sema Semih) is a project coordinator at Sabancı University Gender and Women’s Studies Center of Excellence (Su Gender); working in the projects titled Transformative Activism: Rethinking Gender and Politics (2017-…) and Curious Steps: Gender and memory Walks since 2016. Since 2005, she has performed in the Fluxus remakes of İstanbul Queer Art Collective, site-specific performances of Tuğçe Tuna Dance Projects, and dance-music shows of Boğaziçi university Performing Arts Ensemble. She is a Hatha yoga teacher, a certified storyteller and a founding member of Queerwaves which is a DJ collective aiming to provide alternative entertainment and solidarity spaces for queer folks in Istanbul.
Elif KK is an artist and DJ based in Istanbul. Since 2010, they have participated in the coordination of Istanbul Pride numerous times and have been an active member of the LGBTI+ association, LambdaIstanbul. Besides their engagement in queer politics, they have been involved in queer art collectives by organizing and/or being featured in various exhibitions. They started djing in 2012 in LambdaIstanbul’s solidarity parties for the Istanbul Pride Week and since then they continually perform in queer cultural events in Istanbul.
KuirFest Opening Party is supported by Musicboard Berlin.
Many thanks to Rüzgâr Buşki for the illustration and support.