Antwerp Queer Arts Festival

Press Release by Antwerp Queer Arts Festival, Antwerp,  July 13, 2015.

Antwerp Queer Arts Festival 2015

A Spotlight on China at the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival

The second edition of the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival will take place in Antwerp from August 1 to 9 and will turn its focus on China. The festival will show the works of Chinese artists and talk with Chinese activists about sexuality and gender diversity. Teaming up with Antwerp Pride, the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival is embedded in the local community. ‘Our festival is inspired by the world, without forgetting our neighbours.

The festival opens with a Chinese art exhibition. ‘Queer Arts in China’, will bring works from numerous Chinese artists to a Belgian audience.

China Today

‘How do people talk about being gay or being transgender in other continents. How do other cultures deal with gender identity? These are some of the fundamental questions of our festival. This summer we will be focusing on China. We will take a look at how Chinese art presents the Chinese way of dealing with different forms of sexual identities. Therefore we invited several key Chinese artists and activists. The people behind the Antwerp Pride are joining us by putting a human rights debat on the agenda,’ says Marcia Poelman from the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival.

‘Because contemporary China links the past, the present and the future, we believe it will be a most interesting encounter,’ Poelman continues.

Exchange: that is the Antwerp Queer Festival’s central theme. ‘Antwerp will be a hotspot this summer for artists from various art forms like film, literature, photography, and theatre. This all within the context of fascinating differences between the west and the east and a vibrant neighborhood.’

Community based Festival

You will find our festival at different locations in the central station quarter, a neighbourhood better known as Chinatown. It also used to be the Antwerp gay district. The Belgian artist Jan Fabre lives in this part of Antwerp. With his famous monologue “Drugs kept me alive” he will be a part of the festival. ‘We are very happy to announce that Fabre and his theatre company Troubleyn are joining the festival. We are aiming at a large audience. Therefore this multicultural part of Antwerp seems to be right up our alley,’ Poelman states.

The De Coninckplein is another place to be. The 7th of August it will be the centre of performances, music, food and debat.
The alternative cinema ‘Cartoons’ will be showing some excellent Chinese and Asian queer films. Also on the program is literature, a sculpture expo and documentaries.