Southeast Asian Queer Cultural Festival 2021: Be/Longings
February 13, 2021 to March 13, 2021
The Southeast Asia Queer Cultural Festival (SEAQCF) is a virtual platform that celebrates LGBTIQ inclusion in Southeast Asia. Advocates, artists and cultural workers are invited to share materials that educate the public on this issue and build stronger bonds of regional community.
We seek to cultivate the collective memory of Southeast Asian LGBTIQ persons. This term refers to the cultural narratives of the community, centred around a shared identity and its relationship to both an imagined common past and a vision of a common future. It is not a static record of history, but an evolving consciousness, constantly morphing as it is performed, narrated and interpreted in contemporary situations.
The festival also functions as a political space to foster alternative regionalism. This refers to a collaborative process of holding accountable regional institutions (e.g. ASEAN) through people-oriented approaches within and outside state territories and functions. It involves strengthening the political leverage of transnational civil society and social movements to counter hegemonic regional governance arrangements that exclude marginalized groups. Activities may include learning programs based on grassroots needs, developing new paradigms for regional engagement, and building solidarity between and among civil society groups across boundaries.
In the context of this project, we aim to bring together both historical and contemporary narratives of LGBTIQ inclusion derived from experiences in different ASEAN countries, and collaboratively weave and shape a transformative discourse: a collective memory of an inclusive ASEAN.
The festival theme is Be/Longings. This theme asserts that LGBTIQ people have always been part of the on-going memory of the Southeast Asian region. We have always existed way before the creation of ASEAN and its member states. Sadly, many governments and social institutions deliberately make efforts to alienate or make invisible LGBTIQ persons. They do this by adopting and implementing repressive laws and policies at the domestic and regional levels.
Be/Longings, as a theme, is inspired by words “kerinduan” in Bahasa Indonesia or Bahasa Melayu, and “pangungulila” in Filipino. Our region is missing a significant group of people from its memory. And for LGBTIQ persons point of view, we are missing a region that is genuinely caring, inclusive, and respectful of diversity.
This festival will take place in digital spaces. There will be a website where all festival information will be accessed such as the program, profile of featured artists or cultural workers and links to the various on-line sites where the festival activities will be accessed.
How can you participate?
The festival is open to Southeast Asian LGBTIQ artists, cultural workers, academics and activists. You can join as an individual, as an organization or as a collective.
If you are interested to participate, please send us a concept note of the event or creative work you wish to submit. The festival is open to any form of creative work as long as it can be posted on and accessed via a digital platform.
Here are some criteria for creative work we hope to be included in the festival:
- Cultural work must be accessible through on-line space, however, exceptions may be made for projects that feature regional issues but intended for audiences with limited access to the internet or to the English language;
- Theme or content of the material must articulate the following elements: a) local queer narratives or culture, b) local queer history or memory, c) challenges conservative Southeast Asian norms, d) imagines an inclusive and transformative Southeast Asia, e) promotes regional solidarity;
- Entertaining yet sends a clear political message: disrupting and challenging dominant norms that being LGBTIQ is not part ASEAN culture or ASEAN values;
- Locally informed yet sends a regional message, has a potential for regional impact;
- May be a pre-recorded audio-visual material (e.g. film, documentary or performance), a live event (e.g. a concert, a poetry jam, a creative performance), digitally curated visual art, a digital archive of historical queer materials, or some original literary pieces;
- Creative materials must be open source, or the artist or groups must own the copyright;
- Individuals involved or featured in the cultural materials (e.g. films, documentaries, photographs or live performances) must have given their consent.
I am interested. How can I apply?
You can join the festival by sending an on-line application. This can be accessed through this link: https://bit.ly/SEAQCF2021application
Will the organizer provide some financial support?
We may be able to provide support for some individual artists, organizations or collectives. The support may cover honorarium for the artists, subsidies for internet costs or subscriptions to on-line platforms, or subsidies for equipment rentals. When you apply, please indicate whether you need some financial support and provide us with an estimated budget. For selected individual projects, we can support up to a maximum of USD500. For selected collective or organizational projects, we can support up to a maximum of USD1,500.
Who are the organizers?
This festival is organized by ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, in collaboration with several organizations.
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus is a regional network of organizations and individuals that engages diverse actors to collectively advocate for the human rights of LGBTIQ persons in Southeast Asia. It work is framed by the following objectives: to raise awareness about the rights of LGBTIQ and gender-diverse persons; to build and enhance capacity and knowledge of human rights defenders in advancing the rights of LGBTIQ and gender-diverse persons; to expand spaces for leadership of Southeast Asian LGBTIQ and gender-diverse human rights defenders within human rights networks and bodies; to advocate for the integration of the rights of LGBTIQ and gender-diverse persons into national, regional, and global governmental bodies and policies.
The festival is being organized with the support of VOICE, an innovative grant facility that supports initiatives to empower marginalized groups in Asia and Africa.
For more information, please contact: