lusine talalyan (Armenia) is a visual artist mainly working with video and photography, using art to adress issues of homophobia and heteronormativity in society. She is the co-founder of Queering Yerevan, a collective of artists, writers and cultural workers publishing feminist and queer artistic work and organizing queer cultural events.
Anna-Stina Treumund (Estonia) is queer feminist artist mostly working with photography, using her artwork to start public discussions and create visibility for Estonian queer women and queering heterosexual art. She is also organizing queer and feminist cultural events and curated the international exhibition Pussy Envy.
Anastasiia (Tasja) Zhyvkova (Ukraine) is a writer and translator, visual artist and brain-fitness coach. She is working with text, photo and media, as well as installations, graffiti and performances, addressing themes of sexuality and gender expression in her work. She has also curated queer cultural events.
Kris (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is working primarily with printmaking using the fluidity of different techniques to reflect the fluidity of gender identies, presented in the exhibition ”I know you are but what am I''. Kris is also working with LGBTQI organizations to create safe places for transgender persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ana Lok (Belarus) is a freelance curator adressing issues of queer, normativity and normalization in her work. She uses art and culture to advocate and create visibility for LGBTQ rights. She is co-founder of the first queer film festival in Belarus- DOTYK/TOUTCH.
The very first residency program took place in Visby, Gotland November 3-16 2014. Applications came from 15 countries. The applicants worked in many different ways with LGBTQI rights, using art and culture to create visibility for LGBTQI issues and empower LGBTQI persons facing discrimination and oppression. The forms of artistic expression represented where many – photography, painting and other visual arts, writing and poetry, comics, knitting, performances and artistic interventions, audio and video art, documentary video and music.
The four choosen residents where Tonči Kranjčević Batalić, Natasha Schastneva, Dzmitry Suslau and Julia Tyapicheva:
Natasha Schastneva, Tonči Kranjčević Batalić, Dzmitry Suslau and Julia Tyapicheva
Tonči Kranjčević Batalić (Croatia) does artistic research in the history of cruising culture and it’s relationship to public space and uses knitting to question the stereotypes of gay sexuality. He is also an organizer of queer cultural events through the organizations Queer Sport Split and QueerANarchive.
Natasha Schastneva (Russia) investigates genderqueer, feminist and queer themes in contemporary Russia through documentary photography. Their work covers diverse areas such as queer tango culture, academic discourse, street protests and the contemporary St.Petersburg art scene.
Dzmitry Suslau (Belarus) is a freelance curator. His main areas of research include theories of gender and sexuality, LGBTQI subcultures and interdisciplinary connections between the visual and performing arts in Eastern Europe. His work aims to challenge the current idea about sexualities outside the Western context.
Julia Tyapicheva (Russia) uses video projects to change people’s mind in the direction of understanding of LGBTQI people. Her work highlights issues facing the Russian LGBTQI community through social and documentary video produced for various LGBT organizations.
The residents stayed at Baltic Art Center in Visby for two weeks. On the schedule where meetings with Swedish artists/activists and organizations to exchange experiences and ideas, social activities and an excursion to Fårö (see program in pdf). The residents also spent time working on their individual projects.
The program ended with the residents participating in Gotland Pride where they held presentations of their work with art and activism. An exhibition where also made with photographs from Natasha Shastnevas series ‘Living Queer in Russia’ and Tonči Kranjčević Batalić’ connected Split in Croatia and Visby in an artistic exploration of the gay cruising culture.
Gotland Rainbow Group would like to thank Baltic Art Center, Gotland Pride, Länsteatern Gotland (the Regional Theatre), Film på Gotland, Fenix Youth Culture Centre, Region Gotland, Stina Lindholm/Skulpturfabriken, International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD) and artists/activists Del La Grace Volcano, Elfrida Bergman and Zafire Vrba for their participation in the 2014 Activist-in-Residence Program.
At the end of the 2014 residency period the idea came up for a postcard exhibition featuring works from the four residents as well as the other applicants (of which 20 choose to participate). Each postcard has an image contributed by one of the applicants or residents, and a description of the work. The postcards where printed and sent by mail to the artists/activists that contributed, as a postcard exhibition consisting of one of each of the different motifs.