THIS IS A FREE ZONE

Queerhana in the context of autonomous movements in
Israel/Palestine from 2001-2009

27 May–2 July 2017
Opening: 26 May 2017

Exhibition
Publication
Event Series
Documentary film “Nation Monsters and Superqueers”

Location(s): nGbK, Oranienstraße 25

Artists

León Allez, AnA Tachment, Dury de Bagh, Shiri Blumenthal, Raafat Hattab, Liad Hussein Kantorowicz, Tamara Schreiber, The Phantomat, Gala Weizman

Participants

Activestills, Yossi Bartal, Boaz Y, Tony Buzzerio, Shay Ben Efraim, Mylen Eliot Garreau, Orr Guilat, Seemab Gull, Rapha Hu, Rachel Laurie, Claudia Levin, Lila Lilith, Leon Longa, Yossef(a) Mekyton, Nate + Maizta, Jana Nowack, Nathi Oh, Michael (Mysh) Rozanov, Samira Saraya, Malvina R. Schorlé, Tamara Schreiber, Adi Shpigel, Yosi Speedy, Bosque Utopico, Aviv Victor, VJ Hellena, Oren Ziv

Project group

Orr Guilat, Liad Hussein Kantorowicz, Zvonimir Kontrec, Mascha Nehls, Malvina R. Schorlé, Yosi Speedy, Bosque Utopico

In 2002, several queers set up a camp under a highway bridge in Tel Aviv, just a few hundred meters from the huge Gay Parade taking place at the same time. They were equipped with a sound system, DIY art, glitter, and a banner reading “Mi she mekabel jehol lehitkabel“ (Hebrew: He who accepts will be accepted). The party under the bridge grew rapidly and marked the beginning of a queer movement that until 2009 organised parties at different places in Jaffa/Tel Aviv: Queerhana.

The name derives from a wordplay combining “Karachana” (Hebrew: “wild party”, Arabic: “brothel”) and “queer”.
Inspired by Hakim Bey’s concept of a “Temporary Autonomous Zone” (1991), Queerhana created free spaces in a society shaped by war and racism that were at once safe spaces and sites of political activity, where deviation from social norms, gender ambiguity, and opposition against the Israeli occupation policy could be expressed in a self-confident and creative way. The movement offered Jewish and Palestinian queers a political and social home, something which they were not able to find in Israel’s mainstream gay scene.

The exhibition THIS IS A FREE ZONE documents the origin and development of Queerhana in the context of other autonomous movements in Israel/Palestine from 2001 to 2009. 15 years later, the project takes a look back and raises questions regarding the connection of party and politics: (How) can one dance during war? What is necessary for creating a common space for Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli queers? Can a “safe space” be created without repeating the same excluding power relations and dichotomies that the zone actually seeks to overcome?
Based on these questions, the project searches for inspiration for the present.

Accompanying the exhibition the book “QUEERHANA. UTOPIA NOW!” (ISBN 978-3-938515-66-2) with documentation materials and essays and the documentary film “Nation Monsters and Superqueers” with testimonies of queer activists from Israel/Palestine was released.

Friday, 26th May 2017, 19h
Opening with Spiritwo + Dury de Bagh, disdisaster, Eatme, Rachel Laurie, AnA Tachment, DJ AmIrani, Oz Malul, Yaeli Magic, Bosque Utopico, DJ Moshe Babay – XS-Pure Trance Records, zigzag plutonium, Ron Daniel, DJ A-Sisi, Bubblegum, misere, Tony Buzzerio and more

Monday, 29th May 2017, 18h
“Tikkun leil shavout”, Talk and Filmscreening
In the exhibition space

Wednesday, 7th June 2017, 20h
Talks, discussion “Temporary Autonomous Zones and Their Challenges in Today’s Middle East” and filmscreening
Event space, 1st floor

Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 20h
Photography as Protest in Palestine/Israel: Presenting Activestills
With Ariel Caine, Faiz Abu Rmeleh and the Activestills photographers Keren Manor, Anne Paq, Oren Ziv and Faiz Abu Rmeleh, Moderated by Sapir Huberman
Supported by Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung
Event space, 1st floor

Wednesday, 28th June 2017, 20h
Screening and Q&A “Nation Monsters and Super Queers”
aquarium, Skalitzer Straße 6, 10999 Berlin

Thursday, 29th June 2017, Entry 19.30h, event starts 20h
Talks and discussion: “Queer/in/(g) the Middle East: 2000-2010”
With Leil-Zahra Mortada, Samira Sayara and Tamara Schreiber, Moderated by: Zoya
Event space, 1st floor

Supported by