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Screen Practices: LUBUNYA Dispatches
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Fri 2 – Sun 4 June 2023

A Turkish man in a tracksuit carries another person in black boots and leather underwear. They're in front of a huge classical painting
Godasses Trilogy, dir. Emre Busse, 2021, 18 min.

Turkey is a unique spatial-temporal context to understand the development, and more recently the regression, of lubunya emancipatory politics and discourse; both in localized and globalized reams. Legally, the Republic never criminalised homosexuality in the country’s formative constitution, meaning that lubunya communities historically enjoyed a level of legislative sexual and gendered freedom throughout the 20th century ill-afforded to its European and North American counterparts until much later.

That withstanding, lubunya in contemporary Turkey have been unfavourably positioned against the hegemonic politics of the Turkish state. Particularly under the current leadership of the President Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP), projects of neoliberalisation have circulated that are rife with a dogma of religious moralisation to present lubunya communities as a pathological danger to the political, societal and economic advancement of Turkey. As a result, lubunya have been increasingly subjected to extreme forms of violence and oppression in Turkey; last year alone saw a record-breaking number of arrests during Istanbul Pride march in June, and the “Big Family Gathering'' that took place in September 2022, attended by 150 conservative non-governmental organisations across Turkey, calling on the government to close down all LGBTQ+ associations.

This intervention, titled LUBUNYA Dispatches, aims to draw solidarity and attention to such developments in Turkey by platforming the resistances that continue to persist despite such regressions. For its iteration at the ICA, LUBUNYA Dispatches presents a film programme and a series of off-events in the form of workshops and panels that construct dialogues among LGBTQI+ communities and our allies, unpacking the hierarchies and relationships of power that exist between the State, and the People.

Curatorial text by Erkan Affan

A curated selection of performance videos will also be showcased at the ICA for the duration of LUBUNYA Dispatches. Featuring work by Kübra Uzun, Harun Guler, Istanbul Queer Art Collective, and Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu.
About the artists

Erkan Affan is a researcher, producer, curator and audio-visual artist based between London and Iskenderun (Hatay Province). Erkan is Indigenous Arab-Armenian from the cities of Iskenderun and Antakya in southern Turkey/northern Syria, and is the conceptualiser and lead artistic commissioner of the LUBUNYA Dispatches programme, as well as co-commissioner of this year’s Transpose at the Barbican and co-programmer of the TALKS programme at the nightclub FOLD in east London.

Tuna Erdem is an artist, curator and creative producer based in London. She is a founding member of Istanbul Queer Art Collective and co-director of Queer Art Projects.

Seda Ergul is an artist, curator and producer based in London. She is a founding member of Istanbul Queer Art Collective since 2012. She is also a creative producer and curator at Queer Art Projects. 

Lalu (Esra) Ozban is a maker, curator, exhibitor, and archivist of audiovisual media and co-founder of Queer Art Projects. They are currently a Ph.D. candidate in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Lalu’s artistic, curational, and scholarly work focuses on trans, queer, and feminist theories, histories, pedagogies, and praxis.

Queer Art Projects is an artist led creative production company founded in 2017, that creates art projects like exhibitions, performances, screenings, talks and workshops, commissioning new work from queer artists on cutting edge contemporary issues and bringing existing work together in contexts that underline their relevance and resonance.
This programme was made possible through the collaborative involvement of Lalu Esra Özban, Tuna Erdem, Seda Ergul, Istanbul Queer Art Collective, Queer Art Projects, Pembe Hayat KuirFest, and the many directors and commentators whose films and discussions we are platforming.

Artistic interventions curated and produced by Erkan Affan, in collaboration with Transpose 2023, the Barbican Centre, FOLD (and Futur Shock), Queer Art Projects, the ICA, Istanbul Queer Art Collective and Pink Life QueerFest – London, UK (2023).


A couple hold a rainbow flag at the 21st Istanbul LGBTI Pride parades

Fri 2 June, 8pm
Opening: #resistayol (#direnayol) + Q&A
A documentary following trans activist Şevval Kılıç during the Istanbul LGBTI Pride caught up in the reflections of the carnivalesque 2013 Gezi Park Uprisings.

A group of people dance under a red light in the ICA Upper Bar

Fri 2 June, 10pm
Opening Party: Screen Practices x LUBUNYA Dispatches
Lubunya Dispatches presents Istanbul and London lubunyas, get ready to fly with DJ sets by Kübra Uzun, KAAN b2b GIRL UNIT, and performances from Akış Ka & MustKika.

A small yellow baby floats among colourful cells and liquids

Sat 3 June, 4pm
Pink Life QueerFest Presents: Short Films Programme
Short films exploring the experiences of the LGBTQI+ community in Turkey through a diverse variety of forms, from dance to animation.

Three men walk at a trans rally together in Turkey, looking joyful

Sat 3 June, 6pm
The Neighbour + Voltrans + Transfeminist Practices Panel
Cis feminism kills; trans feminism makes you live! A pair of films exploring transfeminist lives in Turkey.

A group of people work at long tables in front of a rainbow flag that covers the back wall and the floor

Sun 4 June, 3pm
Dis: orientation Plan
A roundtable discussion on orientalism with Istanbul Queer Art Collective, MustKika, Erkan Affan, and Hakan Sandal-Wilson.

A white statue of a man sits on an altar in the centre of a star shape. Other statues/people appear sit around them, worshipping. Roman columns line the backdrop under pink-purple light

Sun 4 June, 6pm
Queer Art Projects presents: Godasses Trilogy + Hypermasculinity on the Dancefloor + Q&A
A selection of works from filmmaker Emre Busse whose work explores masculinity and gay pornography.