Fri 2 – Sun 4 June 2023
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.
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.
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).