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The human rights and educational festival QUEERFEST will take place in “ARTMUZA” in St Petersburg. The festival events are united through one common topic of fate and lifeline. The festival is going to be very personal: each day will uncover stories of people who live their lives and look for happiness right now regardless difficult environment.

Where Love is Illegal”, a project by human rights photographer Robin Hammond, which is being exhibited at QUEERFEST this year, demonstrates discriminative gender politics of heteronormative societies – and how far it can go. Cameroon, Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Russia, Tunisia, Uganda, South Africa, and Jamaica: love stories turn into stories of survival when love story photography is shot in countries where bi-/homosexual relations and other alternative identities are banned legally and/or publicly.

The QUEERFEST program is filled with lectures, workshops, body practices, theatre plays, documentary cinema and events dedicated to famous LGBT people’s lives – you ought to see it!

The “My Intersex Story” collection continues with our series of publications of personal stories by QUEERFEST. Three stories about intersex people – three lives, three paths towards recognition and acceptance of own corporality, towards escape from fear, shame and pain. “My Intersex Story” is one of the first publications in Russia about intersex. All festival guests will be able to get a copy of the book.

The festival is ending with the concert: provocative ?ngie and melodious Parks, Squares & Alleys will perform at the closing ceremony.

Daytime and evening events are free. At the concert, there will be some entrance fee. The main festival venue is ARTMUZA, 13th line of Vasilyevsky Island, 70-72.

More details about events at Line up.


In May and June, 2017 we have received 27 applications for participating in OPENSPACE. Seven activist and art initiatives have been selected: they will become a part of QUEERFEST in September 2017. Let’s get to know each other.


“KIT”; Samara, Russia
The KIT initiative will come to QUEERFEST presenting their documentary “Are you a boy or a girl?” Visitors of the festival will meet people who go beyond the division on men and women and who do not feel belonging to either male or female. “Are you a girl or a boy?” is the most frequent asked question for the characters of the film. How could one answer it? Is it worth answering? Discover more about KIT

QUEERPOINT, Makeover Studio – Studio of Gender Transformations; St Petersburg, Russia
Olga Zhgun, a stylist and the founder of QUEERPOINT, will conduct a workshop called “Personal Identity Symbols. Path towards Ourselves”. Olga has been working with gender transformations and a personal style for eight years. During this period, the stylist has acquired an efficient technique, which allows people who do not follow heteronormativity to become aware of their own sexuality. Look at the beautiful QUEERPOINT web-site

“Resource LGBTQIA Moscow”, Centre for Social, Psychological and Cultural Projects; Moscow, Russia
“Resource LGBTQIA Moscow” will present a narrative film screening “Live Stories. Expression of Meanings”. The film tells about an event where participants share their stories and respond to the stories of others; it happens face to face but, at the same time, in a common circle. In the film, the participants of a performance who are representatives of the LGBT community tell each other stories about relationships; their stories are moving, funny, bitter; but, most importantly, they are very sincere. They confess their love, laugh, cry, dance tango… Read about “Resource”

“Telaboratoria”; Russia, the US
“Telaboratoria” is creative body techniques for the LGBT community. At QUEERFEST, Dasha Che, the founder of Telaboratoria, will organize an event “Empathy: Muscle of LGBT activism”; this will be a training session about empathy consisting of personal stories and a number of individual and group exercises. Read about Telaboratoria

Maailmanloppu: Project Theatre; St Petersburg, Russia
Maailmanloppu is an art initiative; its main activities focus on disclosing bans and taboos, expanding a field for discussions, breaking into the current discourse through the use of modern theatre and performance techniques and modern art practices. At the festival, the initiative will present the play called “No Gravity: Documentary Readings by t[Bodies]”. More details about the theatre

LGBT organization “Labrys”; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Diana Arsen’eva, an activist from LGBT-organization “Labrys”, will hold a workshop about story-telling, in particular, how this tool can be used in activism and what story-telling consist of. Moreover, she will tell about their organization’s experience in story-telling. More details about “Labrys”

Association of Russian Speaking Intersex (ARSI); Russian, Kazakhstan, Germany, the US
ARSI is an international organization; its participants live in Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany and the US. At the festival, the Association will hold a participatory event with intersex people. Get to know ARSI


That's how we live - from QUEERFEST to QUEERFEST. Already in May, we start thinking how much fun it is to meet each other again at the festival in September. But first things first.


QUEERFEST is a cultural and human rights event aimed at fighting xenophobia; it is organized in the form of a pride-festival, which lasts for 10 days with more than 15 different events altogether. The 9th international festival QUEERFEST will be held in St.Petersburg from 14 till 24 September, 2017.

Great festival! But what is the application process for?

We like sharing our spaces. That is why a special format such as OPENSPACE events exists at QUEERFEST. If you are an independent activist, an initiative group, or an organization, and you have something to say, this format is definitely for you. Today we are opening the application process for participating in OPENSPACE so that everyone could have a possibilty to arrange readings, discussions, performances, film-screenings, master-classes, work-shops, or some other kind of activities expressing the main topic of the festival.

About You, About Me, About Our Life: the topic of this QUEERFEST.

We all live one life. Here and now. Today we are falling in love and studying; right now talking to our parents, looking for support or for a job, making friends. We are getting to know our body, accepting our health issues, building our family, opening up our sexuality. Now.

We cannot wait till they will "allow" us to do those: our life has already started, and we are living it the way we can. Yes, under these difficult Russian conditions. We exist. And in 2017 we are inviting our guests to take a trip through our life lines.

"Following the Life Line" is the topic of this year QUEERFEST. We want to get into stories of people from our communities by expressing the everyday LGBT culture. Everything taking place in a real life of each of us will be present here – voices, love, loneliness, addictions, families, bodies, physical and mental health, age, death.

Who can come to QUEERFEST?

We invite LGBT activists and anyone, who have something to share with us, from the Russian Federation (not only from St. Petersburg, but from all regions) as well as from the post-Soviet countries. We cover all the travel and accommodation expenses for the participants of OPENSPACE.

What are we looking at while looking through your applications?

At originality of your material. At inclusion of various groups, identities, ages. At project feasibility: we estimate if we are able to provide your event with necessary resources. Finally, at correspondance with the festival topic. This year QUEERFEST is planned to be very personal: our voices, our stories, our statements.

All clear! I want to come and participate. What do I have to do and in what time?

Please, fill in the application form either by clicking here. Applications can be submitted from May, 23 to June, 12 (including), 2017. On June, 4 all the applicants will receive a letter from our team with results.

Do you want to help us? Please, share this call! Have you got any additional questions? Please, don't hesitate to write to Ruslan Savolainen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "OPENSPACE QUEERFEST2017" in the subject section. Ruslan will answer!

We hope that your lifeline will bring you to QUEERFEST this year! It is high time. Meanwhile, read about QUEERFEST of previous years here at our web-site. See you there!

Before filling in the application form, please, read this instruction.

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