Time

We 15.5.2024
7.30 pm Hrs

Place

Kunsthalle Exnergasse

(c) DAS SCHWULE TREFFEN, A 1977, anonym, 23 min.
ArtFilm
Kunsthalle Exnergasse

QUEER HOME MOVIES: DAS SCHWULE TREFFEN

Film screening with introduction and collective discussion

The sun is shining, bare skin out in a green idyll, plus a few workshops and melancholic songs: on Pentecost 1977, the first gay meet-up in Austria takes place, organised by the group CO (Coming Out). Illegally, it must be said – after the total ban was abolished in 1971, new criminal laws were introduced, including the prohibition of homosexual advertising and associations: “Anyone who publicly solicits same-sex fornication (...) in a printed work, moving images, or otherwise” is liable to a prison sentence of up to six months – and above all to social ostracism. All the more remarkable, then, that the outcome was a film: it documents a gathering that is certainly not to be taken for granted. Around 250 homosexuals from the German-speaking region meet in a Purkersdorf villa in defiance of the discriminatory regulations: political relationships, self-awareness, gay culture, and corporeality take centre stage. During the first queer walk through Vienna, the non-gay public’s perception is put to the test.

For a long time, the film DAS SCHWULE TREFFEN (“The Gay Meet-Up”, 1977) was believed to have gone lost, but now it has resurfaced: the filmmaker prefers to remain anonymous. Queer amateur films (aka ephemeral films) are unique historical sources: created in illegalised contexts, these subcultural documents often defy institutional safekeeping and long-term preservation, but also a larger public exhibition. In both their image ethics and materiality, they are precarious and fleeting. The immanence of the filmic images also conveys a “sense of place” – queer history can be experienced in motion. The event invites the audience to discuss this newly digitised film and to collect thoughts: What can be seen in these images? What do those who were there at the time see in them? And what about the representatives of younger generations who were not? What value do these images have for a shared history of the queer movement?

Mediators*

Katharina Müller is the head of the Research, Education, Publications department at the Austrian Film Museum. She is an FWF Elise Richter fellow at the IFK – International Research Center for Cultural Studies with her project Visual History of LGBTIQ+ in Austria and Beyond.

Andreas Brunner is co-director of QWIEN – Centre for Queer History. Since the late 1980s an engaged activist, including co-founder of the Rainbow (Pride) Parade. Numerous research projects, publications, and exhibitions on the queer history of Vienna with a focus on Nazi persecution. Initiator and organiser of queer city walks.
 

Special event in cooperation with QWIEN and the Austrian Film Museum

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