quEAR! – is a group of queer people. We organized audio festivals based in Berlin, 2011 at “Kanal” and 2013 at “Zukunft am Ostkreuz”, presenting audio plays, sound installations, audio performances and workshops, with a focus on trans*, inter and queer interventions. quEAR! facilitates a sensory based experience, an exploration of the auditory canal if you will, through noise, voice, sounds and storytelling.
quEAR!, a combination of the words queer and ear/hear, offers a unique creative event that is also rooted in intentional politics. For us queer is not merely a synonym for “gay/lesbian”, but rather an open call for action, which includes a lot more than the sexual orientation or gender identity of the individual. Queer is a deviation from the norm, challenging and questioning boundaries that are upheld within mainstream society. Queer is also a utopia, not in the bourgeois sense of otherworldliness, but as a space that needs to be constantly (re)created and projected into new spaces, which is the aim of this event.
We aim to create a platform for an artistic and political exchange based within the context and use of audio. quEAR! encourages people to use audio as a creative and empowering tool with which to address oppression, such as heterosexist, transphobic, racist, ableist and capitalist structures.
Isolating and exploring the various ways in which audio can be used, is the central theme of our work and activities, because trans*, inter and queer lives, practices and policies are under-represented in the audio-landscape. The possibilities that this artistic and political tool provides are vast. Which is why we want to present the importance and possibilities of the medium audio in supporting social change. Through the act of listening to varied soundscapes, noises and/or stories, participants are able to allow for images, imagination, ideas and inspiration to arise.
We also want to create a space for experimenting and hands-on engagement through workshops, supporting the goal of quEAR! to provide a place of political and artistic debate, exchange and empowerment. We will on one hand focus on the unique power and beauty of audio, while on the other will support diverse queer perspectives within audio landscapes.
Additionally to our activities we have since 2011 been active within the Berlin network Diskriminierungsfreie Szenen für alle“, thats seeks to address different forms of discrimination within the Berlin queer/LGBT community.