The 1st of July marked Quito, Ecuador’s LGBT Pride festivities. The parade doubled as a tour of the historic city center and as the Echa Pluma! placard debut from a Laboratorio Gráfico Desviante printmaking workshop the days before. With exhibitions at both No Lugar (Ataqueridas by Pato Hebert) and SOY PAISAJE at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Quito, the main streets and city parks ‘filled out’ the staging ground of a ten-day programme called Queer City Quito.
Why Queer City? What is invited by placing the two words side-by-side? In São Paulo, the name served as a provocation for a programme that began with a walk in the city in late 2015. It led to an 18-month collective curatorial process by ArtsEverywhere and Lanchonete.org, embedded in a longer-term right to the city, site-specific inquiry. In Quito, Queer City became a partnership between a large public institution and an independent art space called No Lugar. Simultaneously, in Athens QC São Paulo participants Mavi Veloso, Jota Mombaça and Gian Spina presented an event at the Athens Museum of Queer Art. In Karachi, Pakistan, Queer City is taking shape as a four-month project space in a private apartment.
Queer City is a space on ArtsEverywhere to link queer urban practices or non-normative ‘tactics’ among diverse thinkers and locations. ArtsEverywhere stitches a range of practices into a broader online discussion. So it made perfect sense for Pato Hebert and Ajamu to come to São Paulo for the closing events of Queer City after making work together at the 2016 AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. Next stop: New York City for Black Pride 2017!