This November I’ll be travelling to Tallinn for the Tallinn Feminist Forum to talk about TQU and transnational movements. I’m very excited and the programme looks amazing.

In 2016 I opened the first exhibition of #TheGalleryProject in Tallinn, which was very exciting (the first exhibition I had ever curated) and beautifully set up.

So I’m also hoping to see some familiar faces again.

The Tallinn Feminist Forum (TALFF) is a meeting place for those who care about women’s and minorities’ rights in Estonia and in neighbouring countries. At the Forum, we’ll discuss together how to create a sustainable and caring social movement and build the society we ourselves want to live in.

With TALFF, we want to spread a feminist worldview and the understanding that people’s rights and opportunities shouldn’t depend on gender. Moreover, different forms of oppression don’t exist separately, but are intersectional, including, inter alia, gender, sexual identity, disability or special needs, language skills, nationality, appearance, skin color, age, economic background, and religion.

Society won’t become more just on its own. Discriminatory and repressive practices do not just disappear.  Rights are rarely “given”, rather they are demanded — whether it is women’s right to vote, the right to go to university, a ban on racist discrimination, or the rights of the LGBT+ community. Behind every relevant social justice change, there have been people who have pursued and mobilised for it to happen.

The topic of TALFF 2019 is “Movement”, because faced with right-wing extremist politics and authoritarianism in Eastern Europe, right now the importance of feminist community movements and joint resistance has never been greater.

Talk “Transnational Queer Underground” (EN)

16.00–17.00. Room A501

TQU is very much interested in and driven by the idea of movement. Some of the questions defining the Transnational Queer Underground are, is: How can we actually take global responsibility? (How) can we share our privileges? How do we create meaningful connections across borders? How can we include people in online activism and create a community even if people cannot come out in the open where they live? (How) does everybody stay safe doing that? There is still so much more to learn and also there is space for TQU to grow and improve, which is why everyone is very welcome to join the discussion – let’s learn from each other and grow better together!

TQU has come a long way during the last ten years, and its founder will give a short talk of around half an hour to present the work of TQU, past and current projects, as well as introduce ways for people to get involved. Along the way the speaker will share some experiences and strategies that have worked better than others, as well as pitfalls and barriers that the community has encountered. Thereafter, listeners can share their experiences, ask questions and have an open discussion.

Transnational Queer Underground was founded in a bedroom in Ukraine in 2009. It was inspired by the Riot grrrl movement and DIY punk culture and was aiming to become a way to share research and an open place for shared knowledge and connections. Ten years later it has grown immensely: TQU is a registered NGO in Germany and has attracted active contributors and volunteers from around the world. TQU inspired people to come out, to publish their stories or art for the very first time. The community has had public exhibitions around Europe and will soon publish its very first book

Presenter Verena Spilker is the founder of Transnational Queer Underground and a queer artist from Berlin. She draws, designs, writes, teaches and organises transnational events and projects. Verena is interested in exploring the relationship of self to the other, exchange, and places where people can come together. She is fascinated by patterns, structures and shapes. She has two adopted dogs and likes to spend as much time as possible outside the city.

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