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Movement histories. Letting polyphonic archives speak

With Sanni Est & Birgit Bosold (SMU/Gay* Museum Berlin)
Freitag, 09.07.2021, 19h, via Zoom
To participate, please register at M. Mildner (

For decades, feminist, anti-colonial, anti-fascist, gay, lesbian, ecology, peace, antigentrification or human rights movements have tried to tell their micro herstories, their histories from below, with the help of movement archives. Our focus are struggle-based efforts to let herstory speak in archives. Which spatial politics and geopolitics are constituent for archives? Where can they settle and where not? What topologies do they entail? Who is taken seriously in an archive? Who is able to leave traces? Which traces can be easily read? Which ones have to be laboriously decoded? Which archive and collection policies make movement archives more polyphonic?

The archive of the SMUthe Gay* Museum in Berlin – is the largest and most extensive collection of documents and items associated with LGBTIQ* history and culture in Germany. It houses approximately 1,500,000 archival records which have been collected, archived, and indexed with a focus on gay male history. For some years now, the museum has been seeking to tell LGBTIQ* histories on a wider scale. The archive has also begun to question and change its collection policies and archival practices.

Birgit Bosold and Sanni Est share their perspectives on the stories, collection dynamics, and gaps in the Gay Museum's archives.

Sanni Est is an artist, curator and trans•feminist speaker based in Berlin and with roots in North-Eastern Brazil. Making use of different media, Sanni weaves raw, (auto)biographical narratives that range from filmmaking on queer BIPoC subjects from different parts of the world; singing-songwriting, acting, writing and speaking; whilst using her trans* brown body as a performative tool of expression to provoke the viewer and confront them with their colonial perceptions of gender performativity.

In the past few years she has presented work at HAU 1&2, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Werkstatt der Kulturen, CCSP (BRA), GORKI Theater, Weltmuseum Wien & more. Sanni is also the initiator, curator and executive producer of the Berliner trans-futuristic festival Empower, which took place at GlogauAir in 2018 and Flutgraben e.V. in 2019.

Other than that, Est is a workshop facilitator on gender, sexuality & mental health for teenagers and people of color in German educational and art institutions such as Märkisches Museum, Schwules Museum, Landesmusikakademie Berlin as well as several high schools in Germany. In 2021 she is Fellow of the Schwules Museum Berlin. As part of the fellowship, she produces the podcast “The Tea Talk” and is preparing an exhibition on the trans community in Northeast Brazil, which will be presented at the Schwules Museum in 2022.

Since 2006 Birgit Bosold  has been a member of the board of the Schwules Museum. In this function, she is responsible for funding and finances and is/was a key participant in the museum's strategic reorientation. She was project leader and co-curator of the major exhibition Homosexuality_ies which was initiated by the Schwules Museum and realized in cooperation with the Deutsches Historisches Museum in 2015 largely funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Together with Vera Hofmann, she was the initiator of the Year of Women*, as part of which she curated the first comprehensive exhibition on queer women's art in Berlin from 1900 to the present in collaboration with Carina Klugbauer.

Most recently she realized, again with Carina Klugbauer, a traveling exhibition on queer history in Germany commissioned by the Goethe Institut and the Federal Agency for Civic Education. In 2019 the exhibition toured North America, was on display in Hong Kong, Shanghai, São Paolo, Nancy in 2020 and is as well available as online presentation:

To participate, please register at Maren Mildner. 

Organized by Anna Bromley & Katrin M. Kämpf

Queer Studies/Kunst- und Medienwissenschaften, Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln

Sanni Est (Foto: Kasia Zacharko) & Birgit Bosold (Foto: Heiko Kalmbach)
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