29. studenoga 2014.

queerANarchive on Gotland

In September, as a part of Activist in Residence program queerANarchive went to town of Visby on Gotland in Sweden. Searching for cruising was one of its missions. Information about cruising in Visby are scarce so the research had to be done through personal contacts. Dating site Qruiser was the source of contacts. 

It became clear that cruising on the island is a seasonal and recreational activity, not an integral part of everyday life of local gay community. However, certain spaces in urban tissue could be connected to gay sexualities. The usual procedure of queerANarchive is to search for material traces of the practices related to spaces and document them. Such traces couldn't be found on Gotland. Instead, queerANarchive reversed the procedure and sexualized public space of Visby. Stickers overlaying city maps with statements about sex and spaces gathered from practitioners through Qruiser, and stickers with photos taken at cruising places in Split, Croatia were attached at different posts in town. Thus, discourse on gay sexuality was opened in public space. 

The research on Gotland opens the question where public discourse happens and where different sexualities are negotiated. In two weeks in Visby, the only space that offered the atmosphere of spontaneous public debate was small communal sauna next to the beach. How is it related to gay sexualities is to be discovered on some other occasion. 

Special thanks to people from Gotland Rainbow Group, Baltic Art Center, The Swedish Arts Council and other participants of the program and friends from Qruiser. 

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