So far, there has been very little presence of queer musicians and artists within the jazz scenes in Germany. Also, there are only a few initiatives for mutual support and networking. The association of queer musicians is therefore something special, something important, something necessary. We have come together as a queer community in Berlin's independent music scene because we no longer want to feel alone in our existence and our daily work as queer musicians. Being queer also goes hand in hand with a certain reality in our profession that is not shared with all other people. We also show solidarity with other marginalized groups like women*. As such we experience structural as well as non-structural sexism, as queer people we experience homo-, inter- and trans*phobia in our everyday work. We want to change and improve this!
Not least through the study Gender.Macht.Musik, a public debate on the topic of ›gender justice‹ began in the German jazz scene. The discourse on this topic, as well as the topics of diversity and intersectionality, will continue to be thought about and concretized through the work of initiatives such as the German Jazz Union and IG Jazz Berlin. However, we also need new formats and greater visibility for being queer in music itself.
We see ourselves here as part of the meta community Future Bloom, newly founded by guitarist and mastermind Joachim Wespel, for whom intersectionality, multiperspectivity and interdisciplinarity are important in relation to our own community work and the organization of festivals. Our intersectional perspective thus speaks out against discrimination of all kinds. This tells us that fighting discrimination on one axis – in our case homophobia, trans* and queerphobia, misogyny and sexism – is also always linked to other types of discrimination such as these: Racism - that many Black, Indigenous and People of Color experience on national (jazz) stages and in the music business in general; Ableism - through worse access conditions to education and concerts for people with disabilities; Classism – too high ticket prices and very few students at German music colleges without academic parents; Ageism - the enormous pressure especially on women* over a certain age in the music business regarding performance opportunities and visual stereotypes.
So we see ourselves here in the same boat with all those who experience discrimination on a daily basis. We all share different realities that need to be considered, discussed and improved. We want to do this in a synergistic, careful, creative, and forward-thinking way.
Queer Cheer is hosting the first festival of its own on July 10, 2022 at Donau115 in Berlin at 18:30 with a panel on ›Queerness in ›Jazz‹ and Improvised Music in Germany – An Exchange of Experiences & Empowerment of the Scenes for the Scenes and Beyond‹ with guests Achan Malonda, Vincent Bababoutilabo, moderated by Friede Merz and Erik Leuthäuser. Grandiose music act on the evening will be Sanni Est - come by !!!
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