Sounding a Queer Rebellion

LGBTI Musical Resistances in Latin America

About Us

"Sounding a Queer Rebellion: LGBTI Musical Resistances in Latin America" is a project that aims to establish the first Latin American network of academics and artists specialised in the study of music as a resistance tool used to defend and advance the rights of the LGBTI community in the countries of the region. This website, the Queer Music Protest platform, will serve as a repository of project findings, general information, testimonials and network events.

Who are we here for?

Our network will contribute to bring together academia and civil society in the fight against misinformation regarding LGBTI lives and rights. It also aims to promote the protection of LGBTI communities in a region as violent as South America by bringing together LGBTI groups, artists, musicians and scholars, as well enabling the unification of discourses and production of innovative research and cultural interventions replicable in local contexts.

The lead researchers are Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz from Keele University (United Kingdom) and Dr Luis Gabriel Mesa Martinez from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogota, Colombia). The British Academy of Medical Sciences funds this project with a grant from its Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF UK).

The story behind vogue and the queer”dancers of Transmilenio (public bus service) and public demos

“Empowered and fearless in stilettos.” Three LGBTQI activists, dissenting bodies, as they call themselves, took over a crowded Plaza de Bolivar (Bogota) this April 28th, on the first day of national strike, amidst the euphoria of a crowd, that, though it was not expecting them, celebrated the boldness of the dancers facing off with the riot police and joined in the protest.

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Musicological collaboration between Javeriana University (Colombia) and Keele (UK) to assess LGBTI musical resistances with international impact

Musicologist, Luis Gabriel Mesa (Universidad Javeriana) and Ethnomusicologist, Fiorella Montero-Diaz (Keele University), have secured international funding to study LGBTI musical resistance in Latin America.

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LGBTI Resistances

Piisciiss, Nova Ebony and Axid Abismal (Colombia)

‘Por Colombia hasta el fin’ (For Colombia ‘till the end) - DJ Dayvi ft. Piisciiss and Rosli. Video recorded on April 28th, 2021, during Colombia’s national strike. It not only seeks to express disagreement with the tax reform, but several underlying issues in the country. "We defend, draw attention to and represent the LGBTQI collective, trans and non-binary people."

Various Artists – Gahela, Our Fight is a Party (Peru)

Artistic and activist collaboration in support of Gahela Tseneg Cari Contreras, the first indigenous trans woman to run for congress in Peru in 2021. During her political campaign Gahela frequently faced transphobic abuse. However, her leadership and visibility strengthened the trans community in Peru. Gahela writes: “This song is a collective collaboration, a dissident shout, an LGBTI scream and an attempt to unite our struggles and resistances.”

Eme (Peru)

Singer and trans artist. “Corazón resiste” (Heart, withstand): song performed and composed by Eme, inspired by two collaborative poems written by more than 60 LGBTIQ+ people from Lima and Huancayo.

Milonga Queer (Argentina)

Susy Shock and  Bandada de Colibríes (Flock of Hummingbirds) perform Milonga Queer, track two on the concept album Traviarca, nominated to the Gardel Awards. Emiliano Romer (director) states, “Milonga Queer is a manifesto that deserves a video clip starring great film actors, who put themselves in the shoes of the dinosaurs of society, who don’t accept gender diversity. We play with the aesthetics of film noir and Susy Shock as our tango Diva.”

Testimonials

Echoes of Hope

May - October 2020.

Laboratorio Creativo Orfeo, in collaboration with CAIDSG Sebastián Romero (LGBTIQ+ community and care centre in Bogota), recently organised an art initiative with singing took centre stage in a bid to mitigate psychosocial impacts on the LGBTQI+ community. Emotional regulation is important for this population, because we are affected by the isolation and upheaval that COVID-19 caused during 2020. The potential for generating psychological impact through singing is well known. We therefore designed a singing and vocal projection workshop consisting in 8 tutorials, which were uploaded to social networks for all audiences. A group of 30 people from the LGBTI community, young people, adults and women from the town of Teusaquillo were invited.

This group took part in a semi-virtual phase of singing sessions that were carried-out by Zoom, as well as in the garden and various rooms, Triangulo Negro, Fireplace and Soy Capaz, of the LGBTI hub LA CASA LGBTI in Teusaquillo. The process culminated in a flash mob and a four-hour artistic performance in local public spaces: Parque la Esmeralda, Parque El Brasil, Parkway and Plaza de la Democracia. These were disseminated via the networks of LGBTI organizations in Bogota and Laboratorio Creativo Orfeo networks. This transdisciplinary initiative was framed within performance practice, music through choral practice, activism, as well as plastic and visual arts. Ecos de Esperanza (Echoes of Hope), is structured as a performance in flash mob format featuring a vocal performance of the work ‘Hanacpachap cussicuinin’. This was the first polyphonic work composed and published in the New World in the indigenous Quechua language. A hymn to life, to the past and to the present. A song of hope.

Family can be many things: mother, father, children, siblings, cousins, a community, a single mother with her child, a couple of men with cats, a group of friends or a choir. Orfeo is an artistic laboratory led by the transdisciplinary artist Alfonso J. Venegas and choral director Daniel Gonzalez. It is made up of more than 30 diverse people who attend workshops on music, visual arts, performance and discussions on cultural management and creation. This incubator of research and collective creation has been operating since 2018 and articulates transdisciplinary projects that address two fundamental topics in the construction of individuality: decolonization and gender deconstruction

Bad and Queer

Las Malas y La Chiki is an independent music and performance approach created in Bogota in 2019 on the initiative of three performers who discovered a convergence between their needs and interests from the perspective of music and activism.

Our starting point is a shared desire to find ways of responding to the discriminatory attitudes, positions and policies of this country and the Latin American region. We believe that one of the key causes of these discriminations is machismo, male chauvinism, which underpins several exclusions encompassing race, class, gender and politics.

This is why we situate this music creation project where our music, lyrics and our bodies are in drag. We create a platform to make ourselves visible without any direct statements or manifestos regarding our orientations or identities.

We are bad on account of our debauchery and we are mavericks in all our creative actions. We are also queer and genderless; we create degenerate music with outcast lyrics.

From this genderless position we are united, and we begin to inhabit unassigned gaps and spaces. We set out from various appearances in LGBT spaces, but we are expanding our margins because the genuine and beloved presence of our divine flamboyance and our queerness has to be found in those circuits where machismo and classism prevail. We target spaces legitimised for heteronormative people with blunt and clear words that, according to them, don’t fit in. We also erode the legitimised spaces of gay capitalism. Our display is not here to ‘Épater la bourgeoisie’, this class who is shocked and horrified only to then falls in love with its silicon and silicone goddesses is not our target. We don’t allow ourselves to be standardized by their merchandise labels.

We will stand with all the queers of the world. Conquer the place we kuiras, malucas, raras, queers deserve. With our expressions and montages we have promoted drag visibility as a way of expressing freedom and the right to adopt extravagant identities and clothing; to inhabit urban and cultural spaces freely, joyously and carefree. Our performances are intended to grow the advocacy scope of the message of diversity and equality, since, without ceasing to be ‘queens’ or ‘our usual selves’, we address people from a place of aesthetics and politics, so they remember the importance of celebrating differences as part of building a society. We are an unpolished presence in mass and social media, stage and music circuits and academia. We have crashed artistic and festive platforms to spread equality. The bad and the queer are outside labels, identity and gender. Beyond gender is the presence, transvestite in many ways. We cannot let our guard down when it comes to defending the rights of all sectors of the population.

So, if you want to find us, we are not on the soles of your shoes or where you will find drag ass. No, we are the dagger that awaits your ears to pierce them without warning at each unsuspecting movement of your head.

See you later bitches!