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Welcome to the platform for documentation and reflection on the YEAR OF THE WOMEN*!

This website archives and accompanies the YEAR OF THE WOMEN*, the yearlong queer feminist intervention at the Schwules Museum in 2018. The Schwules Museum is the world's largest institution for art, curatorial research, collecting, archiving, and communicating LGBTQIA+ history_ies and culture. The intervention aimed to establish women*, lesbians, inter*, non-binary, trans*, and agender people (WLINTA*) as members of the museum community and authors of their own representation within it. It also sought to embed community-backed queer-feminist, anti-racist, intersectional policies in the structures and values of the museum. This intervention impacted all levels of institution’s operation: the collections and archive, the exhibition and event program, the store, the café, the administration, and the association that legally sponsors the Schwules Museum. A bar, nine exhibitions on WLINTA* art, culture and activism, and a film series were presented in five rooms, accompanied by an extensive program of events including lectures, conferences, symposia, roundtable discussions, workshops, concerts, film evenings and guided tours.

This platform offers various perspectives that allow for a detailed overview of the project. The YEAR OF THE WOMEN* served as a point of crystallization and change for the Schwules Museum. This program has been the only one of its kind within an institutional framework up to this point.

Who is this website for?

The website is aimed at all kinds of publics. It may interest scholars and activists in the fields of LGBTQIA+, queer feminism and curation/mediation/archiving, or curators (internationally) who seek inspiration for their own work. It is also meant to serve LGBTQIA+ communities as a source of empowerment and discourse, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about the current debates, art, culture, and activism of people dealing with queer femininities. Allow yourself time to browse - and do so with a bit of patience at times, because for some of the material-heavy pages longer loading times may be required.

What can you find here?

The structure of the website is simple: The archive documents the YEAR OF THE WOMEN*’s complete program of over a total of 142 archival pages. It includes all curatorial texts, press material as well as photos of the exhibitions and event photographs. In addition, we included video documentation, social media posts and further relevant materials which were available on-site during the program. The curatorial concept page contains overviews and general material about the comprehensive project. The archive has sort, filter, and search functions. It consists of all the material the Schwules Museum has released within the project, including those contributions which were problematized by team members and communities but nevertheless made public. The mistakes and reproduction of exclusion and discrimination are included in this archive as a part of the process. They testify to the political polyphony, the complex structural relationships within the museum and provide insight into the contemporary state of debate among the LGBTQIA+ communities.

In its diversity of form, media and content, the magazine is the digital counterpart to the YEAR OF THE WOMEN*’s multivocal nature and thus ties in atmospherically with the year’s collective character. There are three components: first, selected and newly-edited film and video works, audiovisual recordings of discussion formats and lectures, as well as transcribed lectures from the program; second, new artistic and theoretical productions thematically connected to the year; and third, interviews and essays that reflect on the program and its controversies during the year. The magazine is designed to grow continuously through new contributions. By clicking on the green button, readers can download the complete updated collection of contributions in one document. The Editorial briefly introduces the magazine. The texts are available either in German or in English, some in both languages. (A note on our use of gender sensitive language can be found below.

All YEAR OF THE WOMEN* participants are listed by name on the Participants page.

If you would like to support, contribute to, or do research on the project, find out more on the Support page.

Is it still possible to contribute to the project?

From the editors´ side, the process is complete unless new material appears which can be added anytime. Interested parties can use this archive for their research, refer to one another’s work, and contribute to the discourse with newly added articles. Those who participated in the YEAR OF THE WOMEN* have been and continue to be invited to take part, especially by adding their own contribution. Likewise, it is possible to link external works related to the YEAR OF THE WOMEN* on these pages.

Our use of gender-sensitive language

This website is a collection of written and spoken contributions by different authors, created from various perspectives and produced in different contexts. Each contribution approaches structural violence and power relations in its own way. Each one tries to sensitively and critically deal with discriminatory norms and logics through language. To find a uniform style of writing and speaking from and for these different positions and voices seems neither possible, nor correct to us. Instead, we have opted for a pluralistic and dynamic approach. We use the asterisk, and in some cases the underscore, to signal that "woman," among other words, is a socially and culturally manufactured category. For groups from the LGBTQIA+ communities, we have opted, to the best of our ability, to use the designation that reflected, and reflects, the respective historically relevant debates within each group, knowing full well that there are also arguments against this practice. We have gendered each person according to their own definition of self. Because terms and spellings have evolved since 2018, we have adjusted some texts from the program section. Most have been left in their original 2018 form. In 2018, we focused on women*, lesbians, inter*, non-binary, trans, and agender people (WLINTA*/FLINTA*) and gendered them according to the then-current state of the debate. Today we would also write "man" with an asterisk. For historical texts, we have decided to avoid asterisks or underscores in some places in order to make clear that contemporary feminist struggles emanated from the model of two genders. Overall, we made choices about language and style on a context-specific and case-by-case basis, and have also sought to respect the approaches of individual authors and curators.

Project Partners

The YEAR OF THE WOMEN* took place from January 2018 to Feburary 2019 at the Schwules Museum in Berlin and was funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The website was supported by the Stiftung Kunstfonds.

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