Following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government significantly broadened the legislation on “LGBT(Q+) propaganda”, criminalizing any advocacy or support for non-heterosexual relationships and stigmatizing queer behavior as “deviant”. Simultaneously, the state employed institutional religion as a tool to propagate discriminatory attitudes and hate policies against the LT(Q+) community. Queer Cursession, which took place during the May Day demonstration in St. Petersburg in 2018, was a creative endeavor to reappropriate and subvert the government’s propaganda techniques, fostering an event of radical inclusion and resistance. Through two parallel video-documentaries, Queer Cursession bridges historical gaps, creating a speculative occurrence that leverages the powerful agency of queerness for a transformative impact on society. At the same time the videos refer to the specific historical events from the past.
Religious consultant and the main priest of LGBTQ+-friendly St. Petersburg Christian commune Mother of Solidarity: Aleksandr Khmelev
Academic consultant and philosophy expert: Arina Atik
Choir voices, opera singers: Anastasiia Gutorkina and Dinara Daurova
Other acknowledgments: Artem Konevskikh, Chantal Schlacher
Alisa Verbina (RU)
Alisa Verbina is an artist and researcher from Saint Petersburg whose artistic interests lie in the exploration of complex systems, language and collectivity. Drawing upon their extensive experience in documentary filmmaking, Alisa’s creative methodology resides at the intersection of video art and research. Through this interdisciplinary approach, they strive to cultivate concepts inspired by symbols of super-modernity, examining their relevance to contemporary activist and queer practices.