Structure of the project

QUEER (UN)BELONGINGS dedicates an independent chapter to each of the artists interviewed, in order to try to give each person an individual portrait, listening to their conflicts, both in terms of their life experiences and how they confront cis-heteronormativity in their personal histories, which are not necessarily -or are not only- rooted in the Basque Country. The first part of QUEER (UN)BELONGINGS begins with the chapter of Gerri Cruz, an actor and performer born in Iruña, their mother being from El Salvador and their father from the Basque Country. Therefore, as a second generation, they experienced migration indirectly. Their interview is followed by that of dancer and performer Atic H. Deba, who was born in Ecuador and moved to Bilbao at the age of 16, as her mother is Basque. Among other issues, she talks about the experience of returning to one’s country of origin after a long period of living abroad, but also about the importance of expressing one's belonging without imposed external definitions. The third conversation is with Camila Téllez, a Chilean transdisciplinary artist who has been living in the Basque Country for 9 years. An important part of their interview focuses on how to find support structures as a migrant in order to survive both emotionally as well as economically. They mention the sensation of a crossed identity after living outside of one’s country of origin, while at the same time deciding to maintain ties with it.

The first part of QUEER (UN)BELONGINGS ends with an interview with filmmaker and curator Anaís Córdova-Páez, who came from Ecuador to study in San Sebastian. In her chapter she puts emphasis on how she found her chosen family within her new context and how she perceives the colonial heritage of the Basque Country in relation to her own country being Latin American. The structure of the first part of QUEER (UN)BELONGINGS is articulated from the inside out, starting with the participant with the closest relationship to the Basque context and ending with the person who has arrived most recently. Instead, the second part of QUEER (UN)BELONGINGS has a slightly different structure, as it follows the order in which the interviews were recorded, which respond to an organic articulation of connections and contacts: a network that the participants themselves came to weave.

The interview that opens the second cycle is with painter and visual artist Ritha Thende Mingomba. In her episode there is a strong emphasis on the need for non-mixed spaces for the Black LGBTQ+ community in the Basque territory. She suggested conducting the interview with Leo Bueriberi, given their connection to activist spaces in Euskadi and emphasizing the importance of not being the only Black person interviewed in a cast coming from South America and under the direction of a white director. Leo Bueriberi, in turn, suggested Styles Osunde, with whom the second interview was conducted. His practice focuses primarily on depictions of Black and racialized individuals within fantasy illustrations. One of the highlights of his chapter is the export of hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community from Europe and the United States to African countries, which has led to the enactment of anti-LGBTQ+ laws in many territories of the African continent. The third interview was conducted with Leo Bueriberi, who performs under the artist name DJ Eromena. Their chapter covers issues such as creating spaces for Black, Afro- descendant and queer people in party settings or the need to rewrite narratives of queerness without focusing solely on experiences of dysphoria. To dynamize the montage, each of the seven portraits is separated by different themes (e.g. multiple belonging, fragility, survival strategies, networks, (un)belonging, queer awakening, visibilities, anti-racist spaces, etc.). The sub-chapters emerged on the one hand organically in the editing process, on the other hand they were marked by the themes that initially guided the research and the conversation with the participants. Thus, the two parts of QUEER (UN)BELONGINGS confront and create discourse around issues such as patriarchal cis-heteronormativity, racism at a structural and everyday level, but also within LGBTQ+ contexts, binarism, trans-misogyny, colonial continuities in the Basque context, etc., as well as the intersections between these systems of oppression.

Methodology applied

Two meetings were held with each of the seven participants: a first one, in which the director and the participant got to know each other and discussed personal and common issues and interests; and a second meeting, which was the actual recording. Likewise, the aesthetics of each chapter were designed individually. With Gerri Cruz, for example, the meeting took place at their home and they did a small performance of their make-up in front of the camera. In the case of Atic H. Deba, the filming took place in a school of scenic practices where she teaches and she has contributed to the filming some elements of her last piece "La fragilidad de mi pene" (“The Fragility of my Penis”). The conversation with Camila Téllez was recorded at their home and in their part audiovisual fragments of some of their previous works were used. Anaís Córdova-Páez has requested confidentiality in the use of her personal image, so in her case the focus was placed on her place of work during her stay in Donosti, which was the darkroom of Elias Querejeta Zine Eskola.

Regarding the second part of QUEER (UN)BELONGINGS, the interview with Ritha Thende Mingomba was filmed in her studio and she also generously offered to let film the process of making a new work of hers. With Styles Osunde, the interview was filmed at his home, while giving an insight into his practice by allowing to film him while painting digitally and showing some of his illustrations. The conversation with Leo Bueriberi was filmed at their home, although there is also footage of them performing as a DJ, which was recorded by Styles Osunde during one of their concerts in Vitoria.