LGBTQ identity and experience, such as the LGBTQ positions in Asian society in the context of legal rights, protection, structural inequality, and examine how these factors may impact their personal lives. The Netherlands is the first country in the world to legalise marriage between same-sex couples. By contrast, Asia is still the only continent in the world without a single country that recognises same-sex marriage, despite the efforts of activists, politicians and civil societies. Hopefully, 2019 could mark the beginning of an important milestone for LGBTQ rights in Asia.
CinemAsia wants to embrace this historic moment by curating an evermore inclusive film programme: Dear Ex (Taiwan), Rainbow’s Sunset (The Philippines), Fish Bones (USA), Turning 18 (Taiwan), First Night Nerves (Hong Kong) and the special back-to-back Trans Focus screening of trans-centred films: The Rib (China) and Tracey (Hong Kong).
Complementing the film programme is the exhibition, Our Lives Elsewhere, which will be open from 1 March until 10 March at NEVERNEVERLAND. The exhibition showcases the work of interdisciplinary artist Jonathan Ho and photographer Xiaoxiao Xu. Both are queer Asian creatives based in The Netherlands in dialogue with the growing Queer / Asian Archive, where materials are collected through an online open call.
CinemAsia Trans Focus Screening: The Rib (China) & Tracey (Hong Kong)
Thursday 7 March
Amsterdam is known to be one of the most LGBTQ friendly places in the world. However, the T in the queer alphabets has often been ignored and there is still misconceptions and misunderstandings about transgender identities. More so, Asian trans women are often stigmatised and discriminated against in the West. CinemAsia sees the importance in addressing the issue as well as creating a safe space for discussion and making the invisible visible.
For our film programme this year, we have attempted to cover as many alphabets within the gender spectrum as possible, and we are proud to present 2 trans-centred films: The Rib (China) and Tracey (Hong Kong), followed by a panel discussion on gender expression and representations across different cultures. The discussion will be moderated by Alex Kain, board member of Transgender Netwerk Nederland.
Jun Li — Tracey Director
Neysara Rai — Co-Founder, Transgender India
Kaye Candaza — Trans & Women’s Right Advocate, STRAP (TBC)
Darunee Terdtoontaveedej — LGBTQ Programme Curator, CinemAsia
Alex Kain — Board Member, Transgender Netwerk Nederland
Our lives Elsewhere
1 – 10 March
The exhibition, Our Lives Elsewhere intends to provide a wider cultural context to CinemAsia LGBTQ film programme, acting as a backdrop as well as an archive, documenting the lives of Asian LGBTQ individuals across the continent those who are in The Netherlands by creating a platform to expose the work of Dutch-based, queer Asian creatives, such as Jonathan Ho and Xiaoxiao Xu, whose bodies of work explore the notions of the queer and Asian identities while forming a dialogue with the online contributions from the many LGBTQ individuals across Asia.
CinemAsia aims to bring together personal stories and documentation that may shed lights to the personal and public lives of the LGBTQ individuals and showcasing the broad spectrum of gender identities and representation across the different cultures in Asia, while taking up a safe, physical space on behalf of those who many not be able to do so in their home countries.
ChinaRaw designs, curates and delivers story based multidisciplinary events and workshops on the Chinese culture and communities in The Netherlands. We believe that stories are powerful tools that express and understand cultural identities through different mediums. ChinaRaw strives to focus and foster the stories from the local Chinese community in The Netherlands, while offering a broader perspective about the chinese culture.
Our Live Elsewhere features work by:
Xiaoxiao Xu (NL) is a Chinese photographer who is particularly interested in the surreality of reality. She aspires to tell stories from a unique perspective and subtlety that leaves spaces for the viewers to freely interpret and awaken their imagination to dream away.
For this exhibition, she has contributed a photographic series, Chinese homoseksuele jongeren in Amsterdam (2009) commissioned by the Amsterdam City Archives.
Jonathan Ho (Malaysia) is an artist, designer and founder of CHINTZD; A multi-disciplinary design practice that is focused on the research and development of fetish and sex cultures as a means of addressing our understandings of contemporary life.
He has created an installation consisting of a body of work that deals with themes of “Asian” eroticism within the West and how this defines and shapes contemporary “queer” Asian identity.
The Queer / Asian Archive was made possible through an online call for contribution across social media. We are deeply grateful to those what dared to speak up and share their stories.
Our Lives Elsewhere is curated by Darunee Terdtoontaveedej (Thailand) as part of CinemAsia Film Festival 2019 with the support of Gemeente Amsterdam.
Special Performance ChinaRaw
Saturday 9 March
As part of the special programme for Our Lives Elsewhere exhibition, we are proud to host Evaporating Stories, a public performance by ChinaRaw — which will focus on the work of photographer Xiaoxiao Xu, detailing the intimate queer life of a young Chinese through water calligraphy.
Water calligraphy or “earth painting” in Chinese is practised by anonymous street calligraphers who appropriate public spaces throughout China into a large paper surface. Displaying literature, poetry and stories, the art involves the whole body, which is seen as a spontaneous dance and infinite formal renewals. The calligraphic practice corresponds to a research of self accomplishments or meditation, while the text slowly disappears as the water evaporates. In this way, we want to invite you on a journey that celebrate the impermanence of life and the ephemeral nature of our stories.ChinaRaw designs, curates and delivers story based multidisciplinary events and workshops on the Chinese culture and communities in The Netherlands. We believe that stories are powerful tools that express and understand cultural identities through different mediums. ChinaRaw strives to focus and foster the stories from the local Chinese community in The Netherlands, while offering a broader perspective about the chinese culture.
Friday 8 March, 22.00-01.00
Location: Kriterion Cafe
The usual suspect during the festival in Kriterion, RAINBOW’S KARAOKE! Not to be confused with the screening Rainbow’s Sunset which will be screened on Friday 8 March. Come sing with us and go wild on songs of Madonna, André Hazes and K-pop. Dress to impress and together we’ll sing the night along.
We’re happy to announce that for this year we have two very special hosts:
Anto & Mohit. Anto is a great singer and a drag performer. Mohit is a professional dancer and will perform in traditional Indian clothing. Together they’re joining forces to host Rainbow’s Karaoke. Get ready for this stunning, because it’s going to be awesome.