Hi! This is us, the non-white, non-straight, inter-mixed and left-winged diasporic queer outcasts, a swarm of mongrels from the former colonies of today’s Russian neo-fascist empire. How to tell a story of us becoming ourselves? Our roots are convoluted like mangroves, the shrubs that, in fact, are not found in Central Asia or Caucasus. How come that we are natives and strangers at the same time? What chain of events led to such a result? How did we become conscious, independent, postsocialist, creolized and queer?
Since everything began in the past, our first move was to step back and ask the seven generations of our female ancestors about the epochs they lived in (as in the video by Nazira Karimi). The past that had been suppressed for a long time suddenly revealed traumatic events and offered answers to our very first, most urgent questions. Connection to our origins made us feel more confident, as if protected by the ancestors’ spirits. But when, in a sleepless, disquieting night, we tried to summon those spirits for help, our conjuring failed, and nobody showed up. The blessing became a curse, and what we mistook for a spirit turned out to be just a sheep’s dead head (as in the video by Bakhyt Bubikanova). We realized that protection was an infantile illusion, that in this world we are left alone to our own devices. That made our world shattered. Trying to assemble it back again, piece by piece, we learned that the problem might be the one that is passed on to us from our parents (as in the video by Gulzat Matisakova). To tackle this we needed another leap back in time in order to look closer to our parents’ life, to search for the source of it all. So we plunged down into the depth of therapeutic meditation, which insensibly segued into a new realization: we must be ill, and it’s a hereditary disease. That’s how we reached the turning point, finally caught up with the reality of the present day and had to face it in its frightening proximity. At first it felt like a deafening blast. A moment of suspension, disorientation. But it didn’t last long. Something else has been going on as if without our intention. Awakened from the oblivion by gentle touching, warm breathing and moans, we opened our eyes and suddenly, to our great surprise, found ourselves making love to each other. And it was this act of lovemaking that brought back the music, and colors, and odors of the world (as in the video by lucine talalyan). Are we recovered yet? That seemed like a brief moment of happiness, which needed a celebration. We couldn’t just passively go with that flow, we needed to do something — an affirmation of our undeniable existence, an act of our own. So we went out to the streets and occupied a fountain in the main square, as in protest against subjugation to the normalized regime enforced on us (as in video by Anna Shahnazaryan, Tigran Khachatrzan and others). The action was absurd, but it transformed us once again and made us who we are: conscious subjects of our own lives, resisting attempts to bring us under total control by government and police. In that very fountain we gave them a slip! That’s how we escaped and found ourselves inside the improvised micro utopia: on the rooftop of a residential building, at the clandestine queer ceremony where everything that was got married with everything that wasn’t, but could have been, and probably, in some queer futurity, will be (as in the video by Katipa Apai & krёlex zentre).