Extremadura. Spain. Granny’s backyard.
A blue fabric hangs from an old power cable now used as a clothes line.
A cane lifts the wire to avoid the dirt on the fabric.
The wind moves it slowly.
There is nobody around at this time in this place.
It’s also very hot, as usual, surely above 35°C.
The shadow of the fabric falls on the dry ground, I’m sure is fresher there. It falls above the tomb of Careto, the last dog my granny owned. He was a good dog, a bit hectic but he was still young. It was hit by a car a few months after my granny’s passing; he was having a walk around and that was it. Very sad.
Saying goodbye to an animal that belonged to a person that is dead is hard. It’s like saying goodbye to that person again. So abstract.
My father buried him there, maybe to keep him as the guardian of the kingdom that he was.
It’s strange being here.
It’s all so quiet.
The blue helps me calm down.
“onai, sinárra, ioidar” means “alone, quite, strange” in Damiá.
Three words that describe how I used to feel growing up, the disconnection with my homeland and its normativity, which almost felt to me like speaking a different tongue.
The Queer Tongue “Damiá” was created by the queer collective OnceWeWereIslands and as their long term collaborator, I was invited to participate as a visual artist in their project HomeComing – Greatest Hits! , in 2022. The challenge was about translating the concept of Damiá into still and moving images, conceptualizing a visual work that represents a language created by and for queer people and the meaning it would have for me.
A mental deep dive into my upbringings made me analyze the feelings and thoughts I had while growing up. The idea of having a queer tongue that would help me connect with myself, my context, and other queer identities, appears to me as a tool that could have allowed me to merge, to be anonymous, to disappear in my surroundings, to be myself without feeling fearful or excluded.
Using five meters of klein blue fabric, I interpret Damiá as a safe space, a comfortable bubble that can be built and carried around oneself, a blue hug that keeps fears away and warms you up, despite the coldness of the color.
These work is a conceptual dialogue of this fabric, and the safe space it represents, with both my past and present, combining both contexts and forcing their interaction; drawing a line between this old dry village, my granny’s backyard, her porcelains and cleaning tools, and the green and moist bushes of the hidden cruising areas of Hasenheide, in Berlin.
The series were created together with a video art piece.
Check the full film here.
OnceWeWereIslands – Queer Performance Collective