QueerNL workshop

This came from the Queeruption list -announcement of the workshop (21-23 November 08) follows:

“We would like to propose a 2dh5 workshop on queer activism in the
Netherlands. The Netherlands had a very active queer and lgbt actvist
movement in the 70s and 80s. This movement had organised public
demonstrations, started public debates, and played a huge role in changing
the legal as well as social response to homosexuality and related issues.
However, over the last decade and a half, the momentum has steadily
decreased. Society at large, including lgbt people, see the struggle as
having been won, and there being nothing left to achieve. There are now
only a handful of queer groups as well as lgbt groups in the country, and
a majority of the latter have evolved into institutionalised lobbying
groups.

We think there is still tremendous need for queer activism. Marriage is
seen as the norm, even among lgbt people, there is no questioning of
extending domestic partnership rights to groups of people or friends,
issues of gay asylum into europe and associated migration rights, reaching
out to lgbt people in immigrant communities, problems with the current sex
change operation rules, issues faced by trans people in society, and
lastly, acceptance of lgbt people in dutch society at the cost of
compartmentalising behaviour and roles are straight/gay or male/female
even more strictly than before.

We would like to hold a workshop where we invite a panel of 3-4 people,
two of whom were involved in queer activism in the 70s and 80s, and two of
whom are involved in groups which are less than ten years old. We would
like to choose one of them from the organisers of the Queeruption Amsterdam
in 2004. They would speak for 5 minutes each, followed by an open discussion.
We are planning to invite a queer activist from Vlanders as well. The workshop
could be in english or dutch depending on the audience response.

The issues to be discussed, which would be introduced by the panelists
are:

1. What was the nature of the queer and lgbt movement in the 70s and
80s which made it so
successful ? What was extent of involvement with other activist
groups like feminists, anarchists,
human rights activists, student groups, etc

2. Why did the momentum of the queer movement die out ?

3. Why is there a need for an ongoing queer activism in Netherlands ?

4. What is the current queer and lgbt activist scene in Netherlands like ?
How do we build up momentum again ?

5. How do we connect with groups like feminists, anti-deportation and
pro migration groups etc ?
How do we deal with contemporary issues like gay asylum and
deportations, reaching out to
immigrant comunities, especially lgbt people, cooption of the
gay rights discourse by the right wing
(islamophobic and anti-immigration groups) etc ?

6. How do grapple with the increasing commercialisation of the gay
scene, its associated depoliticisation
of the gay community ?


This workshop will be organised by QueerNL, which is a queer activist
group formed at the beginning of this year. We have organised a few events
so far, viz, queer bloc at the Nederland Bekent Kleur, a discussion
session with Eve Sedgwick, anti-commercialisation action at the Gay Pride
called Gays for Sale, etc. Details can been seen at http://www.queer-nl.org
(which is down temporarily, will be up in 10 days max). Our contact email
is queernl@gmail.com”.

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