Outburst Queer Art Festival announces its 2021 lineup

Over 30 events including immersive orchestral performances, new commissions, live podcasts, art, screenings, lectures and poetry showcasing local, national and international queer work in Belfast.

The centerpiece of the festival is Conor Mitchell’s MASS, an epic new queer ritual performance by the award-winning composer at the Telegraph Building, featuring the Ulster Orchestra and soprano Giselle Allen

BORDER FAIRIES, Richard O’Leary’s intimate theatrical exploration of queers and frontiers on the centenary of the Partition of Ireland

Artist in Residence: Poetry Ireland Chair Derry poet Colette Bryce

Film and documentary screenings include Rebel Dykes, a collaboration with Queer Cinema for Palestine, and Belfast-based trans director Caleb J. Roberts

The festival runs from November 12-20, at various venues in Belfast and online.

Learn more at facebook.com/outburst.arts or outburstarts.com

From epic to intimate, live to online, local to international, the 15th annual Outburst Queer Art Festival features an incredible array of art and events showcasing queer talent. With a centerpiece from Conor Mitchell’s MASS, bringing together the 64 musicians of the Ulster Orchestra, acclaimed Irish soprano Giselle Allen and six international filmmakers, this year’s festival features music, art, live performances, poetry, lectures, film screenings and podcasts live in in the capital of Northern Ireland and online. Other highlights include Richard O’Leary’s true stories of Nordic queer life in Border Fairies, lectures by one of the most influential queer writers, thinkers, and activists of her generation, Sarah Schulman, and a meditation queer audio on Dominic Montague’s Calling the Corners outdoor spaces.

Following his Irish Times Irish Theater Awards triumph with Abomination: A DUP Opera (Outburst 2019), Ivor Novello nominated composer Conor Mitchell returns to the festival to present an epic evening that shatters the sacred and the secular in a queer ceremony. In Belfast’s iconic Belfast Telegraph Building, MASS (November 17-18) picks up on the consecrated ceremonies of the Christian faith that have taken place over the centuries and creates a new place of connection and celebration where all are welcome. Half classical, half rave, the public will be able to wander freely in the space to see the Ulster Central Orchestra and films commissioned from international filmmakers (Egypt, Brazil, Syria, United States, Jamaica, India ) projected on a cinematic scale on the walls of the old newspaper building, visually responding to the movements of a mass through various strange lenses from around the world.

Supported by the Share History Fund marking the 100th anniversary of the Partition of Ireland, Richard O’Leary’s Border Tales uses traditional Irish storytelling to tell life stories with his partner Marvin, a Protestant Reverend with a parish on both sides of the fracture. Other live performances include David Hoyle: Rebellion: The Cabaret Apocalypse Fireball & The Original Performance Avalanche & The Raging Bona Faith Performance Legend.

For those who still don’t venture inside, Calling the Corners is a queer walking meditation specially commissioned for people who don’t like meditation. Dominic Montague and musician Chris W. Ryan have created an audio piece that is best listened to in green spaces, but can be listened to anytime, anywhere. Also available in any location, a number of events are broadcast online, including poems from the historic anthology Lifeboats: Queering the Green, and a special screening of Mondial 2010, broadcast in conjunction with Queer Cinema for Palestine, featuring very special guests Ghadir al Shafie and Sarah Schulman. Sarah Schulman, writer, thinker and activist, will also be in conversation with Monica Pearl, another ACT UP New York veteran, about her acclaimed new book Let the Record Show on ACT UP, one of the most successful activist movements. vital and most successful of our time.

Both live and online, the podcasts will include The Kate Brennan Harding Music podcast’s first live show, Belfast-based Fist City talking about queer country music, Dublin cabaret icon Veda Lady and activist HIV and scholar Robbie Lawlor at Poz Vibe, and The State of Us: Art, Queers and the State Podcast.

Queer art comes in many forms, including a queer art market, large-scale cartoon works commissioned by Helen Gomez that respond to her experiences of becoming disabled due to a long Covid. Isabella Anna Koban will unveil her new mural The Full Indian Rope Trick, a specially commissioned representation of artist-in-residence Colette Bryce’s most powerful poems.

Collette Bryce will participate in other festival events, including a live conversation and a poetry masterclass. Joelle Taylor, who has just been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry, will also host a masterclass.

Artistic Director Ruth McCarthy said, “We are delighted here at Outburst to have back events in person. After a few difficult years for artists, supporting artists continues to be our driving force. From bold new collaborations with Conor Mitchell and Ulster Orchestra to incredible works by emerging local and international artists, we hope this year’s festival will be a reconnecting time for the LGBTQ + community and an exciting space to start sharing vital stories again and the brilliant ideas we need right now. “

Northern Ireland Arts Council chief executive Roisín McDonough said: “As Outburst’s main long-term funder, the Arts Council is delighted to see this year’s festival come back live. , in person and stronger than ever. As the arts can finally begin to release the brakes, we can look forward to new commissions, new presentation opportunities for young emerging talent, new collaborations and truly unforgettable experiences, including this highly anticipated world premiere of MASS by Conor Mitchell, surely one of the most original and exciting composers to emerge from Northern Ireland. As we look to the future, what better symbol of hope and change than one of the biggest LGBTQ + arts festivals in the world, right on our doorstep? ”

Outburst Queer Arts Festival is an annual explosion of queer art and performance in Belfast. It showcases excellent local and international queer work and supports the development of queer arts at home and abroad. The 15th annual event will take place from November 12 to 20, 2021, the full program is available here and the MASS press release here.

Outburst Queer Arts Festival is a registered charity. It is supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Belfast City Council, Department for Communities, British Council, Public Health Agency, Heritage Fund / NIO and Film Hub NI.


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Reggie S. Williams

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