Project: Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures

The 1970s was a crucial decade for LGBTQ culture and politics, lying between the advent of an international gay rights movement in the 1960s and the impact of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s. Across Europe, LGBTQ people began to collectively discuss the broader ramifications of their sexual and gender identities, and to fight against persecution and discrimination. This was accompanied by a proliferation of social spaces, sexual interactions, and cultural production. In the face of ongoing homophobia and human rights struggles, 'Cruising the 1970s' (CRUSEV) asks: how might we best reconstruct and comprehend European LGBTQ experiences of the 1970s, and what can this knowledge contribute to understandings of queer politics and identity in Europe's present and future? Deploying a broad array of methodological approaches including archival investigation, interviews, and the production of original artworks, research teams in Germany, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom will explore their distinct and shared histories collaboratively. Through a programme of events (including workshops, symposia, and exhibitions) and a set of shared themes (such as oral history, local organizing, and visual arts), the research teams will meet regularly to exchange their findings with each other and a variety of stakeholders. CRUSEV aims to unearth traces of queer culture and interaction from this relatively recent era, especially those that were evanescent and are in danger of disappearing. It will uncover imagined versions of the queer future, dreamed of by artists and activists in the 1970s, which were explored but abandoned. Simultaneously, standard historical accounts of the 'gay liberation' of the 1970s will be interrogated: what alternate versions of 'the queer 1970s' have been sidelined, and with what effects? All of these materials and insights will be shared widely, in order to provoke a political reconsideration of what it means to be LGBTQ in Europe in the present.

Acronym CRUSEV (Reference Number: HERA.15.099)
Duration 01/06/2016 - 31/05/2019
Project Topic REFLECTIVE-1-2014
Call HERA Call “Uses of the Past”

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Edinburgh Coordinator United Kingdom
2 Humboldt-University Berlin Partner Germany
3 University of Warsaw Partner Poland
4 University of Murcia Partner Spain
5 CCA Observer United Kingdom
6 Centre for the Moving Image Observer United Kingdom
7 LUX Scotland Observer United Kingdom
8 Modern Edinburgh Film School Observer United Kingdom
9 Scottish National Gallery Observer United Kingdom
10 Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe Observer Germany
11 Bundesstiftung Magnushirschfeld Observer Germany
12 Schwules Museum Observer Germany
13 Spinnboden Lesbenarchiv und Bibliothek Observer Germany
14 BWA Gallery Observer Poland
15 Foundation Artists Innovation Theory (F.A.I.T.) Observer Poland
16 Interalia Observer Poland
17 KPH Observer Poland
18 Lambda Observer Poland
19 Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej Observer Poland
20 Replika Magazine Observer Poland
21 Trans-Fuzja Observer Poland
22 Filmoteca Francisco Rabal-Región de Murcia Observer Spain