Opening Wieland Speck

Wieland Speck Queer Academy Summit 2016

First of all a warm welcome and a heartfelt thank you for coming from all corners of the world: after 35 years of working towards a summit of this kind, we finally have arrived. Thirty years ago, we did not even anticipate to be around for so long! For many of us were dying of AIDS exactly then – and the same group gathering today for this summit was merely 15 people strong.

Wieland Speck @ QA Summit 2016

But it was the first jury for the first TEDDY AWARD! Exactly ten years ago, celebrating the 20th TEDDY AWARD, we realized how important it would be to stretch the TEDDY range beyond the festival cloud and to systematically collect, format and make available all the detailed information we have somehow gathered over the years about films we presented and those we didn’t as well. What an incredible source of political and aesthetic memory that is! For queers of all kinds still unheard of since we are not yet part of the mainstream historical conscience. How is that possible – after so many decades of input on social, political and artistic levels from our side!? Well, we still got our enemies, that is for sure. And their means today, in the western world at least, is marginalisation. In most other places of the world, it is far worse and that’s what we’re here for: to claim what’s ours: space to live! To stay were we grew up if we choose to. Not to be chased away. Not to be forced to flee from threatening circumstances. To cease at last being the largest kind of refugees on our own planet earth.

Putting together the TEDDY 30 jubilee programme, we realized again how fragile our film history is: filmmakers die and their work disappears. Other works are in unusable condition and there are no funds to restore them. The legacy project Los Angeles is the best incentive to propel European efforts. Let’s combine our knowledge and know-how – the people gathering today constitute the most prolific, most global summit ever: if not we, who else shall do this work!

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