OUTsider Fest 2023

SHAPESHIFTING
UNDERBELLIES

FEBRUARY 15-19, 2023

SUBMISSIONS OPEN NOW UNTIL AUGUST 20, 2022

It’s a blast from the past.  This year is inspired by mischievous secrecy and subtexts of the 1950’s.  As you cool cats break in your dancin’ shoes, it’s also time to take note of the dizzying disappearances of spaces that served queer, black, BIPOC, and otherwise overlooked individuals.  Facing today’s erasure of once sacred queer spaces (i.e. Austin’s very own gay strip), OUTsider wants to remember a time when our elders survived by acting as double agents, encoding language as a form of protest and carving out paradises of their own.

Though being seen is an act of protest, equally important is the power of being unseen. The fluidity of shapeshifting allowed seemingly ordinary buildings to become secret rendezvous spots decipherable only to “family.”  While the 50s had The Homophile Movement, government workers protesting for heteronormative visibility, an underground culture of coded caverns only friends of Dorothy could access also existed. Confidential councils only the poets of Bilitis knew of. It is in these underground and undercover spaces that queer intimacies could thrive. DIY wasn’t a trend but a means of survival. Let’s remember a time where, if you knew, YOU KNEW. ¿Entiendes?   

OUTsider invites you to carry on that legacy and make space for those given the royal shaft.  Moving into 2023 we welcome indigenous artists whose spaces were taken and artists with disabilities whose spaces are limited by encouraging de-colonializing works and CRIP ARTivism. Though DIY is an indelible aspect to queer life, it is time for a focus on DIT, Doing It Together.

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