Queer East Festival returns to explore what it means to be queer and Asian today

Queer East Festival returns for its fifth year with a new cross-disciplinary arts programme across London from Wednesday, April 17th to Sunday, April 28th.

It was established as a film festival in 2020 in response to the systemic lack of queer Asian representation in the arts, cinema, onstage, and behind the scenes, outside of harmful stereotyping

This year, it expands beyond the screen, to include an arts programme featuring shedding:::selves, an exhibition at Ugly Duck with work by eight emerging ESEA LGBTQ+ artists.

At The Place, Chinese dancer-choreographer ErGao will premiere new work Disco-TECA

Screenings, workshops, performances at Hackney Baths and Museum of the Home will be presented by guest curators such as art historian Wei Hao Goh, artists and curators Xinyu XuXX and April Lin 林森, art director Jeng Au, art film-makers Yuqing Lin, Lisa Chearles, and Bart Seng Wen Long, award-winning poet Eric Yip, and novellist Yin Lo

The extensive film programme this year will have screenings held at the Barbican, BFI and ICA London.

The festival aims to educate about those who shaped the current queer landscape in Asia, encourage more inclusive narratives while challenging the conventions and stereotypes of queer Asian portrayals. 

Queer East Festival Director Yi Wang said: "At the core of Queer East is our aim to enable an artistic space for diverse and thought-provoking queer narratives. For me, “queer” is a word that is constantly evolving and expanding. It should not be limited to one set definition; I want that to be in the DNA of Queer East. 

"By including multi-disciplinary art forms in the festival, such as live performances and visual arts, we unlock endless possibilities for exploring East and Southeast Asian queerness through a dynamic and three-dimensional lens. It also reaffirms our commitment to being a dedicated platform that showcases vibrant Asian LGBTQ+ arts and cultures across different creative practices."

For tickets and details go to queereast.org.uk.