In 2019, the British Council / Creative Scotland Partnership supported a queer performance practice exchange between Glasgow and Hamburg. The exchange aimed to create more international opportunities for Scotland based queer artists; sustain long term connections and future collaborative opportunities; and facilitate research by Cade and MacAskill into working with larger groups of international participants.
It kicked off with a visit to Glasgow in May 2019 by Uta Lambertz, German dramaturg and programmer for Kampnagel and Daniel Chelminiak, artist and programmer of Kampnagel’s Queer B-Cademy Festival in Hamburg.
As part of Take Me Somewhere’s Artist Constellation Cade and MacAksill were able to collaborate with Take Me Somewhere (TMS) to make sure their visitors attended the 2019 festival ‘at the best time for introducing them to queer work, as well as being able to integrate them into the European delegate weekend. This meant … they were also introduced to artists and programmers from across Europe’ (Rosana Cade, 2020).
Connections were made with Scotland based queer artists Nima Séne, FK Alexander and Mamoru Iriguchi leading to sustained relationships and Mamoru Iriguichi being programmed at the Queer B-Cademy festival in February 2020. A wider group of 15 artists were involved in a discussion forum hosted by Cade and MacAskill, and Uta Lambertz and Daniel Chelminiak: ‘Queer Bubbles’ created a space to discuss the role of queer performance in both sustaining queer communities and educating outside of those communities.
In addition to seeing work at TMS festival, facilitating one-to-one meetings, and hosting the 'Queer Bubbles' discussion space, Cade and MacAskill took their visitors to other queer spaces in Glasgow such as independent bookshop, Category is Books.
Then, in February 2020, the exchange visit to Hamburg allowed Rosana and Ivor to attend the Queer B-Cademy festival where they led a workshop and were introduced to local queer spaces and people, such as Berlin based trans artist, Tucké Royal.
The research in Hamburg provided important learning, testing and reflection for the artists including how they share their specific current practice which is designed as a response to Ivor’s gender transition.
The depth of this sustained exchange led to ‘rich discussions concerning space, context, how these affect who attends certain events and how different organisations build an ecology for queer performance to thrive in a city’ (Rosana Cade, 2020).
In addition to long lasting international connections, one of the most significant successes emerging from the project is that Kampnagel have agreed to co-produce Cade and MacAskill’s new work ‘The Making of Pinnochio’. This will see Cade and MacAskill return to Hamburg for a residency to develop the production which will then be presented at Kampnagel in 2021/22.
Many of the reflections and outcomes from the ‘Queer Bubbles’ discussions in Glasgow and other discussions in Hamburg are contained in a blog site created by the artists and which you can read here.
Overall the ‘project marks an evolution into creating larger scale work that can sit on the bigger stages in countries like Germany and Belgium. This funded activity has allowed Cade & MacAskill to become embedded into the community of people involved with Kampnagel (the biggest production house in Germany) in order to grow their confidence to take this step in their practice on an international stage’ (Rosana Cade, 2020).