LGBT+ Visual Arts and Politics in Romanian Cinema

Moritz Pfeifer's picture
Call for Papers
April 1, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Eastern Europe History / Studies, Film and Film History, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies

LGBT+ Visual Arts and Politics in Romanian Cinema

Proposals: April 1, 2021 (extended deadline!)

Papers due:  September 1, 2021

With a penal code (article 200) inherited from the Ceausescu regime, which criminalized same-sex relationships, and which was only repealed in 2001 as a way for the country to enter the European Union, Romania remains a largely traditional society regarding LGBT+ rights. However, customs and mores are slowly changing thanks to political, legal as well as artistic fights. Audiovisual art has substantially contributed to this change. Films such as Mungiu's Beyond the Hills (2012) or Olteanu’s Several Conversations about a very Tall Girl (2018); installation and video art, pioneered by artists such as Sorin Oncu, are prime examples of Romania’s emerging queer art. Showing such films in Romania often causes quite a stir. Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute had one of its screenings interrupted by a Romanian Orthodox movement in Bucharest, exemplifying a divided society struggling with its communist past and the state of capitalist democracy. This also poses the question of what type of LGBT+ culture Romania can put at the forefront, whether through western European/American films, or domestic productions. 

‘In an increasingly less tolerant context which led to the recent ban of gender studies in Romanian universities, such an issue is more than warranted.

As part of its Romanian focus 2021, the East European Film Bulletin is preparing a special issue on the topic of LGBT+ audiovisual arts (cinema/video art/experimental film), and its position at the forefront for the fight for equality and acceptance. 

We are particularly interested in essays on the following topics:

  1. Westernisation/endemic take on the issue; is there a specific Romanian LGBT+ identity? If so, what shape does it take? If not, should there be one? 
  2. LGBT+ rights and religion; what role does religion/traditions of faith play in the development of LGBT+ culture in Romania ? Is this relation always antagonistic?
  3. LGBT+ rights and politics; in what ways are political movements contributing to the fight for equality and acceptance? 
  4. LGBT+ and the theory of perception; the status of LGBT+ audiovisual works within the cultural industry (museums, cinemas, festivals, performances) and its repercussion on social identification and differentiation

Proposals of 250 words should be sent to by April 1, 2021

Contact Info: 

Moritz Pfeifer

22, rue des Envierges 

75020 Paris 

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