Our wish for Smoqua is always to „queer-up“ Rijeka, „flood“ it with rainbow colours, lovely energies, smiles. What do you say, did we conquer it together? 😊
After the seventh Smoqua we are still getting warm messages and comments, some well-intentioned advice, stickers and videos as signs of support and thrill, and we know that you are the reason for it - our dearest audience! <3
In three days of mingling and exchanging thoughts and experiences, 30+ artists and activists from Croatia and abroad took part in 20+ events and we'd like to express our gratitude to all the people, organisations and supporters.
With our partners, organisation PaRiter, we are indescribably grateful to all our volunteers for their boldness, jumping in when needed and quick and easy agreements. We always say this and its worth to repeat – you are the soul of the festival and without you Smoqua would not be what it is. We want to thank all our guests with whom the programme is easy to carry out: thank you for giving the best of yourself.
Thank you, thank you, thank you RiRock for being here for us when we need technical support, Palach, understanding. For yummy vegetarian and vegan food we thank Marko Vejvoda and Many Vege food, while OPG Davor Tudor wines supported us again at the opening for which we are super thankful. Art-kino Croatia and Austrian Cultural Forum Zagreb make it a pleasure to put events together - we are looking forward to our future collaborations.
HŽ putnički prijevoz continued to offer discounts for train tickets for Smoqua visitors, while special support this year was taking up space on the screens in Rijeka busesCity of Rijeka emphasizes the values of the biggest Croatian port by traditionally putting up rainbow flags along the Korzo (and on the City hall during the first day) but this year they were accompanied by special festival flags – Mikal, thank you! <3 In the spirit of the festival’s theme, Taking up space, we are very happy for having Pogon kulture as a host for the biggest Smoqua ender so far: Queer-UP! Party. Let there be many more parties with the entrance line reaching out of sight. 😊
The first day of the festival was introduced to us by the Drum'n'Bijes workshop and the panel Do we feel safe in public spaces? And after that, everything just erupted: youth public action Free hugs for all, Štand Out with SOS Rijeka, Ljubljana Pride, EuroCentralAsianan Lesbian* Community, LORI youth group and PaRiter, workshop Make your own Smoqua souvenir with Ana Labudović&pins and QueerAnarchive and on site printing - colours took over Kružna street. Accompanied by the drums and a few words from LORI and PaRiter organisers, the 7th Smoqua and SPAČKE exhibition was opened, after which Gabi&Tonči opened up the topic of safe clubbing and introduced the Zine On dance floor policies. In a chill atmosphere, we watched the goofy documentary Fanny Pack after which the audience had the chance to talk with lively film protagonists, Colinda&Jovanka from the drag collective House of Flamingo.
Friday was marked by the Djing workshop, safety at big events and remarkable performances. Igralke collective „took over“ Kont square and the Trsat stairs embodying experiences of violence that the women body experiences on the streets of our city whilst the Spanish-Austrian artist duo Nur G.Villarroya i Bene Steiner Nur G.Villarroya and Bene Steiner invited us to think about love, societal expectations, sexuality and what’s allowed with their dynamic performance and great energy.
In Art-kino the mighty documentary Feminism WTF confirmed its reviews and long awaits: it's enough to say it's still being talked about.
As for the third day of Smoqua, what even was that? 😉 We are immensely happy we showed how many of us there is, and there is many of us indeed! 😉
During the day we were wooed by three workshops, Safe@festival for youth, empowering self-defence and waacking. There was a lot of movement and motion, a real preparation for what was to come – Queer-UP! Party.
And what is there to say about the party? The line was so long it reached the traffic lights, the gifts we prepared at the entrance were SNAPPED UP: especially popular were the stickers The city that flows with love, a gift by Smoqua's friend, artist Jelena Milićević from Belgrade <3 The upper floor of Pogon was full to the brim as soon as it opened. We felt the heat after the first hour when music was played by the participants of the DJing workshop. And then the drag showbegan. Jovanka and Colinda alongside Indi&Helen from House of Flamingo filled us up with energy first, and then proceeded to drain us of it – what energy that is. 😊 The crew from Ustanova and the party program Zvjerinjak made us dance until morning hours, and symbolically, the last song was spent by a few in a hug under the rainbow flag which holds two messages – love and peace. That is exactly what we wish for all of us in this period and the one to come.
And what will we do now after Smoqua? People ask us: Where will you go next year, when even this space isn’t big enough for Smoqua? And honestly, we don’t have a clue which spaces we will take up next, but we are sure of this: We want Smoqua to be a place where anyone can be who they are without judgment and prejudice, a place where we grow as human beings.
We send hugs and - see you before the next Smoqua. :*
Thank you, dear Tanja Kanazir for the beautiful photos <3 🙂