The exhibition in Tallinn, Estonia was the very first exhibition of #TheGalleryProject. We got invited by the amazing team of Ladyfest Tallinn who also organized our housing and were all around excellent.
It took place in the brand new gallery space of a little bookshop were we also facilitated a workshop on queer futures and art.
Here’s what one of the visitors said about the exhibition:
“The TQU workshop and exhibition in Tallinn was an eye-opening way of seeing new art (some of it from artists who had never exhibited in a gallery before or who used pseudonyms to avoid persecution in their home countries), imagining queer utopias, and understanding the diverse realities of queer and trans people around the world, especially in non-western settings. The first piece that caught my eye because of its pretty colors ended up being a memorial to the Armenian genocide, which was a bittersweet thing to find out, and I read some really lovely comics.”
The piece mentioned above is by Kamee Abrahamian. This is the image and the story behind the image. My great-great grandmother was working the cotton fields of Adana (Western Armenia) with her mother-in-law, when she went into labour. Her mother-in-law tore off a piece of fabric from the bottom of her own skirt to wrap the baby with, after she was born on a small patch of grass under a big, beautiful tree. The baby, my great-grandmother, survived the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and fled to Beirut. She grew up to be very studious. Her name was Makrouhi. When she was 12 years old, her father told her that she could not attend school anymore because they did not have enough money. When Makrouhi’s teacher heard of the news, she went to visit her family to convince them not to take her out of school because she was such a great student; and, because she loved school more than anything else. Determined, Makrouhi’s teacher made special arrangements with administration to have her do a work-study trade. My great-grandmother Makrouhi would wake up just before sunrise and walk to school before her fellow classmates arrived – to sweep the classrooms and wash the desks. After she graduated, she became a teacher. This photograph was taken in 1933, eighteen years after the genocide.
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