Queer Fest meets with Alexander Bard and the GRAVITONAS

On September 21 Queer Fest gave St. Petersburg the golden opportunity to encounter the new project of the legendary producer Alexander Bard - Swedish band GRAVITONAS. Alexander Bard is famous in Russia for such projects as the Army of Lovers, the Vacuum and the Alcazar, whereas in the West he is also appreciated as a political activist and author of popular science books on the development of the contemporary society. In protest against homophobia in Russia, Bard cancelled all the commercial concerts of the Army of Lovers and came to St. Petersburg in order to meet Russian LGBT and support them in their fight against homophobic laws.

INFINITY nightclub, the venue of the concert, was packed on Saturday evening. Alexander Bard and the vocalist Andreas Orn greeted guests and organizers of the festival, the celebration of pride and tolerance: "We hope that in 10 years' time you'll be as free as we are in Sweden. Russian gays and lesbians are real heroes."

GRAVITONAS performance was followed by extravagant vogue-style dances by the Fe'Fellas (Finland) and the St. Petersburg drag king show. The next morning, September 22, Alexander Bard gave a talk to Queer Fest visitors about his musical and activist career, and shared his views on the impact of music on social change, and on new opportunities for activism in the Internet.

Bard emphasized how important it is to remain yourself despite the general tendencies in society. He called on the Russian LGBT and queer people to be active and tell the world their own stories with the help of brand new media, which are intractable to control and censorship, "Your smartphone has got everything you need to spread information – a camera, a microphone, and Internet access!" The lecture ended with an autograph session and socializing with the guests.

Photo by Roman Melnik

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