💗 History of Cruising
Cruising is a way to engage with the landscape while being present and aware of the surroundings. Walking without a plan in a certain territory, dictated by desire. It is typically a space in a park or forest, where people are looking for sex. The paths are shaped by the desire of people who are cruising, senseless paths circling with no clear direction. Paths that branch into bushes or behind trees, where leftovers from visitors can be found in forms of condoms and tissues.
Historically cruising has been and still are, an act of resistance and sexual empowerment, in a system that oppresses and punishes queer sex. Meeting anonymously and hiding in the bushes, allows those who don't want to out themself, to be discreet. Up until 1969 same sex activities were illegal in Germany and queer people were for many years forced to hide their desires or find alternative ways of meeting and relating. The culture of cruising has a darker history in Germany, where the consequences of being caught were much different than today.
With Queer Cruising. Ignite! 2023, we acknowledge and celebrate those who lived and loved before us. We know that a statefunded queer cruising research project is possible because of many queer people's effort and commitment to fight and fuck for the right to live and love as we want.
The established queer practice of cruising in Berlin is characterised almost exclusively by gay cis men. There is an unwritten choreography of cruising, which one would only learn by showing up and engaging in. The choreography is often nonverbal, like movements, eyes and hands that invite or reject, watching and being watched, time limited encounters, anonymous and detached from the private person.
With Queer Cruising. Ignite! 2023, we create a space to try out new ways of cruising, where games, humour, connection, relating, slowness and communication are centred.