Still from the movie «Neptune Frost» (2021). © Cinema Lorber

As part of its contribution to Queer Culture Year, this autumn the National Museum is collaborating with Transcultural Arts Production (TrAP) to present the film series MY VOICE YOU CAN’T HEAR / DEN STEMMEN DU VIL IKKE HØRE in the National Museum’s auditorium. TrAP is an independent art producer and promoter of diversity in Norwegian cultural life.

The film series is an opportuntiy to get to know protagonists from non-Western contexts and narrative traditions who break gender norms despite external pressures and expectations. The series portrays cis and trans women and non-binary characters who tackle intractable conflicts that are often beyond their personal control, challenged by social norms and geopolitical contexts.

The films take us into a variety of worlds. From war-torn Lebanon and a future neo-colonial East Africa to musical Cuba and the dusty back roads of rural Brazil. The series introduces viewers to figures, all from the non-Western majority of the world’s population, who challenge traditional gender roles.

These documentary portraits invite us to reflect on the role of the filmmaker in their creation. The interaction between the gaze of the portraitist and the person portrayed is a source of constant friction, which viewers are encouraged to contemplate. The encounters are characterised by empathy, solidarity, humour, and respect for the characters as dialogue partners.

TrAP has chosen to demonstrate its identification with the protagonists of these films by including five short portraits of people from its own social circle. With the title Stolt og høylytt (Proud and Loud), this addition to the programme seeks to raise the profile of role models who break established gender norms. The portrait series is produced by the organisation for queer Muslims, Salam, in collaboration with Mental Helse Ungdom.

The film series is curated for TrAP by artist Hanan Benammar and producer Brynjar Bjerkem and is a collaboration between cinematheques in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Tromsø, AMIFF in Harstad, and the National Museum.