Cruising the Seventies

LGTBIQ+ Reactivation in the 1970s

Thursday, 14 February 2018 - 7pm
Free, until full capacity is reached
Sabatini Building, Auditorium
Organized by
Centro de Estudios, Museo Reina Sofía
Abajo la ley de peligrosidad [Under the Danger to Society Law], 1977 © José Romero Ahumada
Abajo la ley de peligrosidad [Under the Danger to Society Law], 1977 © José Romero Ahumada

The research policy advocated by the Study Centre seeks to function as a collaborative springboard between research groups and independent debate. This approach is behind an encounter, organised with research+rs from the CRUSEV group, to publicly present the results of the European research project Cruising the Seventies, a reformulation of the channels through which the desires and practices of dissident bodies flowed in the late period of Francoism and the Transition to democracy in Spain. The aim is to shine a light on hitherto overlooked areas in the accounts of that time, endeavouring to reactivate the political potential of the sexual liberation demonstrations that surfaced in the 1970s. This project, which renders an account of the LGTBIQ+ collective during this period, is framed inside one of the transversal core ideas of the Museo’s Public Activities Department: ‘Radical Action and Imagination’, which explores themes linked to different forms of artistic activism and social movements, including sexual dissidence and feminisms. 

Today the Spanish Transition period is scrutinised in an attempt to once again explain events, to reorder details and occurrences so as to understand the grey areas in official accounts and, consequently, to redress the central balance of the agents that lived in that period of change. This refocus entails, indispensably, a methodological revision capable of reconsidering the social, political and cultural factors that have previously gone unnoticed. 

It was during these years that lesbian, gay and trans* people began to outline their networks of socialisation – at first from the underground, then on the street – ushering in a political and cultural space with its own characteristics. The history of those mobilisations has been recounted repeatedly and from divergent perspectives from the 1990s to the present day. Yet the complex balance of ideological, cultural and identity elements that conditioned trans*, lesbian and gay relations in that era, and their interrelationships and relationships with other social agents, mean there is still a need to address certain aspects: the geographical decentralisation of discourses, primarily focused on the Madrid-Barcelona-Basque Country axis; the tensions between Marxist militancy, feminist militancy and sexual liberation; the recovery of socialisation spaces by lesbian and trans* people; the reconstruction of everyday networks of resistance; the existence of marginal spaces of cultural creation, such as centres from which to generate radical imaginaries for resistance; the emergence of colonial shadows in forming heretical desires; the cultural and political crossovers which were possible through co-existence in outlying areas and exile.


CRUSEV-Cruising the Seventies: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures is a research group working under the Uses of the Past Programme, financed by the European funding agency Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) and by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme. The project is led by the University of Edinburgh, with the members of CRUSEV made up of the Humboldt-University Berlin, the University of Murcia, Newcastle University and the University of Warsaw; associated institutions such as Oxford-Brookes University; the University of Castilla-La Mancha; the Carlos III University, the Complutense University of Madrid and the Autonomous University of Madrid; and the University of Valencia and Valencia Polytechnic. Contributors to this project from Spain include Juan Vicente Aliaga, Alberto Berzosa, Jesús Carrillo, Noemí de Haro García, Francisco Godoy, Alejandro Melero, Alberto Mira, Lucas Platero, María Rosón, Juan Antonio Suárez, Gracia Trujillo and Virginia Villaplana Ruiz.


7pm Identities

Armario, disimulo y escándalo público. Otra mirada a las sexualidades disidentes de los setenta en España [Closet, Dissimulation and Public Scandal. Another Gaze of Dissident Sexualities from 1970s Spain]
Lucas Platero, María Rosón
... o la dificultad de expresarse [... or the Difficulty of Expression]
Francisco Godoy
La década liminar: entre el armario y las identidades [The Threshold Decade: Between the Closet and Identities]
Alberto Mira

7:30pm Scenes

Archivos, genealogías e inspiraciones políticas. Tras la estela de Gretel Amman [Archives, Genealogies and Political Inspirations. In the Wake of Gretel Amman]
Gracia Trujillo
Notas para una cartografía invertebrada de las culturas sexo-disidentes en la Valencia de los 70 [Notes for an Invertebrate Cartography of Sex-Dissident Cultures in 1970s Valencia]
Juan Vicente Aliaga

8pm Dissident Screens

Censura franquista y archivo queer. Retos, ilusiones y limitaciones para la investigación [Francoist Censorship and Queer Archive. Challenges, Hopes and Limitations for Research]
Alejandro Melero
Underground, sexodisidencia y exilio [Underground, Sex-Dissidence and Exile]
Juan Antonio Suárez
El protodiscurso del cine sexopolítico en la obra crítica y curatorial de Xavier-Daniel [The Proto-Discourse of Sex-Political Cinema in the Critical and Curatorial Work of Xavier-Daniel]
Alberto Berzosa

Moderated by: Jesús Carrillo and Noemí de Haro