Leo cie lo … A Series of Artefacts from the Near Future



Cenóce mozar ze iadari ten te careb ie mo vai ebtamar ast daz colmar ten ie vanza mie halca ge.

(Missive back from Second Speaker, written in the Shared Language from a Future in which we are Thriving as a People.)



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ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS are Chris Gylee and Aslan. Since 2012, the Berlin-based Queer collective has worked in the fertile ground between disciplines combining text, performance, film, and choreographic methodologies, and deploying (auto)biographical narrative as well as meticulous archival research on Queer life realities for their poetic artworks. In 2020 the collective initiated the open-ended artistic research project Queer Tongues, which proposes and examines the question: What if Queer people had our own language? To date, Queer Tongues has resulted in an array of works including a documentary film, a stagework, and a constellational artwork consisting of a vinyl EP of original songs, a 224 page book of essays, and interviews, music films, and online archive. ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS’ live works are most often produced at Ballhaus Ost, Berlin. Their documentary film Queer Tongues was exhibited for Speech Sounds (VISUAL, Carlow, IE, 2022) together with the bookwork Damiá: A Structural Grammar and the zine Damiá 1. In 2023 the exhibition Like Déjà-Vu But The Other Way Around (Titanik, Turku, FI) will feature an archive of Damiá artefacts, and a new sound installation. Translation enquiries and dialogue are welcome at info@oncewewereislands.com