The Queering Yerevan Collective (QY) has named and defined itself variously since 2007, when a group of artists, writers, cultural critics and activists started to collaborate with each other in various forms to mainly “queer,” appropriate, and use the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, as an experimental space for new cultural production. From the very beginning, the task of the collective has been to disturb habitual perception or to defamiliarize, in a purely Shklovskian sense, by rendering the familiar in unfamiliar terms in order to slow down automated perception. (* 3 ) A QY act, in other words, is a form of slant activism, which differs from conventional acts of intervention that use direct or straightforward language to get across a certain message, or elicit a specific response.
The Queering Yerevan Collective is a loose network of artists, writers, activists, and cultural critics who use Yerevan as a virtual and experimental space for cultivating a queer gaze. The collective was founded in 2007 and organized its first happening in 2008, “Coming To You To Not Be With You,” in the garden of Zarbuyan 34, which became a space for future gatherings and happenings. In 2011 QY published its first book, Queered: What’s To Be Done With Xcentric Art, which includes documentation from various acts and art happenings, photography, critical texts, excerpts from experimental writing, fragments from the QY blog, and email correspondence from 2007-2011.