Ženergija is a radio podcast conceived fifteen years ago, broadcasting at a prolific radio station part of the "Student's Cultural Center" in Belgrade, and was ultimately dismissed from the program because Zoe Gudović, the author of the show, is a lesbian.
After years of absence, with the launch of "Radio Aparat", a new opportunity opened up for Ženergija to shine in all its glory, and conquer the media, and thus the public space with stories about how people live, what stings them, what makes them happy, what social systems they change and what they hope for.
During the Covid 19 pandemic, "Queer Respirator" was launched, and our wish was to have themed shows to articulate the horrific time, isolation, distance, fear of disease, and death. Due to lockdown and a curfew, it was also technically demanding to transfer the production, host the guests, and edit the show in home conditions unlike in the studio where Ženergija usually goes live.
Despite all the difficulties, nine shows were produced with outstanding individuals who spoke of their fears during the pandemic in the context of increased homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny in traditionally patriarchal Serbian society. We talked about migrations, sex workers' rights, pioneering steps of queer activism, local drag culture, student protests, fetishes, the foundation of LGBTQ+ friendly café, solidarity, love, and hope in a brighter future.
You can hear the jingle conceived as part of the Queer Respirator project here.
Guest: Ksenija Forca
Ksenija Forca grew up in the 80's at a time when girls were called whores because they breathe, but at least the music was good. In the late 90's she studied philosophy where she had the opportunity to cement an already internalized narrative that women are stupid and less valuable. However, in 2001, under happy circumstances, Forca joined a team that attended gender studies and began to engage in feminist activism. Since then, she has been a member of Queer, LGBTIQA + and other feminist collectives, where her theoretical and practical focus was: how identity policies "work" on a social and psychological level, and what it has to do with social rights. Lately, Forca has been dealing with this topic through mental health policies and an attempt to build alliances between marginalized groups and left-wing collectives. She loves providing counseling and psychotherapy meetings for LGBTIQA+ people and their allies.
Guest: Jadranka Anđelić
With Jadranka Anđelić, theatre director and co-founder of the "Dah Theater" of the Center for Theater Research, we talked about the performance "Earth", which combines gardening, plant and land care with stories about emigrants and reflects on the effort, pain and adaptation of "transplantation" that occurs in the migration process. We also talk about its migrations, through Italy, Denmark, Brazil.
Guest: Agata Milan Đurić
In this issue of Ženergija, we talked about the brave pioneering beginnings of queer activism in Serbia with Agata Milan Đurić, an activist for human rights, animal rights and environmental protection from Belgrade, who started her activism in Arcadia, the first organization for the rights of lesbians and gays in Serbia. She is the founder and coordinator of the organization Geten - Center for the Rights of LGBTIQA persons and LGBTIQ SOS hotlines, as well as queer performer, poetess, and writer.
The recently opened Guvernanta Bar is much more than that as it is a unique space that supports various levels of hedonism and decadence, appreciates quality, creativity and innovation and for that reason, their menu offers high-quality tavern energies, delicious drinks, and pleasures for body and soul. In this podcast, we talked to the founders about what it is like to open and run a bar that offers subversive content, how it is at the time of the pandemic, and what our hopes are for future hedonism.
Guest: Kvarcna Ruža
We are all born naked, and the rest is drag… Is it in our blood to be TOXIC or is it a concept made to unite as many queer artists from different spheres on one platform - painters, musicians, and dancers, all the way to drag queens and kings, DJs, and various performers. And maybe we are toxic in and of ourselves? We talked about these themed evenings and many other topics related to queer youth with Rose Quartz, a drag performer, party organizer, witch.
Guest: Nevena Mitić
Nevena Mitić survived human trafficking. After leaving the poverty and domestic violence of her native Niš, Nevena ends up in the Netherlands, where she remains for two years in a network of crime and sexual exploitation. With the help of an ecstasy dealer, her client who fell in love with her, Nevena manages to escape to Brazil, thus leaving prostitution. It took her twenty years of therapy, searching for answers and empowerment to be able to talk about everything she experienced. We had a great pleasure of hearing Nevena’s story and celebrate the moment when trauma turns into art.
Guest: Tanja Ignjatović
In this issue of Ženergija, we talked about the culture of violence. How can we progress or change the models of society if we are constantly present with violence, institutional, systemic, which affects everyone, and mostly women? They are blamed and violence is relativized, and the perpetrator's responsibilities and punishments for his crimes are rewarded with little or no punishment. We also talked about the important date of December 6th - the International Day against Femicide. We talked about all this with Tanja Ignjatović from the Autonomous Women's Center.
Guest: Ivona Brđanović
In this show, we talked about human rights and visible struggles for a better today concerning the burden of patriarchy, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. We talked about migrants, about encounters, desires, about humanity with Ivona Brđanović, an artist from Zurich, the author of the queer literary magazine Glitter.
Kome to žene smetaju?
The music was chosen by people who sent their music suggestions via Facebook. The last out of 9 shows marked the celebration of 25th November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and for that reason we listened to music dedicated to brave, combative, fearless, disobedient women; the ones who express their attitudes, words, and voice through their music while singing about yesterday, today and tomorrow, about equality and more just society.