“Out in the Streets: Queer Liberation Through Street Art” is an upcoming feature-length documentary directed by Daniel Albanese (also known as The Dusty Rebel). Daniel is a talented photographer and art aficionado whom I got to know while living in New York’s East Village. I have no doubt in my mind that this will be an excellent watch, and I’m excited to see it.
Going behind the scenes of this electrifying artistic movement, Out In The Streets reveals how Queer Street Art has evolved into a means of visibility and a call to action for communities marginalized by mainstream culture.
While the film showcases the deeply personal stories of LGBTQ+ artists and advocates from around the world, it also weaves together a half-century of queer activism that has influenced much of their work. As Stonewall veteran Mark Segal explains, even on the night of the Stonewall Riots, queer teenagers were chalking “Tomorrow Night Stonewall” throughout Greenwich Village to help fuel the protests and encourage a citywide response.
For decades, there have been numerous queer activist collectives—such as Gran Fury, AKIMBO, and Fierce Pussy—that have very effectively used Street Art as a vehicle for their messaging. In the film, Avram Finkelstein and Maxine Wolfe (members of ACT UP) explain how they powerfully used public spaces during the AIDS crisis.
While our film was in production, a global Queer Street Art community was formed and the artists we interviewed begin collaborating with each other. Kashink and Hugo Gyrl paint a gate together in Brooklyn; Suriani and Homo Riot travel to NYC to collaborate on a mural honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots; and in Los Angeles, the first Queer Street Art exhibition was organized, bringing together dozens of artists in a revolutionary celebration of community.
Out In The Streets goes beyond exploring Queer Street Art as a movement—it defines this pivotal moment of queer artists coming together to inspire generations to come.