We Who Feel Differently: The Queer Database Documentary

Jamie’s Team Pick:

We Who Feel Differently is a massive multimedia project created by artist Carlos Motta featuring themes, a journal, interviews, and ephemera. Some readers may remember Carlos Motta from Episode 5 of the Signified video series we encouraged you to check out. As an artist from Colombia, Motta sees his experience as a queer immigrant as an opportunity to create a utopic space.

Carlos Motta: Episode 5 from anna barsan on Vimeo.

Motta explains that this project, “attempts to reclaim a queer “We” that values difference over sameness, a “We” that resists assimilation, and a “We” that embraces difference as a critical opportunity to construct a socially just world.” Motta seeks to do this from the perspective of sexual difference as opportunity rather than a social condemnation.

Motta focuses on five themes:

  • The Equality Framework: Stop Begging for Tolerance
  • Defying Assimilation: Beyond the LGBT Agenda
  • Gender Talents
  • Silence Stigma, Militancy and Systemic Transformation: From ACT UP to AIDS Today
  •  Queering Art Discourses


Installation view at Other Gallery, Shanghai

Especially interesting are the 50 interviews collected from around the globe for this project with people in many different fields including Mx. Justin Vivian Bond and Sarah Schulman. There’s also the We Who Feel Differently Journal focusing on critical issues of queer culture, which premiered with Spring 2011 issue and a queer bibliography.

While Carlos Motta has clearly taken on some ambitious questions, his focus on collaboration and critical review offers valuable insight into four decades of queer culture.  A version of this documentary project is also available as a 96 page edited text.

Jamie lives in Boston and is currently a PhD student in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a freelance writer and also a team associate for the Boston chapter of Hollaback!.

Jamie has written 79 articles for us.


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