About Feral
Queer Camp

Let’s go feral!

Feral: ‘in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication’

Be part of a new feral cohort who will consider: how we learn (from each other) about what makes performance queer; how we talk about queer performance; how we make performance; and, above all, how we might develop a network of queer thinkers.

Photo: JulieMc McNamara.

What’s involved?

Facilitated by a gaggle of feral queer academics assembled by camp captains Alyson Campbell and Steve Farrier, this is open to anyone in the community – enthusiasts, developing artists, practitioners: people who have not (yet) had access to, or have been let down by, or have chosen not to enter into, Higher Education but are hungry to encounter a utopian queer curriculum largely of their own devising. In 2021, Alyson and Steve will lead a digital or hybrid version of the Feral Queer Camp, hosting activities such as workshops, artist conversations, lectures and group discussions stemming from the performances in Midsumma festival. FQC will happen digitally, with some COVID-safe in-person gatherings, excursions and theatre trips.
Feral Queer Camp has had three iterations so far: Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Belfast (2018, 2019) and Midsumma Festival (2020). The project builds on an established research and practice collaboration between Alyson Campbell and Stephen Farrier around queer performance, including their influential book Queer Dramaturgies. Feral Queer Camp is an ongoing engagement project that takes queer theory out of the academy and into the LGBGQI+ community in partnership with arts festivals.

Photo: Sarah Vickery

‘Queer at Queen’s (Q@Q) runs alongside Belfast’s annual queer arts festival as an opportunity for the community at large to engage with contemporary academic thought on queer life and performance. As convenors of this event, we have seen first-hand the value of the Feral Queer Camp. The camp has been instrumental in bringing people who otherwise see themselves as outsiders into academic spaces. The work that Campbell and Farrier do involves a radically democratic form of pedagogy that makes space for participants to engage critically with queer art and performance; importantly the facilitators provide a space for sharing ideas that resists the hierarchical modes of learning that usually dominate academic and other educational spaces. The Feral Queer Camp creates a space for learning for everyone involved because it welcomes the perspectives and lived experiences of all its participants. This approach has been instructive for us as convenors of Q@Q, given our aim with this event to create inclusive and open spaces of sharing and learning within the academic institution, and it offers a model of how to take the academic outside the university. Having had the pleasure of participating in some of the Camp sessions, we were able to witness a fundamentally different approach to education in action, one which is both intellectual and joyfully collective. We see the FQC as a vital resource for the growth of queer-critical voices and art-makers in society.’

Trish McTighe and Kurt Taroff

Conveners of Queer at Queen’s (Q@Q),
Queen’s University, Belfast

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Next Feral Queer camp

Midsumma Festival, Melbourne
19th April - 5th May 2021

The Feral Queer Camp is supported by the Creativity and Wellbeing Research Initiative and The Victorian College of the Arts – The University of Melbourne; and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.