When I stopped working on this blog/website/magazine project two years ago, the decision was based on the following thought: In times where capitalism has embraced queerness and gender-non-conformability as a selling point and a market niche, it gets hard to affirm and celebrate them without stepping into the trap of serving the wrong system and the wrong people.
I still believe that this is true and that, if as queer and trans* people we want to fight for values like equality and mutual respect and built reliable communities, we have to criticize not only the systems that prevent us from being able to life and choose in accordance to our individual needs. We also need to criticize and fight the bigger structures that cause inequalities and exclusion. Capitalism ist one of them. And the micro-capitalism that takes place in the very moment when I, as a blogger, keep promoting artists like brands on this page and their work as products, I am a part of this.
At the same time – and especially in the wake of the Orlando tragedy, I realize that backing off and doing nothing is also not a solution. Shutting down a page like Catch Fire that seeks to show make visible different faces of queerness and non-binary gender expression for the fear of a problematic affirmation, might be a valid political gesture. But it creates silence. And it especially did that for me on a very individual level. I spend the last two years with the discovery at least one artist, work or art or theoretical thought per week that I thought would fit into the framework of this website. But I shut myself up. I told myself, you had your reasons. Let it go. And I tried to channel these energies as good as I could into other projects. But it’s not like I didn’t/don’t have to ask myself very similar questions here.
Honestly, I miss Catch Fire. And today I want it to be alive more than ever. I have no idea how much time I will be able to spend on it, but I am not only planning to invite a lot of new and old contributors to this project. I also invite you to continue writing to me if you have ideas for topics or text contributions. And before I get started writing my first post after two years, I want to thank the wonderful and amazingly talented Colin Quinn not only for encouraging me to get back to work, but also to give this page a wonderful new look and feel and even a new logo. We will together keep on working on the right look for this site, so be prepared for many smaller and bigger changes in the upcoming weeks. But for now, let’s get started.
Foto: Artwork by Marc Whalen