photo, video

Simeiz is a small village on the southern coast of Crimea which is temporarily occupied by Russia. In the Soviet era, an underground gay resort arose in the village. It started with a small nudist beach; a popular bar and night club, Hedgehogs, appeared later in independent Ukraine. From the 1990s on, Simeiz became a significant meeting point for members of the LGBTQ+ community from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Every year, about 4,000 people visited the place before the temporary occupation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. At the moment, Simeiz, as a gay resort, is threatened with disappearance due to the homophobic laws of the Russian Federation. If this happens, old photos and videos will be the only evidence of its existence and extinction.

Special thanks to Zhanna Simeiz, activist, political drag queen and creator of Hedgehogs club for sharing and narrating her story.

Stills from the video:

Installation shot from Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands:

Installation shot from BWA Studio, Wroclaw, Poland:

Shown at:

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, Poland
BWA Gallery, Wroclaw, Poland
Melkweg Expo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Okna, Porto, Portugal

Screenings at film festivals:
Slovak Queer Film Festival, Slovakia
Kyiv International Short Film Festival, Ukraine
BARDAK Film Fest, Ukraine
Outfilm Festival, Poland
Mezipatra Film Festival, Czech Republic
BEAST International Film Festival, Portugal
Drama International Short Film Festival, Greece
Sunny Bunny Film Festival, Ukraine
Lovers Film Festival, Italy
image+nation Film Festival, Canada