How did QWERTY begin?
In late 2019, a group of eight European cis gay individuals, aged between 30 and 40, residing in Barcelona and from different social classes, started to meet and contemplate creating a space that lies somewhere between organizations that originated in response to the socio-health urgency of HIV (which have now acquired an institutional character) and those collectives and social movements engaged in more direct action. As we began to meet, we could get an idea of this Barcelona map in terms of queer activism. We also encountered the commodified pink axis (such as ‘Gaixample’) and other branches more closely linked to political parties. Therefore, we felt that something else was missing.
What are the values of QWERTY?
QWERTY operates based on two guiding principles: non-representation and the spirit of construction. From these premises, QWERTY aims to facilitate the creation of safe spaces so that, from individualities and collectives, we can make our environment a better place. QWERTY also assimilates the lessons learned from the feminist movement to broaden the focus and address oppression in an intersectional manner, including issues such as sexual orientation and gender identity in its overarching discourse.
Do you have collaborations?
Our project has the ability to involve other external agents in its development. In fact, we have already established relationships with various entities in the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) that can play a key role in the origin and development of QWERTY. Among them are CooperaSec, which provides us with financial and accounting advice; La Raposa, a vegan restaurant that will supply food for events; and La Tinta, with whom we organize courses within the framework of the Monstrous Alliance. We also have the collaboration of the Ateneu del Raval, which has provided us with its “Laboratori d’Idees” infrastructure for meetings and coordination activities. Additionally, we make use of spaces linked to the SSE, such as Can Batlló, Paral·lel 62, Plural Centre de Masculinitats, La Deskomunal…
How does QWERTY apply a gender perspective?
Although QWERTY does not have a specific equality plan, both for the association and for the project QWERTY in particular, where intersectionality is the guiding concept, the gender perspective is fundamental. As a transforming faggot-queer entity, the problematization of gender has permeated us and has led us to reconsider our actions and discourse. This occurs both from a strategic perspective, enriching our overall vision of our organizational culture, and from a structural/procedural standpoint when executing our actions, as well as when evaluating our external impact in terms of considering who we give a voice to or who represents us.