Archive for the ‘Festival’ Category


Posted on: May 27th, 2024 by

BREWING is our one-day showcase in the annual Outburst Queer Arts Festival, where we create a space for artists, performers and writers to try out extracts from new performance works in development in front of a live audience.

Up to five artists and makers will have up to 20 minutes each to share a piece from something they are working on, with the idea of getting fresh feedback from a queer audience and exploring what works and what doesn’t as you continue to develop the work. Works may be considered for future development through Outburst, or you might even find another partner who wants to take the idea forward!

Each artist will receive a small award of £500 to help them with their presentation and will also receive dramaturgical support through sessions in advance of the festival.

Artists from or living in Northern Ireland /North or Ireland are prioritised for BREWING.


Please send as an email attachment and in PFD or Word format only, with “BREWING SHOWCASE Submission” as the email subject line to This must include relevant script / performance text.

1. Up to 400 words about your work in development. Tell us what it’s about in your own words, your process, research or whatever feels relevant to you.

2. Any information you have about your practice so far. This may be a CV, website, your socials, videos etc. Please don’t send any materials to download, only email attachments.

The closing date for submissions for BREWING is Wednesday 10th July.

The selected artists will be invited to meet with the Outburst team to chat about the type of support they need in developing the work as a rehearsed reading for the festival in November.

Salon #9 Who Owns Queer Culture Now?

Posted on: May 24th, 2024 by
Has mainstream funding and the “equality, diversity and inclusion” agenda f*cked the revolutionary potential of  Queer Art?

#9 Outburst Salon invites you to share insights, hot takes and incendiary notions as we invite you to explore

Who Owns Queer Culture Now?

Who is calling the shots when it comes to what queer ideas and art gets funded, showcased and past the algorithmic gatekeepers?

Are institutional & corporate diversity and inclusion agendas impacting the radical potentials of queer art and culture to say what really need to be said, unfiltered?

Have we lost our way on the yellow brick road to liberation?

Salon is Outburst’s facilitated open talking space that asks big questions and explores ideas together about queer art and culture. join the conversatiomn or you can just come and listen too!

It’s free to attend and open to all but booking is essential and spaces are limited to keep it intimate and chatty.

Book now!


The event is totally relaxed and you can come and go as you need to.

If you are shy or nervous, Ruth and Caleb from Outburst are happy to say hi to welcome you when you arrive, drop us a line at up to 2pm on the day of the event.

The hotel and meeting space are fully accessible by wheelchair.

There is a gender neutral loo in the meeting space.

There is free tea, coffee and water in the space and you can buy and bring a drink up from the bar if you would like to. You can also bring your own refreshments.

The Salons usually last until about 8.30pm. Sometimes folks who come along hang out to chat for longer in the hotel lobby bar.



catflap #3 Stocklist

Posted on: April 18th, 2024 by

Smart queer writing with a disco heart, a space for queer thinking and vital ideas.

catflap is the cutting-edge literary magazine from Outburst Arts, Belfast’s premier queer arts festival. catflap is a design-led publication – envisioned by Other Office – and publishes writers at the precipice of their careers alongside those just setting off.

catflap #3 is distributed by Public Knowledge Books internationally and is available to buy in these locations.  If you are interested in stocking catflap in your part of the world, please get in touch.

Belfast (local):



North America


Posted on: April 15th, 2024 by

It’s Salon time kitties…

We’ve been thinking recently about queerness and this city. How we go about making work in this place. So, we want to have our next salon dedicated to the ways the cities we live in curb and shape and hold the queer art we’re trying to make.

We have some special guests and most of all we’re dying to hear what you think…

Join us on 24th April at 7pm in our Salon’s home of The Good Room of Bullit Hotel.

How does this city, this place, impact you and the art that you make or that you observe? Do you have work or ideas you’d like to share? We’d be particularly delighted to hear from artists whose work deals with the city, but everyone is welcome as always.

Book below to avoid disappointment!

Salon #7

Posted on: February 29th, 2024 by

Did you miss us? Outburst Salon is BACK.

This time we want to explore Queerness and Class. How it’s done well in art, how artists might miss the mark, and how might we understand the uniquely queer elements to class. How it’s represented in art. How it energises or frustrates us.

We’ll have readings and most importantly YOU and your reflections on your own work and thinking.

Join the conversation or just come along to listen, everyone welcome. We particularly welcome queer artists/writers, but anyone who wants to develop their own queer thinking around art and more is welcome.

The space is always free and open to all queer folks, you don’t need to bring anything but your curiosity and there’s no pressure to talk if you’d rather just listen.

Numbers are limited to keep things intimate, so pre-booking is essential.

One ticket per person per registration.

We kindly ask that you only book a place if you are committed to participating and let us know if you booked but cannot attend, so that others on the waiting list have a chance of a place.


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

We love Outburst to be a place for artists to try out new ideas, or to rework something they’ve been playing with for a while. Our Brewing showcase is just that, with five piping hot local artists showcasing short extracts of their work, each only 15 minS to 30 mins, across performance, sound, and storytelling.  

The emphasis is on support and queer critique and you are a vital part of that, creating space together for artists to find out how something feels with an audience, or feeding back to the artists informally after the event. A relaxed and popular event at the festival, Brewing is always full of surprises and brilliant new ideas, highlighting the depth and creativity of new and established queer talent in the North and seeding what may become a full work over the next year. 

This year, we are delighted to share works from: 

Cal McElwee

Gemma Hutton

Isaac Quinn

Nathan Martin

rit. & Peter O’Doherty.


Age suitability: 16+

Times: Doors open at 14:30. Performances begin at 15:00.

The Lost Boys (Les Paradis)

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Dir. Zeno Graton / 2023 / Belgium, France / 88 mins

Arab teenager Joe is about to be released from a youth detention centre. If the judge approves his discharge, he’ll be allowed to live on his own. But when a new detainee, William, arrives in his facility, Joe starts to question his desire for freedom.

Featuring graceful performances from Khalil Gharbia and Julien de Saint Jean as the unexpectedly smitten young lovers, Zeno Graton’s debut feature goes beyond the established tropes of prison dramas to bring us a deeply humane portrayal of the freedom and vulnerability that comes with intimacy. With nods to Jean Genet and The 400 Blows, The Lost Boys offers a fresh, tender and powerful take on youthful gay romance.

This screening is taking place on the 8th European Arthouse Cinema Day, celebrating the diversity of European cinema around the world.


Age suitability: 15+

Duration: 88 mins


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

One of our favourite books this year is Wild Geese, the beautifully studied debut novel by Irish writer Soula Emmanuel. Published by Footnote Press in 2023 and by the Feminist Press in the US and Canada, Wild Geese introduces us to Phoebe Forde, a 30 year old Irish emigrant to Copenhagen who’s still settling into a new life and a new name. Almost three years into her gender transition, an unexpected visit from Grace, her first love, brings memories of Dublin and a life she thought she’d left behind. Over the course of a single weekend, their old romance kindles something sweet and radically unfamiliar, helping Phoebe navigate the jagged edges of migration, nostalgia and hope.

Funny, smart and full of tender observations around place, memory and belonging, Wild Geese marks the arrival of an exciting new queer talent in Ireland. 

We’re delighted to welcome Soula to the festival, in partnership with Paperxclips and Small Trans Library.

Soula will be in conversation with Limerick-born Belfast-based poet William Keohane.

Small Trans Library is a combined lending library of over 600 trans and queer-authored books, with branches in Dublin, Belfast and Glasgow. They operate a mutual aid fund for trans people, and facilitate a host of community events, including book clubs, workshops and dance parties.


Age suitability: 15+

Duration: 60 mins

DESIGNING CHANGE: How Visual Design Can Change Everything

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Visual design can often be an afterthought in queer and feminist campaigning but great design can capture global imagination and support powerful new ideas to spread. 

Join us for this very special workshop that explores the design ideas that changed the world and helps us to visualise what that might look like to support the work we need to do now. 

Juntes is a responsive project happening in real-time. We will be fine-tuning the Outburst Juntes programme to include responses and insights from the Juntes programme in Brazil.  Follow us on socials and check the website for updates and more information as the project develops. All workshops, panels and sharing events are free, with advance registration essential.


Age suitability: 16+

Duration: 90 mins (approx)


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Fluids is a new project from TJ Tytler; a space for trans women, trans men, intersex people, dykes, femmes, fags, sapphics, a-gender, marginalised genders, non-binary folks and everyone who can sometimes feel invisible in other club spaces. 

Fluids is a sweaty, filthy, hot and sticky club performance night, built with the concept of radical togetherness at its core and informed by all that has gone before and what we can bring together to the future of these spaces, at a time when many of our queer social outlets are disappearing. 

With a brilliant lineup of up-and-coming Irish dyke, trans and nonbinary djs including DJ Egg and Lunasa, performers including Chaotic Queer and Culchie Goth, visuals and so much more!

Fluids was developed through the Outburst / Jerwood Arts Tongue + Heart Artist Development Programme, supported by Jerwood Arts.


Age suitability: Strictly 18+

Duration: Party until 1 am

Please note that it’s advance ticket sales only, no pay at the door. 

DÓCHAS NA CAILL (The Witch’s Hope)

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

The far right has infiltrated the mainstream, hard-won rights are being snatched and we’re waiting on a revolution that seems both inevitable and impossible. 

But how do you change the world when you can’t trust the people around you?

You’re sleeping in a bookshop. Toying with anarchy. Having a cosy relationship with psychedelics. And you’re fed up with the wait for late-stage capitalism to come crumbling down.

Elsewhere, in a mythological past, a bitter old druid has embarked on a twisted quest to get himself some new trinkets, and it’s going to take some magic to stop him.

Dúirt bean liom go ndúirt bean lei... 

What do you believe? What’s in a story?

A non-binary storyteller who writes in Irish and English, Maoilíosa NicÉadaoin performs a candid, timely and poetic new work of re-imagined folklore, delivered as gaeilge, with spoken word storytelling and some good old-fashioned ranting delivered in the language of the oppressor.

Dóchas na Caillí will be performed part in English and part in Irish. 

To avoid compromising the original meaning, the Irish elements won’t be directly translated but a summary will be provided to audiences in advance to assist understanding.

Dóchas na Caillí was developed through the Outburst / Jerwood Arts Tongue + Heart Artist Development Programme, supported by Jerwood Arts, with additional support from Arts Council of NI.

Maoilíosa will join members of Aerach Aiteach Gaelach after their Outburst show on Tuesday 14th November at Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, to discuss making queer work in the Irish language.


Age suitability: 18+

Duration: 70 mins (Approx)

Content advice: Contains strong language, references to drug use and sexual assult.


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Queer folks have always been more tuned into other dimensions than most, but did you know that there was a circle of queers in the early 20th century in Ulster who were involved in actual other-worldly research?

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) historian Maurice J. Casey, a researcher on the project Queer Northern Ireland: Sexuality before Liberation, recently uncovered a fascinating interlinked queer  circle who explored the sounds of psychicl research and attempted to scientifically prove connections between the earthly and spiritual worlds through séances.

Playing with new ways to excavate and share our hidden queer histories, Dr. Casey invites you into the Sonic Lab (a specialist acoustic space at SARC -Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Sound and Music at Queen’s), featuring 48 speakers which project and move sound 360 degrees around the space, providing a ‘cinema for the ear’. Developed in collaboration with researchers at SARC, The Sonic Séance will recreate the voices, sounds and imagery of a lost queer world, creating a unique event and exciting new approach to storytelling.

Get ready for an out-of-the-ordinary encounter with Irish queer history!

Please note that this event deals with adult themes and is not suitable for younger audiences.

Queer Northern Ireland is an AHRC-funded research project based at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University.

This event is based on research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and organised in partnership with the Being Human Festival, the UK national festival of the humanities, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, with support from Research England, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. 


Age suitability: Strictly 18+

Duration: 30 mins

Multiple performances

Maximum 2 tickets per purchase

EVERYONE’S A CRITIC! Festival Salon Special: Let’s do Queer Critique

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

One of the most supportive things we can do for artists, along with making sure they have resources to create, is to talk about their work. Critique is not all about shade and sass, it’s about using your instincts, experiences and insights to give artists’ ideas a life beyond the stage or page. Critical response is a vital part of the arts ecosystem and here at Outburst we love to see you getting excited about the ideas that artists encourage us to explore. 

In a special festival Outburst Salon, we invite you to join us for a masterclass with two experienced arts writers and critics, Liliana Viola and Seçil Epik, who will share some of their thoughts around queer art criticism and lead a group discussion on how we might do that at Outburst. You will be provided with a free ticket to one festival event that you will be invited to review. All reviews will be published following the festival.

Tickets are free but spaces are strictly limited to keep the group intimate, so registration is essential.

If you would like to be an Outburst critic and attend the Salon, please email before Friday 3rd November.

You can also come along to just listen and chat, reviewing is not compulsory!


Age suitability: All ages

Duration: 120 mins (approx)

Relaxed event.

wet HEAT sweats without scent

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

We are delighted to present Phillip McCrilly’s wet HEAT sweats without scent,  a Platform Commission originally presented as part of the 40th edition of EVA International, Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art. 

Existing in a space somewhere between an undercover massage parlour the British Army set up in North Belfast in the 1970s, and a high camp adaptation of Nicolas Roeg’s Full Body Massage (1995), wet HEAT sweats without scent is a series of scripted one-on-one massage treatments with accompanying refreshments. 

Originally presented for EVA in a boutique hotel spa in Limerick City, the performance is reimagined within the context of a Belfast hotel room. Tapping into the associations of hotels as transitory spaces of fleeting connection, the work maps a history of intimacy and vulnerability against the backdrop of sectarian conflict, awkwardly meandering the North’s Murder Triangle through horny hedgerows, and bespoke Orange Halls to speculate on potential forms of promiscuous care in the aftermath of ‘The Troubles’. 

Taking the shape of a scripted massage treatment, there will be a limited number of spaces available. Participants will be chosen from an open call and will experience a consultation, back and shoulder massage and refreshments during the 45-minute experience. 

To Register your interest, fill out the consultation form at by 29 October.

You must be over 18 to take part. 

Performed By Janie Doherty. 

Photography and Video by Eslam Abd El Salam. 

Art Direction & Design by Dee Morgan. 

Phillip McCrilly is supported in this presentation of the work through the Outburst / Jerwood Arts Tongue + Heart Artist Development Programme, supported by Jerwood Arts.


Age suitability: Strictly 18+

Duration: 45 mins


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Three interwoven monologues. Three LGBTQ+ characters.  One fateful night in a queer bar. 

Tarraingíonn fear tuaithe anáil dhomhain agus tógann sé a chéad chéim riamh thar an tairseach isteach i mbeár aerach. Fulaingíonn leispiach imeacht ‘Build-a-Willy’ ag cóisir cearc le scata ban díreach. Tugann fear aiteach atá sa tóir ar an gcraiceann bearradh gruaige dó féin nach bhfeicfidh ach fear amháin eile… 

A country man breathes deep and takes his first step across the threshold of the city’s gay bar. A lesbian woman grimaces her way through a Build-a-Willy event at her straight friend’s hen party. A scene queen gives himself a haircut that only one other man will see… 

Outburst is delighted to partner with AerachAiteachGaelach and Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, to present a funny, sexy, reflective and dangerous play, written and performed in Irish, with English surtitles. 

Ciara Ní É, Eoin Mc Evoy agus Sam Ó Fearraigh a scríobh.

Dráma i nGaeilge le fortheidil Bhéarla


Beidh comhrá ag grúpa cruthaitheoirí tar éis an léirithe Dé Máirt ina bpléifidh siad an borradh atá tagtha faoin bpobal ealaíontóirí aiteacha atá ag saothrú i nGaeilge. Daoine iad seo atá tagtha le chéile chun saothair nua chorraitheacha a chruthú i nGaeilge, chun ár bpobal dátheangach a neartú agus chun cur i gcoinne aon réamhchlaontaí atá foghlamtha ag daoine faoi céard is cainteoir Gaeilge ann sna 2020idí.

The Tuesday evening performance will be followed by a post-show conversation in Irish about the growing movement of queer artists coming together to create exciting new work in the Irish language, to strengthen our bilingual community and to show that the Irish speakers of the 2020s are not what you might have been taught to expect…

Photos: Emilija Hefremova agus Fíbín sa Taibhdhearc.


Age suitability: 18+

Duration: 65 mins

IT WAS PARADISE, UNFORTUNATELY (No such thing as theatre)

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Where does the idea of theatre begin in the Western World, and why there? 

Can theatre change the world? Did it ever? 

As we officially exit the Holocene and enter the Anthropocene, the pressure mounts on queers (as ultra supreme beings) to imagine new utopias in response to the increasingly dystopic world we find ourselves in. Jordanian-born Berlin-based trans playwright Raphael Khouri turns to history, where one utopia already existed. 

Several times a year, the entire Hellenistic world and beyond, from Penzance to Pakistan, worshipped a queer, transgender God as part of what was likely the most politically radical intervention into society the Western World has ever known.

And everyone had to worship. 

At its very core was theatre, but also plants.

Commissioned by Outburst, especially for the Juntes project, It was Paradise, Unfortunately (No Such Thing as Theatre) is performed research into the fascinating potential that ‘the past’ might have for us to address the current state of our world.

Raphael’s initial research was partly funded by Goethe Institute London, with the commission supported by Nebula Fund through the Juntes programme. 

With thanks to Ulster University. 


Age suitability: 16+

Duration: 60 mins (approx)


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Fresh from a glorious run at Edinburgh Fringe, Lucy McCormick is back with her most ambitious medium-concept catastrophic show yet. 

Join Lucy as she unveils her new ensemble cabaret tent spectacular… unfortunately, she has no friends, no money, and no tent. Still, there’ll be pole dancing, variety acts, strip routines, and some quick reworking of social policy. In a despairing world, Lucy attempts to create community, connection, and conversation the only way she knows how.

CREATOR AND PERFORMER  – Lucy McCormick    DIRECTOR  – Ursula Martinez    PRODUCER  – Philippa Barr    LIGHTING DESIGNER & TECHNICAL OPERATOR  – Sorcha Mae Stott-Strzala    PRODUCTION SUPPORT   – Stef Felton    DRAMATURG  – Claudia Palazzo    

Commissioned by The Yard Theatre. Supported by Soho Theatre, The Pleasance, Cambridge Junction, Colchester Arts Centre & Norwich Arts Centre.

McCormick is a master of this uncomfortable uncertainty… The way she plays with power and authenticity is part of what makes her shows so addictive. The Guardian

All hail the queen of alt-gay cabaret – shameless, unhinged, and quite brilliant. ★★★★★ The Skinny 

★★★★★ Reviews Hub      

★★★★★  Lost in Theatreland



Age suitability: Strictly 18+

Duration 60 mins

Content advice: Contains strong language, adult content and nudity.


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

(Orlando, ma biographie politique)

Dir. Paul B. Preciado / 2023 / France / 98 mins

Outburst is so excited to present a preview of one of the most hotly anticipated queer films of the year, as part of our Juntes programme.

In 1928, Virginia Woolf wrote Orlando, the first novel in which the main character changes sex in the middle of the story. A century later, trans writer, philosopher and activist Paul B. Preciado decides to send a film letter to Virginia Woolf: her Orlando has come out of her fiction and is living a life she could have never imagined…

With a cast made up entirely of 26 contemporary trans and non-binary people from ages 8 to 70, all of whom embody Woolf’s Orlando, Orlando, my political biography is a confident and shamelessly clever blast of fresh air in contemporary queer cinema and a gamechanger in trans representation on screen. Winner of the prestigious Teddy Award for Best Documentary at the 2023 Berlinale, it’s simultaneously punk and profound, poetic and hilarious, recognising the complexities of identity and the joys of seeing oneself, as well as reflecting, with beautiful utopian vision and hope, on the challenges we have to overcome to build a better world for Orlandos everywhere.


Age suitability: 15+

Duration: 98 mins

Irish Premiere

WORKSHOP Telling Stories: The Power of Narrative Change

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Stories can be vital in helping to break through conversations where we feel polarised and stuck, allowing us to rehumanise the ‘other’ and tell more complex stories about who we are and our experiences.

In this workshop with Fenya Fischer from Global Narrative Hive , we’ll look at how stories have helped change our minds on social and political issues and what that process of change looks like. We’ll collectively look at how storytelling techniques can shift us from a space of scarcity and fear to one of connection and empathy.

Juntes is a responsive project happening in real-time. We will be fine-tuning the Outburst Juntes programme to include responses and insights from the Juntes programme in Brazil.  Follow us on socials and check the website for updates and more information as the project develops. All workshops, panels and sharing events are free, with advance registration essential.


Age suitability: 16+

Duration: 90 mins (Approx)

ALICE O’MALLEY: Community of Elsewheres

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Outburst is delighted to welcome one of the most vital contemporary queer photographers to Belfast for the first time, in partnership with Ulster University.

Alice O’Malley is known for her portraits of New York’s most notorious downtown personalities. Community of Elsewheres is a queer intersectional space; a circle of celestial elders and underground angels that speak across generations. O’Malley’s subjects are the artists, poets, eccentrics, and visionaries that inhabit the vibrant 21st-century demi-monde of lower Manhattan. 

The collection presents a new ecology, infused with ambiguous portrayals of gender and sexuality, and traces community as an elusive concept, defined not by bloodlines or institutions but by what friends do and make together.

O’Malley’s use of an antique view camera, black-and-white film, natural light studios, and makeshift sets creates a dialogue with the historical conventions of portraiture. She cites E.J. Bellocq’s portraits of prostitutes in New Orleans, c. 1917, as the starting point for her own body of work. Her first subjects were performers she knew from legendary New York nightclubs, including Jackie 60, Clit Club, Squeezebox, and Club Casenova and along with this stunning portrait collection, O’Malley presents a digital installation of 90’s new york gay nightlife and activism in the smaller gallery as part of the show.  

Alice O’Malley’s photographs have been exhibited internationally and published widely, including The New York Times, Vogue and POP.  She teaches at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan and is represented by John Marchant Gallery in Brighton.

Alice O’Malley in Conversation

Join Outburst and Alice O’Malley for a conversation about her work on Friday 10 November at 6 pm in Ulster University’s main gallery. Booking link below.

Photo: Storme Delarverie at the Hotel Chelsea by Alice O’Malley


Age Suitability: 18+

Talk Duration: 60 mins

Gallery Opening Hours: 09:30 – 17:30 Mon-Fri


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

We had an amazing response to the Queer Art Market over the last two years, so we thought why not make it a trilogy, like The Matrix before they made the fourth one.

The third Outburst Queer Art Market at the Sunflower Bar showcases makers of all kinds, including photographers, painters, sculptors, knitters, t-shirt makers, crafters and printers. 

You name it, they’re setting up shop with it at this year’s festival!

The market takes place across both Saturdays of the festival, with a total of 30 artists selling hot queer goodness. Whether you’re treating yourself or stockpiling for the winter festivities, make sure to shake out your jeans for loose change as this is mostly a “cash only” event.

The market is outdoors, so wrap up warm and wear that lovely scarf!


Age suitability: Suitable for all ages

Duration: 4 hours

ORLA EGAN: Comix, histories and activism

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Diary of an Activist is a gorgeous graphic intergenerational collaboration between Cork activist and archivist Orla Egan and artist Megan Luddy. An illustrated memoir of social activism that takes in lesbian parties, CND protests and Greenham Common, coming out and being a parent, the book vividly brings to life the realities of activism in Ireland before mobile phone and social media through often hilarious and deeply recognisable queer stories and experiences. 

Orla will join Outburst and PaperXClips to talk about how she created the book and the importance of capturing our queer stories. 

And why not bring some of your own queer history to life?

After the chat with Orla, the brilliant Belfast Comic Jam will hold a festival special edition drawing session where you can create some of your own stories for a special edition zine that we’ll produce afterwards! Just come along and we’ll supply the materials if you don’t have your own.


Age suitability: 18+

Duration: 120 mins (Approx)

Between the Sheets: The Art of SOY

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

On 14 March 2008, the first edition of a newspaper supplement called SOY was published in Argentina as part of Página/12, one of the most important and widely read daily papers in the country. Dedicated to queer issues and ideas and distributed every Friday, SOY (meaning I am) became a sexual and political bombshell; irreverent, reflective and activist, featuring philosophical journalism and quality interrogative writing.

Since that first Friday, SOY has remained the only publication in the world written for and dedicated to a queer/cuir population and distributed free in a national newspaper. More than 700 issues have been published to date and the covers, by designer Alejandro Ros and SOY’s founding editor Liliana Viola and always thought of as a kind of manifesto, are already a part of queer Argentina’s history of struggle and joy. 

Outburst presents an exhibition of specially selected SOY covers by Liliana Viola and curator Natalia Mallo, that includes provocations on vital queer questions and ideas. 

Presented in collaboration with Risco Festival, Brazil.

With thanks to FAQ Brandon, Buenos Aires.


Age suitability: 18+

Opening night: Thurs 9 November 2023

Opening hours:  11:00 – 17:00 Mon-Fri |12:00 – 17:00 Sat

Free exhibit, no booking required

PANEL & DISCUSSION: The Dramaturgy of Politics

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Can art really make a difference when it comes to changing hearts and minds? We ask artists and writers from very different geographical and social contexts who make work that engages with political and social themes

Conor Mitchell (NI), Natalia Mallo (Brazil), Raphael Khouri (Jordan/ Germany) and Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (Ghana).

Juntes is a responsive project happening in real-time. We will be fine-tuning the Outburst Juntes programme to include responses and insights from the Juntes programme in Brazil.  Follow us on socials and check the website for updates and more information as the project develops. All workshops, panels and sharing events are free, with advance registration essential.


Age suitability: 16+

Duration: 90 mins (Approx)

SEÁN HEWITT: Queer Pasts

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

We’re thrilled to welcome internationally acclaimed poet and memoirist Seán Hewitt to Outburst. A tender and luminous poet who won the Laurel Prize for his first collection of poetry, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2022 for his memoir All Down Darkness Wide, Hewitt’s work finds light in the darkest and most unseeming places.

 To be a queer artist is to have one eye on the past, an idea that connects two of Hewitt’s most recent books, the heart-wrenching and Gothic All Down Darkness Wide, and his collaboration with Luke Edward Hall, 300,000 Kisses: Tales of Queer Love from the Ancient World.  Hewitt’s work considers the ghosts and friends and artists at his back and how we might find shelter in them. 

Seán Hewitt will be in conversation with poet Mícheál McCann.


Age suitability: 18+

Duration: 60 mins


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Dir. Babatunde Apalawo / 2023 / Nigeria / 92 mins

Bambino (Tope Tedela) is a delivery driver in the sprawling Nigerian metropolis of Lagos. 

Quiet and generous, he’s appreciated by the neighbourhood but keeps to himself. His neighbour Ifeyinwa’s advances leave him cold, but when he meets the charismatic photographer Bawa (Riyo David), the two immediately make a connection. Their friendship grows as Bawa looks at Bambino through his camera lens, and it soon becomes clear that his feelings for Bambino are more than platonic. Their dance around each other unfolds slowly, as Bawa tries to make sense of a new kind of intimacy, beyond spoken identity or name. 

Originally intended as a love letter to Lagos itself, director Babatunde Apalowo reframed his debut feature as a gay love story after witnessing a homophobic attack on a friend. This beautifully shot, sensual yet restrained film deservedly won the 2023 Teddy Award for Best Feature Film, one of the most prestigious queer cinema prizes in the world. Nigeria is a country where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by prison (or death, in Shari’a states), making this a politically important film as well a deeply affecting story about finding love and connection where you least expect it.


Age suitability: 15+

Duration: 92 mins


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

The Juntes project is excited to welcome Ghanaian trans artist Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (aka crazinisT artisT) to Belfast, to participate in conversations and share a very special new work.

crazinisT has performed and exhibited across the globe and is the founding artistic director of crazinisT artisT studiO (TTO) in Ghana, which aims to radicalise the arts and promote exchange between international and local artists, activists, researchers, curators, and critical thinkers.

As a performer and installation artist, she investigates gender stereotypes, prejudices, queerness, identity politics and conflicts, sexual stigma and their consequences for marginalized people.

With rituals and a gender-fluid persona, she employs her own body as a thought-provoking tool in performances, photography, video, and installations, ‘life-and-live-art’ confronting issues such as disenfranchisement, internalized oppression, anti blacknes and systemic indoctrination.

As crazinisT’s work is sometimes outdoors and usually responsive to space, we will share details of location close to the event, see our website for updates.

F/F : Fragments / Freeform – Elly Makem / EllyMakes

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Outburst is excited to support this debut solo show by Elly Makem/ Elly Makes, vividly exploring sapphic intimacy, expression and desire. 

Femslash, commonly abbreviated as F/F,  is lesbian or sapphic erotic fiction usually found online. Generally created by non-professional writers and artists, or fans of fictional TV/ book/ film couples, for millennials and following generations slash fiction is often the first portal to exploring queer sexuality and sex. Unlike mainstream porn, where images of women and non-binary people are constructed in most instances through a consumerist cisgender and heteropatriarchal male gaze, femslash offers a space for sapphics to create and own a self-made, more empowering and hotter kind of sexuality.

Riffing on both F/F and early 1950s and 60s pulp and comicbook-esque dyke experience, transmasc artist Elly Makem presents a new body of works that depict lesbian and transmasculine sex in all its playful and transformative vulnerability. The illustrated love scenes are singular moments in time, fragments of experience that bring our real queer bodies and pleasures to life, beyond hetero fetisation and the “gal pal”ness of erased sexual histories.

F/F : Fragments / Freeform elevates DIY queer cultures, unedited and unrepentant in the vital spaces they create for our desires.

Please note that this exhibition contains strong sexual references. Minors will not be admitted.


Age suitability: Stictly 18+

Opening Night: Thurs 9 November 2023

Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 Mon-Fri | 12:00-17:00 Sat


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Dir. Hugues Hariche / 2023 / Switzerland, France / 105 mins

Seventeen-year-old Manon (Flavie Delangle) leaves the Swiss mountains determined to find her dad, who she hasn’t seen in a long time. Willful and determined, she forms new bonds along the way and encounters her first love, all the while tenacious in following the path she has set herself on the ice: to become a professional hockey player. 

Hariche’s debut coming-of-age drama highlights the turbulence of adolescence, focusing on a queer sense of placelessness in a world that is simultaneously accessible and closed off to the opportunities you desire. Rivière centres that great sense of invincibility and teenage carefreeness brilliantly, allowing it’s protagonist to push boundaries without fear of consequences.


Age suitability: 15+

Duration: 105 mins


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

The last decade has seen an exciting eruption of queer writing, poetry, novels and memoirs.

What does it take to bring new queer writing into the world in different social and political contexts? Do publishers who are queer make different choices than mainstream publishers and how does it impact on queer culture?

Join us for a fascinating conversation with three unique voices in queer publishing from around the world, Ben Townley-Canning (UK), Seçil Epik (Turkey) and Liliana Viola (Argentina), as they discuss the challenges and joys of their work past and present and how it is both transforming and responding to a changing world for queer people.

Seçil Epik runs Umami, an independent publishing house in Istanbul that primarily translates queer classics and important new contemporary works into Turkish. Umami is adapting to publish more work by local queer writers in an increasingly hostile climate. Seçil also co-publishes Argonotlar, one of the main arts websites in Turkey.

Liliana Viola is a feminist writer, journalist, curator and publisher based in Buenos Aires. She was the founder and editor for 15 years of SOY, the only queer writing and culture supplement to a national newspaper in the world, and now focuses on writing and publishing.

Ben Townley-Canning is the London-based founder and editor of fourteen publishing (est. 2020). Its key title is fourteen poems, a queer poetry anthology published three times a year and featuring award-winning poets alongside emerging talent. In 2022 he also began to publish queer poetry pamphlets, including the Poetry Book Society Spring 2023 Pamphlet choice from Ellora Sutton and work by Remi Graves and David Nash. 

Seçil Epik participation is in partnership with the British Council.


Age suitability: 16+

Duration: 70 mins

JUNTES! Outburst Closing Night Event

Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Join us in the incredible  setting of Carlisle Memorial Church where we have a stunning melting pot of local and international acts and what promises to be a really special performance party to end the festival!

MC for the evening is INDRA HARETRAVA (Brazil), an incredible singer and cabaret legend from Sāo Paulo.

POVILAS BASTYS (Lithuania) is dancer, cabaret host and performance maker and this year’s Outburst Resident Artist, responding to the city with a brand new performance

VA-BENE ELIKEM FIATSI (Ghana) is a trans performance artist and activist, whose work explores sacredness, trans rebirth and injustice

STRANGE NEW PLACES (N. Ireland) are our favourite queer folk-punk-power-pop gang with the best tunes

DYKE HANDS (Brazil) is trans / lesbian duo that take traditional Brazilian tunes to a queerer place!

GENDER CHORES (N. Ireland) are heavily caffeinated punks with a double dose of DIY riot-grrrl

UMLILO (South Africa) is finally here! Bringing smooth vocals and melancholic synths, flipping between skittering dance beats and elastic trip-hop-pop


Age suitability: 18+

Duration: Doors 8 pm. Event runs until 11 pm.


Posted on: October 5th, 2023 by

Welcome to Neverlandz, a new performance work by Thomas Wells. 

This ‘deconstructed trifle’ is served alongside a journey of self-discovery and reflection in the heart of East Belfast’s historic linen mill, weaving themes of industrial labour,  sexual awakening, and dreamed decadence in this ‘work in progress’ piece. 

The audience is invited to join at any point in the evening as the performance will not follow any linear narrative. Please note that the mill has no heating, so wrap up warm!

Neverlandz was developed through the Outburst / Jerwood Arts Tongue + Heart Artist Development Programme, supported by Jerwood Arts.


Age suitability: 18+

Duration: 120 mins

No booking required


Posted on: September 19th, 2023 by

Folk singer, lesbian and checked-shirt-collector Grace Petrie has been incorrectly called Sir every day of her adult life, and, having finally run out of things to write whiny songs about, she’s putting down the guitar to try and work out why.

Finding herself at 35 in an age of incessantly and increasingly fraught gender politics, Grace feels both more exposed and less seen than ever. Join her as she explores what butch identity means in a world moving beyond labels, and tries to work out where it, and she, belong in the new frontline of queer liberation. Sounds funny, right?

No stranger to comedy, Grace has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show and smash hit podcast The Guilty Feminist. Her eagerly-awaited standup debut has been a long time coming – and was a runaway success at 2022’s Edinburgh Festival.

Borderline miraculous ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – The Scotsman

This event is presented in Outburst as part of Juntes, a global experiment with queer artists, feminist, trans and LGBTQ activists and policymakers exploring, imagining and building solidarity to change anti-gender narratives and address how they spread.

The show will be followed by a discussion with Grace Petrie and international LGBTQIA+ activists, asking what is going on with the stories being told about us and how do we start to turn it around?


Age suitability: 18+

Duration: 60 mins

The Headless Soldier, an opera triptych

Posted on: August 10th, 2023 by

World premiere and Outburst 2023 Opening Event

an opera triptych

Music | Conor Mitchell
Libretto | Mark Ravenhill

I want us – you, me – Zachary – to build a wall against the world.

Far away, a war rages. Here, everything is perfect. Or is it?

In a world premiere, two of the UK’s most vital and influential queer voices join forces for a three-part operatic first.

Mark Ravenhill (Shopping and Fucking) and Conor Mitchell’s (Abomination, a DUP opera) piercing new work looks beneath the perfect lives of Helen, her husband, Thomas and their haunted son, Zach – finding a hidden, much closer war.

The latest collaboration between the award-winning Belfast Ensemble and Outburst Queer Arts Festival, this powerful triptych of short operas is performed in one night, blending multi-media with live performance, international soloists and chamber orchestra.

A co-production between The Belfast Ensemble & Outburst Arts for Outburst Queer Arts Festival.

Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.



Age suitability: 12+

Duration: 120 mins, with interval

Content Advice: Flashing images or strobe lighting / Strong or offensive language

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible. All performances will be captioned