A new wind will blow across Puglia’s Itria Valley this summer when the Sherocco festival takes place.
A dedicated Rainbow Village located in the countryside between Ostuni and Cisternino will host the event, which will include theatrical and musical performances, exhibitions, creative workshops, seminars, book presentations - and a laboratory on Queer Food.
Billed as Italy’s first festival dedicated to queer culture and education, the program will also include an academy on gender studies and queer theory. Led by national and international academics and scholars, including Spanish trans writer and philosopher Paul B. Preciado whose work focuses on gender studies, queer theory and transfeminism, the Sherocco Academy will focus on the History and Theory of the LGBTQIA+ Movement and Art, Representation and Languages.
An interpreting service in English is available upon enquiry.
Sherocco already has the support of some key partnerships, including the independent Italian publishing house Fandango Libri, Divergenti MIT, the International Trans Film Festival organised by M.I.T. (Movimento Identità Trans) and Italy’s top LGBTQIA+ news, culture and lifestyle portal, Gay.It.
"Visibility is the key,” explains Francesca Vitucci, president of the organizing association Fuoriluogo.
“Promoting an awareness of LGBTQIA+ history and culture using a platform of debate and artistic expression can counter attitudes and widespread prejudices still widely held. It also provides another opportunity to showcase Puglia, already recognised internationally for its natural beauty and rich artistic and cultural identity, as an inclusive and welcoming destination."
“The festival gives us the chance to look at our community, with a national and international gaze, but also at the local dimension.”
Sherocco - a play on the name of the Mediterranean sirocco - is "the wind of change that blows from the South with a breath of pride."
“It is a revolutionary and liberating wind, which transports us to an unexpected Puglia, giving a new inclusive and welcoming identity to the suggestive and precious artistic resources of the south of Italy. Our festival is open to any generation or gender. It offers a place even to those who do not know anything about the LGBTQIA+ world and want to discover and learn more”.
The Sherocco Website is now open for registration to take part in the Sherocco Academy and to book tickets for access to the Village and festival events.
Sherocco will take place from 23 to 26 June at Contrada Fumarola, 72017 Ostuni.
The Big Gay Podcast from Puglia are partnering with the Sherocco festival to bring news and updates before and during the event.
More | if you are visiting Puglia for the Sherocco festival here’s how to choose the perfect base for your stay in Puglia | read our definitive guide to gay Puglia for LGBTQ+ travelers | check out our city guide to Ostuni | stay for Salento Pride in Lecce on Saturday 16 July 2022.