Men’s Beach

The work is based on footage from the Lithuanian resort of Palanga, known for its men’s beach – a meeting place for men with same-sex attraction during the summer holidays. This meditative video work draws parallels between Palanga and a similar place in the Ukrainian Crimea – Simeiz, which is not possible to be visited at the moment due to the Russian occupation of the territory. After the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, my memories of Simeiz – one of the significant places for homosexual men to meet in the past during the summer – remained only in a few photographs and ephemeral sensations.

These northern and southern resorts of the post-Soviet territory were “spaces of increased sociability between men with same-sex attractions and circulation of information about (homo)sexual relations. These were spaces where many men gained their first tangible knowledge of sexual coding and ways of communication between men with same-sex desires. ... They provided new ways of self-organising and conditioned different community developments which managed to escape strict rules of Soviet places and eventually led to the rise of transnational belonging”*.

In this video work, I reflect upon the themes of the lost and gained opportunities, finding my place on the map of constant social and political changes.

*Augustas Čičelis “Reading Between the Lines: Spatial Communities of Men with Same-Sex Attraction in Late 20th Century Lithuania” (Central European University, 2011)

Video: 07min. 20sec.
Editor Leon Konstantinov
Sound designer Nataliia Avramenko