Green Wedding Queer Zagreb
As part of our Love Art Laboratory project, each year we have a big performance art wedding. During the green year we did two weddings. The first in Santa Cruz, and the second in Zagreb, Croatia, pictured here. The GLTBQ non-profit org, Queer Zagreb produced the wedding as part of their annual Festival of the Arts. Upon arrival in Croatia we discovered that no one had ever heard of a queer wedding ever having been performed in the entire Balkans, as we were told that there was a lot of “homophobia and religious conservatism.” It seems that ours was to be the first! So there was a lot of anticipation and excitement, but also some genuine fears. Hosting a queer wedding in a public space was a brave act for the organizers. Gay rights are not as established as they are in the West. For example, at the Bosnian queer festival held just one month before our wedding, there was an outbreak of violence. Posters were posted all around the streets of Sarajevo calling for “death to homosexuals.” This wedding felt more on the cutting edge of activism than any of our previous weddings. Our director, Mario Kovac, got a death threat, and he’s not even gay.(read more below)
Click here for the Queer Zagreb wedding program, the names of all our wonderful collaborators, and our wedding vows in Croatian.
Before our arrival, we had sent out an email-call-for-collaborators stating “no material gifts please, but we welcome collaboration in the creation of our wedding.” We then wove together the fifty plus people who responded into a dazzling celebration of love, “Green Wedding Queer Zagreb.” We were the two brides and we would make our wedding vows to our lover the Earth. (See Green Wedding artist statement and Queer Zagreb program.)
Our bridal parties and performers processed into the venue serenaded by a fantastic, well rehearsed lesbian choir, LeZbor, singing “Going to the Chapel.” Then the marching band, the “Evil Drummers” made for a dramatic start. Our director Mario doubled as our Elvis impersonator emcee with his band. We were honored that our friend Nada Miljkovic traveled all the way from Santa Cruz, California to sing a beautiful sevda, a traditional love song to which she queered the genders. She was also our kum-- a Balkan god-mother/sponsor/witch. An English art student, Jonathan McCloskey, flew in from Ireland to do a green fan dance striptease—boy-lesque is apparently extremely rare Croatia. Zagreb’s only drag queen, Miss Angelique, sang the theme song from Titanic, “My Heart Will Go On,” and brought the crowd to tears and to their feet. We were also were delighted by a green eco-fashion show, a two-women modern dance piece, and a jazzy rock & roll musical group, “Sta ima,” that kicked ass, and much more.
Our vows were orgasmically officiated by Croatian sex goddess Biljana Kosmogina. A florist made rings for us out of flowers, which our flower girl presented in a sensual moss covered box. When it came time to say, “You may now kiss the bride,” Biljana inserted her tongue inside the brides’ mouths. Green cake was eaten by all. We felt the love, and everyone made it out alive.
We are grateful to the producers of Queer Zagreb, Zvonimir Dobrovic and Gordan Bosanac, for making all this magic happen. Thanks also to the one hundred fifty people who attended our wedding and were such an enthusiastic audience. This wedding was wild and wooly compared to any other wedding we have had so far. The Croatians love to party and drink lots of beer making it impossible to take ourselves, and our work too seriously.
The day after the wedding we walked to the government office where heterosexual couples go to get their marriage licenses. About six couples were there in their wedding finery. We considered trying to register as a form of protest, but ultimately decided we were fully satisfied that we had opened the door for lots more queer weddings to take place in the Balkans. Then we went shopping for a new honeymoon vibrator, as we desperately needed a massage.