TO BE SEEN is an exhibition devoted to the stories of LGBTIQ in Germany in the first half of the twentieth century. Through historical testimony and artistic positions from then and now, it traces queer lives and networks, the areas of freedom enjoyed by LGBTIQ, and the persecution they suffered. It seeks to overcome continuing tendencies to repress their history and thus to contribute to actively commemorating them.
The exhibition takes an intimate look at a variety of genders, bodies, and identities. It shows how queer life became ever more visible during the 1920s, giving rise to a more open treatment of role models and of desire. During this period, homosexual, trans, and non-binary people achieved their first successes in their fight for equal rights and social acceptance. They organized, fought for scientific and legal recognition of their gender identity, and carved out their own spaces.
But as recognition and visibility in art and culture, science, politics, and society increased, so did resistance. After the Nazis came to power, the LGBTIQ subculture was largely destroyed. After 1945, their stories and fates were scarcely archived or remembered.