Voces, Independent Lens
From Pelican Bay State Prison, Sansón’s life is defined by borders—between Mexico and the U.S., fact and fiction, personal choice and systemic force.
Queering the Map brings personal narratives of heartbreak, joy, and resilience to life through intimate tours of cities in the U.S. and Canada framed through the lens of queer memory.
Serena Ajbani is a queer South Asian filmmaker whose work reimagines histories and conjures futures through the lens of memory. Her previous work at WIRED and AJ+ has been recognized by the Emmy Awards, Webby Awards, James Beard Media Awards, and more. She has been a NeXt Doc Fellow and a Berlin Capital Program Fulbright Awardee.
In May 2017, Montreal-based designer Lucas LaRochelle posted an empty map on the internet and invited members of the LGBTQ+ community to drop a pin anywhere in the world they had experienced something queer. By 2018, “Queering the Map” had gone viral, regions of its pastel interface engulfed completely by little black pins. Each pin represents a moment, describing something as gut wrenching as coming out to an unsupportive family, as joyful as experiencing lactation for the first time, or as mundane as listening to a lover play the piano. First kisses, lost loves, dreams for the future, reflections on the past—the map contains thousands of queer experiences that are at once distinct and universal. Today, “Queering the Map” holds over 127,000 stories of queer existence and resistance, on every continent and in 24 languages, serving as a chronicle of queer heartbreak, joy, and resilience.
In documentary form, Queering the Map brings some of these narratives to life. Participants in the United States and Canada take the audience on intimate tours of their respective cities framed through the lens of queer memory. Each individual journey situates personal experiences as historic and reinforces that any space inhabited by a queer person is a queer space. In LGBTQ2IA+ communities where loneliness is an epidemic, archiving and circulating these histories is revolutionary.