Chronicle of the First Meeting of Freud’s Bar: Montevideo, 5 May 2016: Queer Debate

The idea  Spanish version

On May 10, 2016, in the basement of the “New Bar Rodó”, Freud’s Bar was held for the first time in Montevideo. A relatively recent initiative of the IPA, whose origins date back to the proposal of David Clinton, analyst of the Swedish Psychoanalytical Society, for the outreach of psychoanalysis. Initially his idea caught on in other European countries, but later was also reproduced in Toronto and Guadalajara, by the local psychoanalytic societies.

The proposal is to create an informal and friendly environment to young people and students, where they have the opportunity to meet analysts and know the psychoanalytic perspective on issues that are of their interest. From the persons who conceived the device, the recommendation is to use simple language, if possible without excessive psychoanalytic terminology. In short, a challenge regarding to outreach initiatives and organization of activities addressed towards outside of the institution.

The theme

Naturally, in every town the activity took a different aspect. It was made in bookstores, bars and cafes, addressing topics as diverse as hockey, insomnia, dreams, the link between psychoanalysis and art, and more.

Therefore, when we set out to replicate the experience at the local level, we feel a great freedom, but also a great commitment, in choosing a theme and a suitable context.

The proposal was to go the reverse path that we usually walk: take a theme that resonates in the halls of the university, which currently generate debate. Because it is also an issue into current debate, is an open issue, a living subject, and above all, an issue that forces us, that is to say, to move to the margins of our discipline, to its theoretical body of knowledge. It was with all these considerations in mind that arises the idea of addressing the phenomenon of Queer Studies.

Clearly, as political movement, originated in the struggle of minorities by a reformulation of its place in the imaginary and symbolic of our social framework, the Queer Studies raise issues that challenge us, explicitly and implicitly, in our knowledge.

The place

The “Bar Rodó” is located in the heart of the bars and restaurants frequented by much of the university public. If we intended to bring psychoanalysis to young people, this place gave us the chance to do so. However, why a bar, not in a library, nor a cultural center?

We thought of the place of the bar, as historical and cultural place related to the free movement of knowledge, site of meeting and open discussion, where it can be generated a dialogue of equals, like a social gathering.

The dynamic

We chose to avoid a narrative dynamic, i.e., present a thematic through a speaker, which so to speak "knew about it." Instead, we used as a resource a series of triggers: readings of passages from "Testo Yonqui” by Paul B. Preciado, a letter from Freud, interview clips Dr. Michelle Suarez Bértola, lawyer activist of the group “Ovejas Negras”, and music "A mi manera” (my way) of the Uruguayan group “Buenos Muchachos”, among others.

From there, the place was given to the discussion: the microphone began to circulate among the tables, generating a combination of heterogeneous views, opinions, and questions asked by students, psychoanalysts, and people from other disciplines. We all had the opportunity to listen to each other. Students and analysts alike. Among colleagues, we were pleasantly surprised by the possibility of exchanging in an external format of the conferences and scientific activities, often restricted of audience and views. While the younger audience, valued positively and with enthusiasm the fact that they were well welcomed, and the possibility of meeting the analysts in a different context than from the social imaginary in which we are located. We received critical views we accepted, and boarded without generating a confrontational logic. We raised questions we thought that may contribute to enrich the understanding of the subject. The assistants could heard us thinking psychoanalytically.

Of the total of people who came to the activity, they could get about a hundred and fifty, mostly young students. Outside, they were about fifty, wanting to come in, asking about the next date of the bar.

Coordinators: Fernanda Bertúa, Natalia Mirza, Matías Nagy

Working Group "Freud's Bar": Fernanda Bertúa, Santiago Fernández, Guillermo Labraga, Ximena Malmierca, Natalia Mirza, Matías Nagy, Leonor Oncina, Oscar Ouviña, Cecilia Romero