The concept of this year’s Sofia Queer Forum, Manifestations of the Personal, results mainly from the “Politics - Art - Gender” panel discussion1 initiated after the forum’s first edition in 2012 which was published in the online magazine for art and criticism Blister. A contentious issue that arose in this discussion was that sexuality and sexual identity are something personal and, as such, are apolitical just as one’s taste for clothing, food or music is apolitical. In the conclusion one of the participants in the discussion raised the following question: “Why politicize the apolitical?” Indeed the issues of gender, gender identity and sexuality can be perceived as personal (and apolitical?) but can only be so in an ideal environment free from any conflicts. It is a fact, however, that we are not living in such an environment. Here and now (in Bulgaria, Europe, the world, albeit to different extents) there are established and sometimes seemingly unshakable standpoints prescribed by the heteronorm. In deviating from the heteronorm or not accepting it, an individual comes into direct confrontation with moral and institutional prescriptions, the transgression of which is invariably “political.” Speaking about the notions of queer and the sublime moment of manifesting the personal (i.e. its becoming public) is saturated with conflicts and contradictions; it is precisely this fullness of senses, meanings and interpretations which unites the themes of this year’s forum. Manifestations of the Personal is a kind of provocation, an exposure and disclosure, a creation of multiple shared personal spaces. Contradictory and multidirectional “intimate” self/expressions by eleven artists, some of whom are engrossed in explorations of their own nature; others deal with feminism, religion and fetishism, and still others proceed from their personal stories in search of the basic question of predetermination. It is not by chance that this exhibition is dominated by self/portraits which represent most of all self/contemplations and self/analyses.