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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Gay Liberation Movement and the Left: comrades and opponents was the title of the lecture that opened the morning session of day two at QGT/GQT seminar in Belgrade. The lecturer, Dušan Marković from Belgrade University, gave us a theoretical insight in history of homosexuality, tracing it’s root in the French Revolution and abolition of anti-sodomy laws, when homosexuality was founded as an embodied practice and a social construct. Theoretical framework on which Marković based his research mostly follows the thought of Foucault’s History of Sexuality. Tracing homosexuality from the French Revolution to contemporary times we can see two different historical approaches to it, one trying to explain it as a different category among humans, “the third sex”, different from female and male, and the other explaining homosexuality as a variation of human sexuality. In the lecture the author gave us the point of view on homosexuality of authors such as de Sade, Marx, Engels, Wilde, Freud and political philosophies such as of French Revolution, Socialism, October Revolution, Nazism and Communism.

Theoretical framework of the lecture was mostly based on Foucault History of Sexuality.

In the conclusion author compared Stonewall movement form 1969 and contemporary pride manifestation stating their different political standpoints. From the point of view of the Left the author criticise the pride organisation for the lack of critical position towards capitalism, for the politics of identity/particularity, commercialisation and restoration of conservative values of marriage and family.

In the short discussion rise the issue of lack of lesbian perspective of the whole presentation as it was exclusively based on men sexuality.

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Readers and Books

During the first day of the LGBT Belgrade Seminar we had also the chance to experience the Living Library – “Welcome in the Orient of Europe”. Functioning in an incredible creative way, some of us became readers and some books, divided then into groups and start “reading a book”.  With topics such as queer art, the path of LGBT in Albania, or actual debates on renewing the Slovenian family, the group tried to catch as more as possible from each book, by doing questions and talking to the book. The process was about to change so everybody could read at least two books.

Some of the participants, amazed by the book they were reading and having conversations in three, in the end wrote a book review. One wrote the book which was talking about parents who were abusing their daughter because of her sexual lesbian orientation. The couple (fathers) were isolating her in the house and following her to the school and everywhere she was about to go. Also they were taking her to the churches to “heal” her. Luckily she left home for studies.

“Interesting story about violence of parents when they found out their daughter is lesbian. Then we talked about J.Lo, Madonna and Cher because Vugar turned out to be reading the book”.

Arber read a book about the queer artists, a new age in the Balkans. According to him and Melissa, who in this case was representing the book, the book itself is a queer artist and feels very comfortable in this position.

“Some of straight artists are actually queer artists to some point, but they cannot realize it without being “criticized” by others that actually belong to the group, at some extend. In Balkans there is no such a queer art culture on tradition, but still this wonderful kind of art has a theory and its own respective methodology. Queer art is not well covered by media, because the lousy cultural journalists don’t go to the queer art events. Queer art is not an angry one. It’s positive and strong challenge” wrote Arber in his book review about the queer artists.

Anja had a short and compact story about the actual debates on reviewing the Slovenian family on law on very fluent English, while Rodi had a history from the late 60`s when in Albania the first gay people started to come out of the closet.

This session made clear that bunch of very interesting people with fascinating personal stories has gathered in Belgrade. The seminar looks very promising from this point.

By Arber,

 

 

 

 

At the first day of the seminar we did a session concerning our expectations. Instead of using a traditional method, we did it with a creative twist. We didn’t talk about ourselves, but about Dragina {drejaina}. I hope you are looking forward to get to know her. 

Thinking about the queer seminar in Belgrade, Dragina wants to make a lot of new cool queer friends, keep afterwards in touch, add them on Facebook and hopefully organize amazing international projects together. She expects to learn how to integrate the LGBT Community to the Green Movement in her country. In general Dragina loves Swedish Art, but the riot police doesn´t agree. She also wants to see some action at the parties, but most of all she wants to participate at the Belgrade Pride!

But Dragina also fears that she won´t be liked by the other participants and won´t fit in the group. One of her concerns is that she won´t get enough sleep. She needs her beauty sleep and peaceful wake-ups. Especially the idea of enthusiastic German wake-up sessions scares her. Va-jay-jay (Dragina´s nickname) is also worried that she will do stupid things while she is drunk. She also hopes that she won´t be beaten up by some national idiots. She is especially worried about her friends who live in Belgrade who might be affected after the media and police had left the center.

Dragina sits down and takes a deep breath… are these fears rational? Are these things really something to be afraid of? We all are strong people, right? She decided to stand up and fight! V-jay-jay realized self-organization and self-defense is the key!

Besides that Dragina has so many valuable things to contribute. Dragina can offer her scientific explanations and knowledge about LGBT rights. She has read a lot about Queer theory. Dragina wants to put the philosophical considerations into political practice. Besides that she has beautiful hair that fascinates everyone that much that all people continue to listen to her speaking. Also she is very good in reflecting workshops and can give cheaper massages than the hostel staff. She is very open-minded, funny and energetic.

Who is this Dragina and where does she come from? She is not one participant of the seminar. She is all of them! Dragina is the sum of all the wishes, fears and potential contributions of the participants of the seminar and the result of an interesting and highly entertaining expectation exercise.

 By Jens 😉

Preparatory team for the Greening Queer / Queering Green -seminar vol.2 [BELGRADE EDITION] was never presented in this blog, even though it was promised to do so in the last entry from July. We are very sorry about that but don’t worry – here we are, with the prep-team!

Our amazing prep-team is: Gio, Terry, Sebastian, Dragana and George. Everybody, except Sebastian and George, were also in the prep-team of the seminar in Zagreb in April. It is and was very important that there will be a continuum in the seminar-series and that’s why it’s not that bad that the ”same faces” have prepared the seminar this time. Sebastian is taking care of refreshing the practice of the seminar, as this is the first international green/queer seminar he is taking a part.

Of course we also have some lovely green local people organizing and doing a lot of practical and technical things that have to be done for a successful seminar.

There’s common info about the ongoing seminar on the FYEGs website: http://www.fyeg.org/main/index.php/news/10-other/445-queering-green-greening-queer-seminar-belgrade-serbia

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One of those issues that have required special work from the local prep-team is such ”a little” issue as security. Already in Zagreb we had to be careful when moving in the city because being queer is not that easy in the Balkans as it is in some other parts of Europe. In addition to that there was also the (paradoxic) international meeting of the nationalist in Europe taking place at the same time as our seminar. (See the photos of the antifa-demonstration.)

The Belgrade Pride-week is going on at the moment and as written in the last entry, our seminar is an official side event of it. Even though the Pride Parade is officially banned (more about it later) there are still a lot of LGBTQ-events going on in the city → there are still a lot of anti-LGBTQ people in the city. Those people are not satisfied with the ban. Moreover, they are just waiting their change to quiet and beat those people who are supporting Belgrade Pride and the human rights of LGBTQ-people in the Balkans. We naturally hope that they would be willing to discuss the issue and actual situation. It would be just lovely to go to the streets and spread the message of universal love and human rights without any resistance. Unfortunately it’s not possible as it’s not safe and therefore doesn’t make sense (from the persperctive of the seminar). Situation is just too heated up already and nobody can’t solve it in one week.

Now we just have to prioritize our own health and safety. That’s why we have to cope with the fact that guards and the police are around us every moment. The hostel that we are staying in is guarded all the time as well as the seminar venue. Also moving from place to place is not safe without the police or guards, even in a group. — Yeah, it really is shocking for somebody like me who is neither used to seeing that many police (wo)men on the streets nor being sheltered from them. At the same time it makes me feel as I was more important person than I really am + a bit paranoic + safe. Yes, it is strange but I understand why it is necessary. Nobody wants something bad to happen to anyone of us and that this seminar would be remembered as ”the seminar where that and that happened”.

By Leeni,

What does Queer mean to you?

The participants of Zagreb seminar are answering…