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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 😉

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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…

Those, who have been following our blog may remember that Queering Green Theory is a series of seminars in three Balkan counties. Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia&Herzegovina.

You can read everything about Zagreb seminar if you scroll a bit down. Overall, It was quite a success. Now it’s time for Greening and Queering Belgrade!

It will definitely be a special one, we can already say this. QGT GQT seminar is an official side event of Belgrade Pride Parade, so the participants will be the part of the big celebration. (It was an anti-fascist demonstration last time in Zagreb)

The preparatory team for Belgrade seminar is already chosen and they are soon to be presented.

So, who is looking forward to September?

 

the most inspiring flipchart ever?!

brainstormed by us on the 15th of April in Zagreb – drawn by me

The Balkans is home to a growing and diverse LGBT+[1] community which unfortunately is subject to ongoing oppression, discrimination and violence. During the twentieth century homosexuality was banned and the existence of other non-hetero normative identities and bodies were not recognized for a long time in most parts of the region. Apart from a short-lived positive intermission in the 1980’s, war and the building of new nation states in the Balkans deteriorated the situation for the LGBT+ community. Today, the region is still far from reconciling itself with its political, ethnic, sexual, gender, bodily and other marginalized groups. The most common and fundamental human rights of these groups are still not respected. For example the recognition of the LGTB+ communities’ right to the freedom of assembly during pride parades and queer fests and the right to live a life free from the fear of violence.

LGBT+ persons are still seen by the state and society as second-class citizens. In the Balkans LGBT+ persons do not fully enjoy the equal right to marriage or forming registered partnerships. The LGTB+ community is very far from having their human rights in other spheres of life recognized, such as their rights to the freedom of speech and assembly as well as equal access to health care and reproductive services. Furthermore LGTB+ communities continue to face discrimination when accessing social services, adoption services, employment, housing and education. A key problem faced by the LGTB+ community is the wide use of hate speech and discriminatory language in school text books, political and religious discourse and popular culture. Trans[2], gender variant and intersex people continue to face extreme violence, discrimination and hatred. Stigmatized by the medical profession as mentally disordered, and rendered invisible by a society who is not aware of their struggle, they face discrimination ranging from slander to murder. Intersex people are left without choice right from birth and are forced to undergo unnecessary and harmful medical treatment.

Currently support for the LGTB+ community in the Balkans although growing is still in its early stage. The fact remains that the major political parties in the Balkan countries do not openly support or cooperate with the LGTB+ community or advocate for their rights. We believe international cooperation must be intensified to support LGTB+ communities in the Balkans. It is here that we see a unique opportunity for the Greens to meet the demands of the LGTB+ community. No other political party has an established link with the LGTB+ movement and shares with them the common goals of equal rights, an open society, non-violence and other similar principles. We believe that actors like FYEG, Greens/EFA in the European Parliament and EGP[3] as well as organizations like GEF[4] and HBF[5] can contribute to building and strengthening a strong and sustainable LGBT+ movement in the Balkans. In addition, we believe it is important that local and national Green Parties support the LGBT+ community to address the issues they face at the local and national level.

We demand:

  • All LGBT+ people should fully enjoy equal rights of marriage and registered partnerships regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
  • Equal access to reproductive services and child adoption
  • Stop discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression by the state and society.
  • States to create and implement legislation guaranteeing LGBT+ rights which is in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and European Convention on Human Rights.
  • The state to guarantee and protect the LGTB+ community’s right of public assembly, pride parade and queer fests.
  • The state to create campaigns for raising awareness of LGTB+ issues.
  • Easy and clear procedure for changing official documents for trans people and protection for their privacy before and after transition.
  • No enforcement of sterilization surgery and procedures on trans, gender variant and intersex people
  • Providing free medical services for sex change and other needs on demand of trans and intersex people.
  • UN to recognize IDAHO as the international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
    The states should provide free legal aid and shelter for LGBT+ people.
  • All religious institutions to stop promoting homophobia and hate speech against LGBT+ persons.
  • Relevant bodies should investigate and prosecute institutional discrimination.
  • Education that includes objective information on LGTB+ people which are free of hate speech and discrimination.
  • Education for journalists on LGBT+ rights and sanctioning of media which uses hate speech and promotes negative attitudes towards LGBT+ people.

[1] LGBT+ refers to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Asexual, Intersex, No gender, Queer and other people whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity does not comply with the patriarchal norms.

[2] The term “trans” includes those people who have a gender identity which is different to the gender assigned at birth and/or those people who feel they have to, prefer to or choose to – whether by clothing, accessories, cosmetics or body modification – present themselves differently to the expectations of the gender role assigned to them at birth. This includes, among many others, transsexual and transgender people, transvestites, travesti, cross dressers, no gender and genderqueer people.

[3] European green party

[4] Green European Foundation- the political foundation of EGP

[5] Heinrich Boll Foundation- the political foundation of the German green party

Researches shows that internalization of homophobia something that almost everybody experienced on him/herself because we grow up in society who produces negative opinions and prejudice.

Internalization of homophobia is almost inevitable consequence of growing up in heteronormative and homophobic society. Children from young age soup views of their closest society. They see world through simplified dimension “good-bad”, and most of prejudices and words who are connected with same-sex relationships are negative in their contexts, from early age they learn that homosexuality is “something very bad and unwanted” . Faced with awakening their own personality and identity, some of them finds out that they also belong to the “bad part of society” . You can see than feeling of guilt, shame and other emotions in which dominates not-accepting and fury toward themself. If that young person be exposed to the different kinds of violence or be witness of violence against other gay people, often they will accuse themself, and not violent surroundings. If person had support and found way to carry this out, on that it’ll depend his/her later behavior toward self.

Phenomena of autohomophobia is not connected only to LGBT population. In social psychology there is term known as syndrome of self-hate, founded in members of different groups exposed to stigmatization from society (Afro-American, Jews, Roma people, people with some medical conditions, other ethical, gender and other minorities) . Often, children take this  negative stereotypes and they start hating group they belong to. Internalization of homophobia can be defined as set of negative attitude and feelings toward homosexual persons and toward own homosexuality. It affects on forming of identity, developing self-respect, psychological integrity and behavior toward other people. If it is extremely expressed, she can bring person to depression,  not-trusting and loneliness, difficulties in sexual life, abuse of psychoactive drugs, even suicidal thoughts.

It’s usual for LGBT persons to collect negative prejudice about homosexuality, so developing of healthy identity and self respect is basically on how he/she is going to deal with it. Some persons, whole their life will live life hating other LGBTQ persons, putting all blame and responsibility for violence they all experience on LGBTQ! Even shallow look on dating sites will reveal a contest full of hate, stigmatization, and charges against LGBTQ people. This can be understood as method of defense mechanism: “If i spit on other people- i am not them” . Insulting those who are more feminine, promiscuous, out, sick and labeling them with all bunch of worst stereotypes from heteronormative society, persons insures himself that he is not like rest (bad), finding that how justification of their existence. But, not all critics from LGBT society toward LGBT people expression of internalisation of homophobia!

As i noticed on the last session in Zagreb, most of you are interested in queer theory, but you haven’t had any moments in life to really look up what the fuck is that. So, i’ll use this blog to introduce you to the magnificent world o f being queer in philosophical terms, being outside mainstream, hetero-normative way of thinking.

First thing i’ll try to give to you is how to (not) define something that is not possible to define.

Announcing newest edition of “popular books” , Serbian daily newspaper “Politika” (Politics) shortly describe us plot of novel “Kiss of spider-woman” , of Manuelo Puigi (1932-1990) , novelist from Argentina. Two interlocutors, said in article, prisoners of same cell in one prison of Buenos Aries, 26-years old political activist and 37- years old homosexual have, modestly said, interesting dialogue. Homosexual guy got assignment from government to receive as much information from activist as he can, about regime topic. Everything we know about main characters in novel is their age. We don’t know their names. Seems legit for author that only two identity reference, one about politics issue, another about sexuality is everything that reader should know and these things are much important for readers than other things like their education level, skin color, etc. Let’s assume that journalist has good intention for this, but, took one question in the motion: What will happen with such stressing of identities, this unique identity reduction, in the moment when “political activist” and “homosexual” leave the prison, when we get context? Will they, on freedom, have more freedom of this   identities which was just suitable for them behind bars? “Political prisoner” won’t be that anymore, for sure, in worse scenario he’ll become “Ex political prisoner”. But, what about “homosexual” . Can he become at least “ex” . Can this information about his sexual orientation go under shadow of other personality determinants (so identity of “homosexual” would be also kind of  provisional identity?)- Can he be Luis Molina- glass-worker, engineer, salesperson, actor? On the final, whether someones (homo)sexual practices and desires something from which all can be derived?

Article in “Politica” actually tells us that and in the same time express widespread and over one century old stereotype that sexual practices, desires, taste reveal us someones deep “truth of being” , especially when they are not exactly comparable with mainstream sexuality issue. Nothing on him or in him escapes his sexuality- remind the description of “becoming homosexuals” in 19th century by Foucault. It’s present everywhere inside him, it’s in root of his work, everything is insidious and limitless actively principle , shamelessly written on his body and face, it’s a secret that keeps revealing. Sodomite falls in sin over and over, but homosexuals became species.  Homosexual in nineteenth century became person: He has past, childhood, character, way of life, morphology, indiscreet anatomy and, maybe, mysterious physiology.

Question of (homo)sexual identity, its origins, history and construction, trans-historical and trans-cultural character, its synchronous and diachronic differences repressive but exculpatory and mobilizing potential, represents framework “anti-identity” theoretical direction, almost worldwide accepted “term” – queer theory. Its flywheel is in sociological deconstructionism and its numerous implications (insights primarily by sociologists, but also historians, philosophers) that the social world isn’t given so it could be just divulged. The social world was made or invented  by words: “Society is a human product” and beside that also in poststructuralist notions on fraud nature of  signifiers.

 

Đorđe

 

Green queer kisses!

One More Inequality between Marriage and Registered Partnership turned down by Constitutional Court
Rechtskomitee LAMBDA calls on the government to allow reason to prevail

In a decision delivered today the Austrian Constitutional Court turned down another discrimination of registered vs married couples. Registered partners could acquire a joint surname only at registration while spouses can choose a joint family name also at any time later. Such a statutory provision discriminates against registered couples and violates equality before the law. The Constitutional Court therefore turned it down and stressed again that also same-sex couples enjoy the constitutional protection of the family. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s LGBT civil rights organisation, called on the federal government to allow reason to prevail and repeal all the differences between registered partners and spouses.


Last fall the Constitutional Court had already turned down the hyphen-discrimination. With its decision of 22 September 2011 the Court made clear that the joint name in registered partnerships has to be connected with a hyphen, as it is the case in marriage (B 518/11).

Jörg Eipper Kaiser, represented by RKL-president Dr. Helmut Graupner, at registgration of his partnership only was allowed a double-name without a hyphen. Later on he applied to change it into a double-name connected with a hyphen (“Eipper-Kaiser”) and carried his case, which had been supported also by the Styrian NGO Rosa Lila PantherInnen, up to the Constitutional Court. 
 

Separation on principle is inadmissible

The Constitutional Court, on 22 Septebmer 2011, decided, that also registered partners, as married partners, connect their double-names by a hyphen. Also same-sex couples, the 13 judges said, do enjoy the constitutional protection of the family (par 21). Disadvantageous treatment of registered versus married couples require particularly serious reasons (par 21f). And the Court emphasized that separation as an end in itself (on principle) is inadmissible (par. 23).

Thus registered partners had been put on the same footing as marriage, for the future. For those who, as Mr. Eipper Kaiser, already had registered their partnership, inequality remained. Spouses could acquire a double-name at any time, also after the conduction of marriage, while registered partners, by explicit statutory regulation, could do so only at registration. With its judgment delivered toady the Constitutional Court turned down also this discrimination (VfGH 03.03.2012, G 131/11), with the same reasoning as last fall.

„In the light of this again crystal clear judgment we are calling upon the federal government to finally allow reason to prevail“, says Dr. Helmut Graupner, president of Austria’s LGBT civil rights organisation Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL) and counsel of Mr. Eipper Kaiser, “If they continue prohibiting marriage, they should at least ultimately repeal the other still prevailing 59 differences between registered partnership and marriage”.

Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), founded in 1991, on a supra-partisan and denominational level is working for the implementation of human rights for homo- and bisexual men and women. In its honorary board it convenes as prominent members as former Prime Minister Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer, President of Federal Parliament Mag. Barbara Prammer, former Minister of Justice Mag. Karin Gastinger, the Honorary President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Peter Schieder, Federal Ombudsman Mag. Terezija Stoisits, Senator Marco Schreuder, former Director of Public Security Dr. Erik Buxbaum, the former President of National Judges Association Dr. Barbara Helige, the Chairwoman of the National Judges Association’s Working Party on Fundamental Rights Dr. Mia Wittmann-Tiwald, the Vice-President of the Vienna Bar-Association Dr. Elisabeth Rech, the former President of D.A.S.-legal expenses insurance company Dr. Franz Kronsteiner, the President of Weisser Ring Dr. Udo Jesionek, the Secretary General of Amnesty International Austria Mag. Heinz Patzelt, the Vice-Chairperson of the Executive Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hannes Tretter, and the well-known human-rights experts Dr. Lilian Hofmeister and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Manfred Nowak, the constitutional law professors Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Brünner, Univ-Prof. Dr. Bernd-Christian Funk, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heinz Mayer and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ewald Wiederin, famous child- and adolescent psychiatrist Univ.-Prof. Dr. Max Friedrich and the Vienna Child- and Youth-Ombudspersons DSA Monika Pinterits and Dr. Anton Schmid, sexologists Univ.-Prof. Dr. Josef Christian Aigner, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rotraud Perner and Univ.-Lekt. Mag. Johannes Wahala, Life-Ball-Organisor Gery Keszler and many more. October 2nd, 2006, RKL’s 15 years anniversary has been celebrated in historic Ceremonial Act “Against Sexual Apartheid” in the lower chamber of Austrian federal parliament. This first honouring of an lgbt organisation in the plenary session hall of a national parliament worldwide took place in attendance of over 500 guests including highest representatives from the judiciary, administration and politics (http://www.RKLambda.at/festakt/index.htm). Since 2010 RKL is a member of the Fundamental Rights Platform of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (www.fra.europa.eu).

 

List of inequalities between marriage and registered partnership in Austria:

http://www.RKLambda.at/dokumente/publikationen/2011RKL_EPG_AbweichungenvomEherecht_StandDezember2011_V4.pdf

 

There is a paradox in the fact about successful promoting queer culture in nationalistic and patriarchal country as Serbia. Petrol bombs and rocks were thrown to participants of Pride Parade 2010, where almost 5000 police had to guard 1000 very brave people, and the event was totally scrapped last year. But movie about struggle to stage Pride in Belgrade has just claimed the crown for 2011 at the country’s box office, easily outpacing fellow gay icons The Smurfs in the No 2 slot, with an incredible 500,000 admissions across the Balkans so far!

Surprisingly, Parada (The Parade), written and directed by Srđan Dragojević, isn’t a solemn arthouse lecture; it’s a cheeky, crowdpleasing comedy about a former Serbian para who gets a job providing security at Pride. It begins with a glossary of the sleng – “Chetnik”, “Balija”, “Shiptar” – by which the various factions in the Yugoslavian war fondly referred to one another, before ending with the one “used by everyone”: “peder” (“faggot”). That sort of worldly cynicism is how Dragojević goads Serbian audiences into his comedy’s embrace; his lead character, Limun, has to head out on the road to corral former sparring partners from the war – a Croat, a Bosnian and Kosovan Albanian – into his Seven Samurai-style bodyguard squad.

Parada is being screened for free in Serbia schools to stimulate debate. There’s more weary humour from Dragojević when you ask him how much impact he thinks his film will have. “A friend of mine, a journalist, called me recently to thank me. His teenage son had just come back from watching Parada. ‘The film’s a piece of shit,’ the kid says. ‘Why is it shit?’, asks his father. ‘It’s shit because I do not hate fags any more.'” It would be great for connoisseurs of politically incorrect movies if Parada became an international success, but really, its importance lies in one place. For the director, there’s a single litmus test. “If Belgrade Pride 2012 happens without violence for the first time in history, I will be proud that I made something important for the society in which I live.”

His film probes as deeply into the reasons for Serbian homophobia as any film in which the protagonists drive around in a pink Mini can. “Parada could have been satisfied with the status of being an ultrasound of Serbian society and cinema,” writes Miroslav Stojanović of Nin magazine, “but instead it took a step further and became its MRI.”

Dragojević, a director with a punk-rock past and turbulent dealings with Hollywood , says he wanted the same confrontational approach towards homophobia that he took with the Yugoslavian war in his most critically acclaimed films, Pretty Village, Pretty Flame  (1996) and The Wounds (1998). He cancelled plans to shoot at the 2009 Pride because, ironically, of security concerns, but scenes shot at the besieged 2010 event  are in the film.

Parada is screening in the Panorama section of the Berlin film festival on 13 February. Details: berlinale.de

 

George