So the Belgrade seminar is over and it’s time for group photo and hug.
Good news is, that the third child of ours is on the way. Tuzla in December.
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
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”.
The Federation of Young European Greens unites motivated youngsters from all over Europe. We share beliefs and values… Green values, we thus recognize the equality among people as a basic principle of humanity.
Green ideology is being widely spread in the world nowadays, although issues such as discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity remains a big problem. Especially, in the regions such as Balkans, which goes through a dramatic transformation.
The FYEG identifies itself as a Queer and Feminist network and this is why we try to promote idea of equality among young, open-minded people. Therefore, our gender working group came up with an idea to organize series of seminars in Balkan region, on LGBTQ issues. This aims to engage hundreds of young people from the continent into the battle against homophobia/transphobia and other gender-related issues.
First up in a row is a seminar in Zagreb, Croatia. The title of the seminar is “Queering Green Theory/Greening Queer Theory” and it is being organised by Green European Foundation with the support of FYEG in cooperation with Heinrich Boll Foundation Croatia and with the financial support of the European Parliament. During this first seminar we want to discuss the academic and activist dimension of Queer Theory. We want to assess questions such as: What does it mean to “be gay or Lesbian”? How is it connected with broader concepts such as sexuality, identity, bodiness etc.? How can we as Greens address LGTBQ as a Human Rights issue?
The seminar is set for April 11th.