Diverse events were reported in the Serbian capital, Belgrade around May 17. Actions organised by LGBTQI group, IDAHO Belgrade, included a panel discussion around LGBT community empowerment, a photography exhibition – tackling themes of sexuality, the body and homo/transphobic violence and a rainbow street art session. The Gay Straight Alliance presented the Annual Report on the rights of LGBT people in Serbia. Government representatives spoke on LGBT rights issues and the first Rainbow Award was presented.
IDAHO Belgrade Events
In Belgrade, LGBT activists organised a one day event centred on a panel discussion focussed on community empowerment. The event drew together local opinion makers, representatives of LGBT activist organizations, culture and art scene, government and media. Participants also gathered for a photograph exhibition and rainbow street art action.
In the lead up to May 17 the IDAHO BELGRADE team released this statement of activities:
After the initiative our team started two years ago with Loud & Queer IDAHO WEEK festival (supported by IDAHO Committee), this year we are re-activating the project following the same idea of art and culture as a driving force in raising awareness on the issues Serbian LGBT community is facing and therefore most effective tools for its better status and fight for human rights in this shaken society in general.
In a slightly different set up and with new name of the event, IDAHO BELGRADE continues the campaign for a better and more tolerant society, the one we strongly believe in, a society that celebrates and
honors the richness in diversity. Raising the question of the impact of creative power that this society can and should use for this purpose, the first IDAHO BELGRADE wants to dedicate its entire program to encourage those individuals who recognize their own responsibility towards the social environment to use their opinions, artistic practice and influence for improvement of the LGBT community in Serbia.
We are confident that the key to success in the fight against homophobia and transphobia lies in the motivation of the LGBT community itself, as well as the general public, in proposing a constructive dialogue with the objective to adequately inform the general public about the rights of minority groups, and consequently, sensitize them to these issues.
During this one-day event, we will draw public attention not only to the existence of the LGBT community as a vulnerable minority group, but also review current strategies applied in the fight for its positive development. We will deliberate and discuss new paths which society as a whole, as well as individuals, need to take, so that the LGBT community can thrive just like any other vulnerable group in Serbia.
Having in mind all the above, this year we will commemorate IDAHO with a panel discussion which will open a dialogue on this topic and move the community in the direction of an ongoing day-to-day engagement in fight against homophobia and transphobia. This panel will gather local opinion makers, representatives of LGBT activist organizations, culture and art scene, government and media, who will have the opportunity to raise their voice for improvement of Serbian society and LGBT community in particular.
Besides this panel discussion, IDAHO BELGRADE will present the program that will recall the examples of good practice in the past, and contents which further communicate the ideas that we represent through the selection of films, curated art exhibition and engagement through social networks and media.
Being completely independent and having no financial support for the time being, this year we are producing this event based solely on our own enthusiasm and good will of our partners looking into the development of the project throughout years to come.
Photos of the Day’s Events (Credits to IDAHO Belgrade)
For more information please see:
The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA; Alliance) also organised several events in Belgrade
In the lead up to the Day activists advised, ‘We invite you to take an active part in the celebration of this important day with GSA and other LGBT human rights organization. For 17 May we provided nearly all-day activities of which we are sending you announcement and brief description. Afterwards we will submit a detailed agenda of each event.’
The full programme of events was as follows:
12 am – Presentation of the Annual Report on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in Serbia for 2012.
Since 2007, GSA prepares and edits annual reports that include themes such as: the degree of homophobia, violence and discrimination; the attitude od government institutions and political parties towards the LGBT population; the freedom of public assembly; as well as many other issues related to the rights of LGBT people in Serbia. The focus of the report is on documented cases of violence and discrimination that have been reported to GSA during the year, and on cases that have been processed before Serbian courts by the Litigation Service of GSA. At the presentation we will disscus about main points of the report and what is done in the 2012. Among others the speakers will be Director of the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of Republic of Serbia and the Commissioner for Equality.
5 pm – Panel Discussion “IDAHO talks”
This panel discussion (which is supported by the Gay Straight Alliance) organizes the IDAHO BELGRADE – joint initiative of Cultural Center “Grad” and JTKT Collective. Panelists will be prominent public figures from media and culture sphere, as well as representatives of LGBT organizations including GSA.
7 pm – “RAINBOW” Award Ceremony
This year will be awarded the first “Rainbow” – the award for the contribution to the fight against homophobia and transphobia and protection and promotion of the LGBT human rights in Serbia. “Rainbow” is established by the GSA and will continue to be awarded every 17 May.