We’re happy to invite you to a film screening and a book presentation organised by Autonomia for Unit, a network of journalists and activists focusing on LGBTIQ+ topics. Unit is a part of n-ost, a German NGO based in Berlin. We aim to establish long-term and constructive partnerships among journalists, activists, media, and organizations working on human rights and marginalized communities.
During the event, we will share work that our partners in the three regions have produced with our support in 2023.
A presentation of the book “Queer Stories from Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and South Caucasus” created by Unit, which is a collection of stories capturing the realities, struggles, and joys of queer communities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine.
- Chemo dao (Sister of mine) – 30 min
by Hermine Virabian for Chai Khana
This short film is an attempt to bring together the diverse and sometimes contradictory layers of Tbilisi. From suburban bazaars to the underground queer scene, the merging of the pieces gives it life. “Why do you need those things?” the old lady asks from the back of her tiny-messy shop, “It’s for the theater,” the short answer comes from the drag queen, who is just a simple guy in the daytime bazaar. Author: Hermine Virabian
- Influence – 25 min
by Greta Harutyunyan for Chai Khana
Leo is a stand-up artist from Armenia who is not afraid to talk about topics that have been taboo for years. Armenian media has been “colonized” by foreign media outlets for decades. Russian media influence has always been significant, especially in comedy. Comedy shows were flooded with discriminatory speech and sexism and homophobia were an integral part of jokes. Leo is a stand-up artist from Armenia, who uses his routine to address issues that have long been taboo.
Pause – 15 min
- I Am Queer, but Am I Safe? – 30 min
by Constanţa Dohotaru, Clara Abdullah, Mariana Agleanov for #OmulFaceLocul
Under the tagline I am queer, but am I safe? the Loc de Dialog (The Place of Dialogue) series invites queer people of Chișinău to reflect upon what their city does to ensure the safety needs of LGBTQ+ individuals. The interviews explore Chișinău’s places of vulnerability and victimization, as well as places that represent queer resistance, activism, and empowerment, as they are experienced in everyday queer lives.
- Behind the Mask: Contemporary Drag Culture in Kazakhstan – 30 min
by Tolganay Talgat for Unit
Kazakhstan’s drag scene emerged in the late 90s and is now experiencing a new wave of popularity. In Tolganay Talgat’s documentary, artists and performers of different ages, ethnicities, and genders share how they find ways to self-expression and activism in drag. Despite facing prejudice, drag culture continues to attract new audiences and support the queer community.
- Q&A with the filmmakers and authors