We are happy to announce our collaboration with Pride Afrique 2020! Pride Afrique is the first virtual LGBTI+ Pride for the entire African continent, a storytelling festival reclaiming Afro queerness. It is a 3 days online event, taking place August 14- 16 and will feature pre-recorded interviews with leading LGBTI activists in the continent and LIVE sessions. For the past 4 months, Not Only Voices has been working closely with the organizing committee of the event to help shaping its agenda and content. We have also been using our network to reach out to local grassroots organizations, facilitate meaningful connections and interview activists in Portuguese speaking countries in Africa. Join us!
Not Only Voices partnered with Pink Screens and Genres Pluriels to screen the film Indianara at the 18th edition of the Pink Screen Queer Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium. It was a moment of reflection and debate about the situation of trans people both in Brazil and Belgium.
Named after a transgender militant woman, the film Indianara immerses us in a life made of fights, where every day is based around a battle against oppression or contempt. This ongoing struggle is led by a transgender community in Brazil, fighting solely with the weapons of outrage, unfailing love and determination. The bodies, filmed without false modesty, stand strong, resist and never give up. They guide us through fragile existences where pride in being different becomes a place of communicative joy. Indianara is a film where intimacy overruns political action. It is finally a demonstration that wherever freedom is attacked, digging deeper down into our differences is where we will find strength to build a common ideal.
We had the pleasure to attend the EU-Taiwan LGBTI Human Rights Conference in October, 2019. We were invited to share our experiences on social education and media on LGBTI issues. It was so amazing to see many of our fellow Southeast Asian activists who had been interviewed by us and to meet other brave defenders.
Co-organized by the Cabinet-level Gender Equality Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Economic and Trade Office, the two-day event was attended by 260 experts, officials and representatives from 31 countries and territories, including MOFA Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu and newly appointed EETO head Filip Tadeusz Grzegorzewski.
In his opening remarks, Vice President Chen Chien-jen said the timing of the event is significant given Taiwan in May became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
Not Only Voices organized the "premature" Kick Off of a new project in Molenbeek focused on the empowerment of minorities and social justice. In our first event in Brussels, we hosted Brazilian BATEKOO SP, including Deize Tigrona, and amazing Belgian activists to dance and discuss about the intersection of sexuality and race in both countries. And MUSIC! A lot of MUSIC!
18:30: Open doors
19:00: Welcome words by Not Only Voices
19:15: Discussions with BATEKOO SP and Belgian activists, such as Senate member Fourat Ben Chikha, and Rachael Moore, director of Rainbow House Brussels.
20:30: PARTY with Deize Tigrona and BATEKOO SP crew.
Drinks and delicious Moroccan couscous were sold at the event for a fair price.
Entrance was free.
BATEKOO SP was born in Salvador city, Brazil, in 2014 as a party made by black producers for the black marginalized community. Nowadays, it has a configuration of a movement that aims to increase value and promote black culture and its aesthetics. Since its creation, BATEKOO has the goal to empower urban youth all over Brazil, focusing on generating a safe space to all the minorities from the LGBT community (especially the black ones) and advertising it to be able to reach people on national and international levels.
Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics has no place in our society, but for many people in Europe, it is a daily reality. To combat the discrimination against LGBTI people the Commission presented in December 2015 the "List of Actions to advance LGBTI equality".
The Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission welcomed us to the High-Level Conference on Advancing LGBTI Equality in the EU: from 2020 and beyond. The purpose of today’s high-level meeting was to take stock of the achievements so far and to discuss how to advance LGBTI equality in the years to come.
Not Only Voices was present to raise the voices of LGBTI rights defenders.
Not Only Voices was present at the II International Meeting of the Front of Brazilians for Democracy and against the Coup (FIBRA) that took place 16-18 August in Berlin. The objective of the event was to gather Brazilian activists living abroad to align strategies and efforts against the current human rights violations in the country.
Rosa Luxemburg Foundation hosted the event and participating guests included Marcia Tiburi, philosopher and writer, Jean Wyllys, former federal deputy for PSOL - both forced to flee Brazil due to death threats - Renata Souza, PSOL state deputy in Rio de Janeiro, Breno Altman, journalist, editor of the site Opera Mundi and member of the Free Lula Committee in Brazil, and Maria Dantas, Brazilian by birth, Spanish citizen and Member of the Spanish Congress for the Republican Alliance of Catalonia.
The success of an event composed by such heterogeneous entities was only possible due to the methodological effort of the event organizers. Through the meetings of five working groups and plenary sessions, it was possible to plan eleven objectives outlining the actions of FIBRA and its member organizations, and numerous resulting actions. Bravo, FIBRA!
We met Jean Wyllys and many other Brazilian activists living in Brussels to discuss strategies to fight against human rights violations taking place in Brazil. Given the current far-right government in power, there is a better need to align international activities with a focus on resistance and respect to diversity and active democracy. Not Only Voices raised concerns about the difficult situation of LGBTI rights defenders and expressed its interest to work on creating a stronger bridge between Belgium/EU authorities and Brazilian civil society, especially LGBTI defenders.
We are engaged with the formation of an LGBT+ Congressional Caucus in Brazil. We attended to this meeting that took place at the House of Represesentatives led by the Aliança Nacional LGBTI, with the support of David Miranda, openly gay federal congressman. We contributed to the discussion about the statute of the Caucus and strategies to gather more support in Congress. After the meeting, we visited many cabinets to collect Congresspeople's signatures to form the Caucus.
We were kindly invited by Human Rights Campaign to attend their Latin American & Caribbean regional workshop in Lima focusing on engaging employers as allies for equality. We engaged with other great initiatives from Peru, Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador and Jamaica. In the 2 days workshop, we discussed strategic methods to engage businesses as allies in our home countries and joined a reception to meet other LGBTQ activists from Peru. Moreover, we got to know better the Peruvian LGBTIQ+ organization Presente and its great survey evaluating LGBT-inclusion in more than 50 businesses and multinationals.
The global knowledge of LGBTI people is very limited and it makes difficult to design inclusive programs and policies. We discussed during the World Bank Spring Bank Meetings about the importance on data collection in fighting against discrimination and stigma. The panel was composed by our director, Gabriel Alves de Faria, Clifton Cortez, World Bank's Global Adviser on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), Nebojsa Kaludjerovic, Ambassador of Montenegro to the US and Dragana Todorovic from ERA - organization dealing with LGBTI issues in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The panel was moderated by David Kinder, WB's UK Alternate Executive Director.
We had a very thoughtful meeting with "Maes pela Diversidade"in Espirito Santo, Brazil, an initiative led by mothers of LGBT persons. Not Only Voices was happy with the invitation and found it an incredible opportunity to screen the interview we did with PFLAG in Vietnam, an organization also composed by parents of LGBT persons. We came to the conclusion that the happiness and struggles are very similar despite the different cultures and realities. During the event, some of the LGBT sons and daughters were present and talked about their coming out and family relations. It was a truly inspiring moment! Obrigado Maes pela Diversidade and keep inspiring us.
Not Only Voices delivered a workshop at the second edition of the annual “Queer” Asia Conference (QA17). The aim of the conference was to bring together a wide range of academics and activists working at the intersections of “Queer” and “Asia.” It facilitates an interdisciplinary and inter-regional exchange of ideas, builds enriching networks and stimulates a pan-Asian dialogue on LGBTQ+ issues and struggles in Asia.
Videos of Not Only Voices addressing faith and LGBTI persons will open this event. The discussion "Challenges of LGBT-Activism in Religious Societies" is part of The Hague Freedom Book Fair 2017. In this event, they will discuss the current challenges of rising intolerance all over the world and its effect on the LGBTI movements. What spaces and loopholes do exist to use existing social tolerance in the world to promote LGBT rights? Free entrance.
Gabriel gathered with volunteers from AIESEC in Vitória (Brazil) to share how important AIESEC was to his professional development, including in developing Not Only Voices. Some extracts of interviews collected in Southeast Asia were screened. It was an evening about passionate youth leadership and diversity!
We were invited by Prof. Kees Waaldijk to present Not Only Voices to the students of his incredible Comparative Sexual Orientation Law course. We presented our online platform and some videos related to the impact of the laws criminalizing same-sex activity in the lives of LGBTI persons. The very diverse group of students were very enthusiastic and made a lot of questions.
Gabriel and Marcel launched notonlyvoices.org during the International Queer Migration Film Festival. Our launch feature an hour-long presentation about the features of the new website, and also screened some of our teaser and part of the first full interview with Shinta Rantri and Pesantren Waria (Islamic boarding school for trans persons).
Gabriel and Marcel presented some of the material shot in Asia to an audience of 110 people. It was an open event and many friends and professionals from the film industry and human rights advocates attended the event. It was a true pleasure to share some extracts of our interviews, impressions about the whole journey and interact with the public. For example, we discussed about differences and similarities faced by LGBTI persons in Southeast Asia and in the Netherlands and Europe. Finally, many of those who were there contacted us afterwards and are now supporting the project with their knowledge and network. Special thanks to the Mugmetdegoudentand for their kind help in organizing the event.
Gabriel was happy to be back to his previous workplace - the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR/OAS) in Washington, DC. He screened extracts of 4 different interviews that addressed issues such as education, family relations, trans rights and violence. The audience was very lively and made a lot of questions. He further talked about the main challenges for LGBTI persons in SE Asia and made a comparison with the overall situation in the Americas.
Gabriel and Marcel were invited to New York to present the Not Only Voices at Teacher´s College, Columbia University, in the context of its QueerWeek. It was a week full of different panels to discuss about LGBT issues in the USA and the world. We were there to create a bridge between Asian queer students and the US universities.