LGBTI Activism

LGBTI rights movement in Turkey

Non-Binary

Source: Non-binary (Serkan Kasapoğlu, Gökkuşağı Forumu) Kaos GL, 28 January 2019 http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=27461

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Non-binary is used for gender identities that are not limited within the borders of masculine or feminine identities. It rejects the idea of binary gender. On the other hand, since the definition changes from person to person, it is useful to ask people who say they are non-binary, what the definition of non-binary is for them. Some may define their gender as both male and female, as well as calling themselves non-binary, and others can identify themselves as non-binary by saying they are neither male nor female. In addition, it can also be used as an umbrella term that covers all the genders outside of the binary gender framework.

Can a person be trans and non-binary at the same time?

Yes. There can be cases that a person does not define oneself with the gender assigned by birth and states as being out of the binary gender framework.

Non-binary pronouns and language

In almost everywhere in today’s world, people are defined according to their appearances. Discourses, which maintain and support the binary gender system by addressing to masses as “Ladies and Gentlemen”, are some of the unfavourable parts of daily life. How to address non-binary people is important for them and the correct manner of address is a way for these people to feel comfortable with their gender.

-Are you a girl or a boy?

-I AM NEITHER!

Makeup

I am going to Rome with one of my friends tomorrow. I am so excited; however, there is something bothering me for a while. I want to talk about it with my friend.

The last night before going to Rome

“I do not know, I thought a lot during the last few weeks when I was alone. I guess I am planning to resume taking hormones.”

“Why? You looked like you were sure that this was not the thing you wanted.”

“The change that I had during the time I took hormones was actually the one I wanted. Day by day, I started to look like the way I wished to be.

“Your appearance didn’t change much after you quit taking them.”

“I don’t think so. I feel like I am going back the long way I came. I feel less and less happy with my image in the mirror. No matter how confused I felt when I was taking hormones, I was happy for the things that I did to my appearance. I felt more free with a more feminine look.”

“The hormones won’t make you more feminine. Look at me, my oestrogen level is much higher than my testosterone level, but I define myself as masculine and express myself to the world in this way. Now, no one calls me a feminine woman. Everybody knows me as masculine. Because I see and define myself that way. If you want to be and look feminine, you don’t need any supplement. You can become feminine once you believe you are being one and then define yourself that way.

“I guess you are right.”

First day in Rome

“Humph, this suitcase is really heavy.”

“Come on, you are a guy, you can carry it.”

Third day in Rome

“You are a sweet boy.”

Fifth day in Rome

“Look, this old man is your future self. But you will be wearing makeup and be whinier.”

Recently, I have been trying some ways to be the one I wanted to be. This was hormone, makeup, or clothes; but none of them made me feel, like enough. I wonder if I know who I want to be. I have always felt something missing on the road that I started to walk without knowing where I wanted to go. Whenever I felt like doing right, some barriers were created before me, and I stumbled. Why don’t they just allow me to look like and behave how I wish? Even my closest friends give me the things which I fear most. Why do they act like my appearance has to determine my gender? I want to be feminine most of the time, but I don’t want to be a woman. I want to be masculine sometimes, but I don’t want to be a man.

The fact that people call me a man when I look masculine prevents me from being masculine and the fact that they call me as a woman when I look feminine prevents me from being feminine. Even my friend, who said to me the previous day that your appearance does not define your gender, can easily tell me that they see me as a man when I step outside without wearing any makeup the next day. Then, they can say to me in the same moment “You don’t need to wear makeup or take hormones in order to be seen feminine.” Due to this contradiction, all the things they said earlier lose their significance. Now, I don’t know what I will do. I want to use makeup, not because other people can understand that I am not a man, but because I want to look like that way on that day.

Then, they ask me why I care how other people think. Because how they think does not allow me to be the way I want to be. They don’t allow me to be feminine or masculine. They do their best to shape me into how they perceive me. And I stumble whenever I try to step outside of their perceptions.  

*The articles at KaosGL.org Gökkuşağı Forumu (Rainbow Forum) are under the responsibility of their authors. The fact that the articles are published at KaosGL.org does not mean that the opinions at the articles reflect the opinions of KaosGL.org. As a translation of the KaosGL.org article, LGBTI News Turkey should also emphasise that the views seen here are those of the author and that the views expressed here don’t necessarily represent those of LGBTI News Turkey.

Trans woman prisoner Buse is on hunger strike again

Lawyer Eren Keskin has announced via her social media account that trans woman prisoner Buse resumed her  hunger strike on January 31st.

Source: Trans Woman Prisoner Buse is on hunger strike again (Trans mahpus Buse tekrar ölüm orucunda) February 13, 2019 http://www.pembehayat.org/haberler/detay/2065/trans-mahpus-buse-tekrar-olum-orucunda

Prisoner and trans woman Buse, who was given a life sentence and is currently kept in Tekirdağ Prison, began a hunger strike in June last year because her access to  healthcare had been denied. When Buse’s lawyer Eren Keskin announced via her social media accounts that Buse began a hunger strike, she added “Trans woman Buse who is in Tekirdağ Prison has been on hunger strike for 21 days since her gender transition surgery is not being performed. She is asking for awareness.”

Buse, who started a hunger strike due to the fact that her gender reassignment surgery is not being performed, paused her resistance on the 38th day of her hunger strike, with support from outside the prison.

On hunger strike again
According to the social media post of Lawyer Eren Keskin via her Twitter account, trans woman prisoner Buse resumed the hunger strike on January 31st, because the Ministry of Health has prevented her access to adequate healthcare .

“I want to be set free from the prison in my body.”
Lawyer Eren Keskin, who had previously made a statement to a Pink Life Association reporter about the case process of trans woman prisoner Diren Coşkun, who undertook a hunger strike in past months in order to have her demands met, also made a statement about the process of Buse’s case. Diren Coşkun and Buse were previously in the same prison wing.

Keskin told Buse that she can file for a retrial since there were no lawyers present throughout her trial. As a response to this Buse said “I want to be set free from the prison of my body”.

23 years in prison
Derya Özata of Kadınlarla Dayanışma Vakfı (Women’s Solidarity Foundation), whom KaosGL.org contacted in relation to the infringements Buse has faced, stated that Buse has been kept in the prison for 23 years. She was given a life sentence, and has the report for the gender transition surgery, but the operation has yet to be performed . Özata also indicated that Buse said to the lawyer who visited  her that “I want to see my body as a woman’s body. I do not want to live in this body anymore. It is not even certain how long I will live, or whether I will ever come out of the prison.”

 

Istanbul Medical Chamber’s “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” Panel

LGBTI+ rights and health were the topics of discussion in the panel, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” organized by the Istanbul Medical Chamber Women’s Commission.

Source: “Istanbul Medical Chamber’s “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” Panel ” (İstanbul Tabip Odası’ndan “Cinsel Yönelim ve Cinsiyet Kimlikleri” paneli), kaosgl.org, January 25, 2019, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=27446

The Panel “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities”, the fourth in the panel series “Different Faces of Sexuality” organized by the Istanbul Medical Chamber (IMC) Women’s Commission, was held on January 17.

IMC president, Dr. Pınar Saip, moderated the panel held at IMC’s Cağaloğlu building. The panelists included psychiatrist Seven Kaptan, psychiatrist Şahika Yüksel, and Can Candan, Bosphorus University faculty member and director of the documentary ‘My Child.’

In her opening speech, Dr. Pınar Saip said that sex education is not adequately covered in medical training, and for this reason, organizing a panel like this is very important.

Myths, Facts

Dr. Seven Kaptan talked about common misconceptions held by society in her talk titled, “Myths/Facts About Sexual Orientation.” Kaptan stated that until the recent past, homosexuality was considered an illness and with the expansion in freedoms in the 20th century, perspectives have changed. Homophobia could be present in anyone and therapy involves working with internalized homophobia. She said there are doctors who have the inclination to require hormone testing from their patients, but that this has no scientific grounding. Kaptan ended her talk quoting from Yıldırım Türker: “A man can love a man, a woman can love a woman. The second sentence that you formulate will be a political one.”

Changes in Medicine

Another speaker in the panel, Dr. Şahika Yüksel talked about how the medical profession has treated trans individuals in her talk titled “Examining and Guiding Teens and Adults with Gender Dysphoria.” Yüksel shared information on transgender transition processes and the legal procedures in Turkey.

“My Child”

Can Candan, Bosphorus University faculty member and the director of the documentary “My Child” was the last speaker in the panel. Candan said that he was excited to see LISTAG (Families and Friends of LGBTI individuals) at the “Queer, Turkey, and Identity Conference” organized at Bosphorus University in 2010. He said this motivated him to make a documentary.

Candan ended his talk by mentioning LGBTI+ themed films and documentaries.

The panel ended with attendee questions and comments.

4th Mediterranean Symposium Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia

 

Source: “4th Mediterranean Symposium Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia”, (4. Homofobi, Bifobi, Transfobi Karşıtı Akdeniz Sempozyumu Nasıl Geçti), kaosgl.org, January 25, 2019, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=27450

 

Yağmur Arıcan of Mersin’s 7 Colors Association spoke with kaosgl.org about the 4th Mediterranean Symposium Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

The 4th Mediterranean Symposium Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia was held on January 18-20 at the Mersin Kültürhane and the Atlıhan Hotel.

In the three-day event, mental health professionals, counselors, attorneys, labor unions and professional organizations discussed LGBTI+ rights. Yağmur Arıcan of the Mersin based 7 Colors Association spoke with kaosgl.org about the symposium events.

Arıcan said that this year they centered the symposium on mental healthcare, legal and labor rights, and organized it in collaboration with the Mersin Bar Association: “We prepared the program in collaboration with the Mersin Bar Association and throughout the planning process, we took local dynamics into consideration. On the first day of the symposium, we hosted psychologists and social workers, on the second day, attorneys and on the last day, labor unions and trade associations.”

Arıcan said that on the first day of the symposium, after Dr. Seven Kaptan’s presentation on the myths and facts about sexuality, psychologist Fahriye Cengiz of Mersin’s 7 Colors Association spoke about what needs be taken into consideration in LGBTI+ mental healthcare: “Apart from mental health professionals, families of LGBTI+ individuals also participated in this session. What emerged from these sessions was the decision to create a web for mental healthcare consultancy services. The session also helped raise the awareness of families of LGBTI+ individuals.”

“Attorney Bilgin Yeşilboğaz of the Mersin Bar Association gave the opening speech on the second day of the symposium. Yeşilboğaz talked about LGBTI+ rights. Afterwards, attorney Neşe Öztürk of the Hatay Bar Association talked about the legal procedures for transgender transition processes. Attorney Ahmet Çevik of the Antalya Bar Association talked about the legislation regarding sex work; Attorney Ezgi Özkan of the Mersin Bar Association talked about LGBTI+ client and attorney relations, and the last speaker, Attorney Hatice Karaca of the Ankara Bar Association talked about refugee LGBTI+ individuals’ access to law. After this session, attendees in Ahmet Toksöz’s workshop, split into groups of three and transformed a given case into a strategic case. This workshop was limited to only 45 attorney participants, but due to a high level of interest, we ended up having 60 participants. I think the most important outcome of this session was the decision for the bar association to create a web for legal consultancy services which has mostly been dependent on personal relations.”

Arıcan explained that the theme for the third day of the symposium was “labor”, focusing on LGBTI+ individuals’ relations with labor unions and trade associations. “The first speaker, Remzi Altunpolat of Kaos GL Association, talked about how the fight for rights could be made into a common pursuit. Özge Göncü, branch chair of Mersin Health and Social Services Labor Union (SES) talked about LGBTI+ visibility. The last speaker, Ayşe Jini Güneş of Mersin Chamber of Physicians talked about the healthcare breaches LGBTI+ individuals experience. The symposium ended with the screening of the film “Pride”.”

 

QUEER FESTIVAL ON JANUARY 27: WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO WATCH

All events are free of charge and all films have both Turkish and English subtitles.

TALK: QUEERATION: QUEER PROGRAMMERS TALK

15:00, Kıraathane Edebiyat Evi

How are the programs for queer festivals organized? What is given priority during the selection process? What sensitivities are taken into consideration? Queer festival programmers will talk about how festivals are organized in Europe and share their experiences on the organizing process. Esra Özban (QueerFest) will moderate the talk. The participants include Ricke Mericke(Queer Lisboa), Theresa Heath-Ellul (Wotever DIY Film Festival), Muffin Hix (Fringe! Queer Arts Festival) and Andrea Coloma (Mix Copenhagen).

FORUM: QUEER FILMMAKERS ON BOARD

17:45, Kıraathane Edebiyat Evi

This forum will bring together the directors and their teams with queer filmmakers, after the screening Shorts from Turkey, to discuss issues on the conditions and challenges of film production, screening and distribution in Turkey. We invite all those who make or want to make queer cinema in Turkey to this forum.

TODAYS SCREENINGS

Tasarım Atölyesi Kadıköy

13:00 –   Intersex, which attracted a lot of attention at Queer Lisboa, is an activism film telling the story of Vincent Guillot who after discovering themself to be intersex tries to meet with other intersex people. In the documentary, an illustrator, Ins A. Kromminga joins Vincent’s journey and the couple tell a story through personal experiences, feelings, narratives and Ins’s anime works. The film also witnesses the wedding of Vincent and their girlfriend, bringing together the intersex community. After the screening of the film on January 27th at the Tasarım Atölyesi Kadıköy, Vincent Guillot, Ins A Kromminga and the activist Şerife Yurtseven will come together for the panel “X: Transnational Intersex Activism” at Kıraathane Istanbul Edebiyat Evi.

15:00   – Terror Nullius takes its name from the phrase terra nullius which means “land without an owner”. The film is a noteworthy example of a successful queer mashup film both due to its content and style. Filmed in Sydney in 2002 and produced by a two-person art collective Soda Jerk, which produces works at the intersection of documentary and speculative fiction genres.  Terror Nulliusde constructs Australian cinema through its story taking place on the set of the production of “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior”. The film is an eye opening criticism of colonialism and patriarchy.

16:30  – Jason Baker is a trans director who had been a programmer for BFI Flare and had their short films screened in many festivals. A Deal with the Universe, Baker’s first feature film, is an autobiographical work comprised of Baker’s personal archives. The documentary premiered at BFI Flare and is a special work that delivers the story of how Jason became a parent through intimate and personal questioning. The film takes the viewer through debates on gender and new parenting.

18:00   – Introducing the history of cinema from the past to the present day, Pink Life QueerFest brings together queer productions and the festival audience by hosting the film Tongues Untied, 1989 in the ‘cULT’ section as we celebrate the festivals 30th anniversary this year. The film, which will be shown in its restored copy, is one of the most important examples of the performative documentary genre. Tongues Untied has a very special place in film history for its work in opening space for black, gay and HIV positive people to talk on their own behalf. Farsi subtitles by the renowned academic and translator, Fahri Öz, will be available for the film.

 

Kıraathane Istanbul Edebiyat Evi

13:00    – Theresa Health, founder of Wotever DIY Film Festival, shares the selection of shorts at the intersection of queerness and Dis/ability with the title An Unashamed Claim to Beauty: Short Films at the Intersection of Queerness and Dis/ability.

15:00   – Mix Copenhagen Nordic Lights Short Selection by Mix Copenhagen LGBT Film Festival is prepared for this year’s QueerFest and features themes of body and prejudice.

16:30   – Queer Shorts from Turkey

18:00   – This year for Queer Series section, Mixed Messages, 2017 will be screened. The mini-series depicting a lesbian Londoner’s dating adventures in Berlin’s queer environments conveys the unsuccessful and sometimes unfortunate experiences of its hero who eventually realizes that they are looking for love in the wrong places.

 

Fransız Kültür Merkezi

13:00   – London based “Fringe! Queer Arts Festival” prepared the section entitled Fringe! Shorts Selection: You came in Like a Wrecking Ball. The section features innovative productions that explore the boundaries of cinematic expression.

15:00  – Corpo Electrico is an award-winning production and a highlight of Brazilian queer cinema. The realist film, which collected awards at various festivals including Queer Lisboa, portrays the story of a group of young people in their daily lives as they work in a textile factory. In the film, Elias starts working in a textile factory in São Paulo. As the workload increases with the upcoming holiday season, Elias begins to enter new social circles and encounters new emotions and experiences.

16:30  – Rafiki is another exciting new production to greet the audience in the Under the Rainbow section of the festival. Rafiki was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It tells the story of two young women whose friendship turns into love, amidst the political differences of their families. The film was banned in Kenya, its country of production on the premises that it promoted homosexuality.

Boysan’ın Evi

20:00    – Closing Film: Bixa Travesty won the TEDDY Best Documentary Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Witness the striking personality and dizzying world of Linn da Quebrada, a black trans performer and activist from the favelas of São Paulo. We recommend you not to miss the opportunity to meet with Quebrada who describes themself as a “gender terrorist”. Quebrada uses art and nudity as a radical tool to rebel against the heteronormative order.

8th Pink Life QueerFest Programme

The 8th Pink Life QueerFest starts the festival season with the opening ceremony where Love, Scott will be screened. Both the opening concert and party will take place in Anahit Sahne on Thursday night, January 24. This year’s festival will be hosted by Kıraathane İstanbul Edebiyat Evi (Kıraathane İstanbul Literature House), Fransız Kültür Merkezi (French Cultural Center) and Tasarım Atölyesi Kadıköy (Design Workshop Kadıköy) on January 25-26-27th.

The festival is made possible with the support of the Norwegian Embassy, the German Embassy, the European Union Sivil Düşün Programme, the Embassy of Denmark, the Embassy of Finland, the French Cultural Center, the Embassy of the United Kingdom, the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Embassy of Canada and Movies That Matter.

Under the Rainbow

Here QueerFest announces the programme of its most popular section “Under the Rainbow”  which brings together critically acclaimed feature films.  The films to be shown this year are: Corpo Electrico (2017), Terror Nullius (2018), Malila: A Farewell Flower( 2017), Retablo (2017) and Rafiki (2018).

Corpo Electrico is an award-winning production and a highlight of Brazilian queer cinema. The realist film, which collected awards at various festivals including Queer Lisboa, portrays the story of a group of young people in their daily lives as they work in a textile factory. In the film, Elias starts working in a textile factory in São Paulo. As the workload increases with the upcoming holiday season, Elias begins to enter new social circles and encounters new emotions and experiences.

After the screening of the film, there will be a panel with the participation of a migrant LGBTI + textile worker from Denizli. The mechanisms of discrimination against LGBTI + individuals in such a labor-intensive sector will be discussed.

Terror Nullius takes its name from the phrase terra nullius which means “land without an owner”. The film is a noteworthy example of a successful queer mashup film both due to its content and style. Filmed in Sydney in 2002 and produced by a two-person art collective Soda Jerk, which produces works at the intersection of documentary and speculative fiction genres.  Terror Nulliusde constructs Australian cinema through its story taking place on the set of the production of “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior”. The film is an eye opening criticism of colonialism and patriarchy.

Malila: A Farewell Flower was Thailand’s Oscar nomination for this year. The film deserves special attention due to its impressive cinematography and sober narrative.  Malila tells the story of Shane who is struggling with a terminal disease. The film narrates Shane’s union with their ex lover through the decorative art of “Bai Siri”, symbolizing the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. Director Anucha Boonyawatana’s first feature film Onthakan (2015) was also screened at the 5th Quer Fest.

Retablo was screened at the “Generation Films” selection of 2018 Berlinale Festival. The film takes its title from the art of “retablo” which illustrates religious stories with a technique bringing together sculpting and painting. Fourteen year old Segundo wants to become an esteemed “retablo” master just like their father and continue the family tradition. How will Segundo deal with the confrontation when their father’s secret life is revealed? Will Segundo join the mob hatred against their father, is there another way possible? The film was very well received by last year’s Berlinale audience and got the TEDDY award.

Rafiki is another exciting new production to greet the audience in the Under the Rainbow section of the festival. Rafiki was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It tells the story of two young women whose friendship turns into love, amidst the political differences of their families. The film was banned in Kenya, its country of production on the premises that it promoted homosexuality.

Queer Documentaries

The following films will be shown in Queer Documentaries section of the festival:

No Democracy Here, 2017, Dykes, Camera, Action!, 2018, Intersex (Entre Deux Sexes, 2017), A Deal with the Universe, 2018, Kaliarnta, 2015, Lunadigas or ‘Concerning Childfree Women’, 2016, Love, Scott, 2018, Bixa Travesty, 2018

Performance artist and activist Liad Hussein Kantorowicz uses BDSM as an allegory to question the mechanisms of democracy in No Democracy Here. As a dominatrix Liad Hussein Kantorowicz brings their right-wing obedient submissive “slaves” with dog collars under strict orders to vote for a party the “slaves” totally oppose (of course it’s consensual).

Dykes, Camera, Action! is about the cinema of queer woman coloring the silver screen. The focus is on the movement which out of the intersection of the Stonewall movement, activism, feminism, queer cinema and experimental cinema. Included in the film are many pioneer names such as Barbara Hammer and Cheryl Dunye.

Intersex, which attracted a lot of attention at Queer Lisboa, is an activism film telling the story of Vincent Guillot who after discovering themself to be intersex tries to meet with other intersex people. In the documentary, an illustrator, Ins A. Kromminga joins Vincent’s journey and the couple tell a story through personal experiences, feelings, narratives and Ins’s anime works. The film also witnesses the wedding of Vincent and their girlfriend, bringing together the intersex community. After the screening of the film on January 27th at the Tasarım Atölyesi Kadıköy, Vincent Guillot, Ins A Kromminga and the activist Şerife Yurtseven will come together for the panel “X: Transnational Intersex Activism” at Kıraathane Istanbul Edebiyat Evi.

Jason Baker is a trans director who had been a programmer for BFI Flare and had their short films screened in many festivals. A Deal with the Universe, Baker’s first feature film, is an autobiographical work comprised of Baker’s personal archives. The documentary premiered at BFI Flare and is a special work that delivers the story of how Jason became a parent through intimate and personal questioning. The film takes the viewer through debates on gender and new parenting.

Kaliarnta, will be shown in memory of the LGBTI + activist Zak Kostopoulos, who was murdered in a mob lynching in Athens. The documentary focuses on the Greek queer slang known as Kaliarnta. The film will be screened on January 25 at the Kıraathane Istanbul Edebiyat Evi, followed by a talk with the director Paola Revenioti.

Another interesting feature of the selection is a documentary Lunadigas or ‘Concerning Childfree Women, where the directors share their own stories as they discover the stories of women from a variety of different backgrounds, who can not or do not want to have children. After the screening of the film on 25th January at Tasarım Atölyesi Kadıköy, directors Nicoletta Nesler and Marilisa Piga and producer Susi Monzali will be with the audience for the question and answer event. After the screening of the film at Feminist Mekan on January 26th, the filmmakers and the producer will be with the audience again for the question-answer event. The same event will also host a forum titled Concerning Childfreeness with the participation of the film crew.

Love, Scott made its festival debut as the opening film at BFI Flare. Love Scott, recounts Scot Jones’s experiences and how they held onto life with the help of music for three years after being subjected to a traumatic hate crime. Scot’s story is a strong inspiring documentary as they renew their hope for life with the help of a choir. Scott Jones will be in Istanbul for the opening of KuirFest. Farsi subtitles will be available for this film.

Bixa Travesty won the TEDDY Best Documentary Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Witness the striking personality and dizzying world of Linn da Quebrada, a black trans performer and activist from the favelas of São Paulo. We recommend you not to miss the opportunity to meet with Quebrada who describes themself as a “gender terrorist”. Quebrada uses art and nudity as a radical tool to rebel against the heteronormative order.

Queer Series

KuirFest gives a special importance to online series as a way of opening a free expression field to LGBTI  stories. The festivals program has included the Queer Series for three years. This year Mixed Messages, 2017 will be screened. The mini-series depicting a lesbian Londoner’s dating adventures in Berlin’s queer environments conveys the unsuccessful and sometimes unfortunate experiences of its hero who eventually realizes that they are looking for love in the wrong places.

cULT

Introducing the history of cinema from the past to the present day, Pink Life QueerFest brings together queer productions and the festival audience by hosting the film Tongues Untied, 1989 in the ‘cULT’ section as we celebrate the festivals 30th anniversary this year. The film, which will be shown in its restored copy, is one of the most important examples of the performative documentary genre. Tongues Untied has a very special place in film history for its work in opening space for black, gay and HIV positive people to talk on their own behalf. Farsi subtitles by the renowned academic and translator, Fahri Öz, will be available for the film.

In previous years, KuirFest has given publicity to films from the black queer movement. Again this year, the  restored version of Buddies 1985 will be screened in the ‘cULT’ section. Buddies has a special place in cinema history in terms of  breaking down the prejudices about HIV positive people.

Ğ

Now it’s time for one of the most special sections of the festival ‘Ğ’. Bringing together queer productions and films about the LGBTİ+ movement with The Night, Melek and Our Children (1994). The Atıf Yılmaz directed cult film will be shown in this section as it is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Night, Melek and Our Children is a must see film as it is one of the first films where we heard lubunca (Turkish queer slang) in Turkey cinema and includes real scenes of 1990s queer life. After the screening of the film on January 26 at Fransız Kültür Merkezi, poet and writer Yıldırım Türker, Deniz Türkali (an actress involved in the film) and Metin Akdemir (the director of the film) will discusses female sexuality and censorship in the conversation entitled ‘Scenes that can not be shot’.

SHORT SELECTIONS

Pink Life gives space for short films that contribute to the queering of cinema. Within the scope of the festival program, a total of seven short films will be shown this year and on this topic QueerFest has cooperated with programmers from around the world just like every other year.

London based “Fringe! Queer Arts Festival” prepared the section entitled Fringe! Shorts Selection: You came in Like a Wrecking Ball. The section features innovative productions that explore the boundaries of cinematic expression. After the screening held on January 25 at Kıraathane Istanbul Edebiyat Evi, Fringe! Queer Film & Art Festival programmer Muffin Hix will meet with the audience at a question-answer event.

 Mix Copenhagen Nordic Lights Short Selection by Mix Copenhagen LGBT Film Festival is prepared for this year’s QueerFest and features themes of body and prejudice. Andrea Coroma programmer of Mix Copenhagen LGBT Film Festival who prepared the selection will meet with the audience at question-answer event after the screening at the Tasarım Atölyesi Kadikoy on January 25th.

Theresa Health, founder of Wotever DIY Film Festival, shares the selection of shorts at the intersection of queerness and Dis/ability with the title An Unashamed Claim to Beauty: Short Films at the Intersection of Queerness and Dis/ability. Following the screening of the selection at Tasarım Atölyesi Kadikoy, Health will join the question- answer event.

The films in the short selection titled Revolting Bodies by the QueerFest program will also challenge the assumptions and demands placed on our body perception by the hegemonic system. Another QueerFest short selection entitled  queerdom of memories will bring together films that question personal and collective memory.

There are frame breaking productions in the Masculinities! Shorts Selection. Thomas Hakim, the director of Still Waiting will meet the QueerFest audience at a question-answer event. Still Waiting is a special story on the experiences, dreams and desires of Anton after Alexandre’s death.

Shorts from Turkey has a special place in the festival again this year. Films, Rüya by Sinan Göknur, A Bike Story by Umut Erdem, Archive of Feelings: Radical Compassion by Gizem Aksu, Room Ex by Demhat Aksoy, Another Matter by Bahar Kılıç Adilçe and Hulusi Nusih Tütüncü, Tanışma by Öykü Aytulun and the project Films for Change by Ezgi Şahin, Demhat Aksoy, Uzay Nagodre and Umut Erdem will be screened in the scope of the selection.

FESTIVAL EVENTS

The Festival program includes panels, talks, round table discussions and a performance workshop:

ROUNDTABLE: Queer Performance: Chances/Challenges/Chances

January 25, 18.00, Dramaqueer

The conceptual framework of Tanz im August comes to QueerFest with Brenda Dixon-Gottchild’s permission and the moderation of Gizem Aksu. Brenda Dixon-Gottchild presents a conceptual framework for three women choreographers from three different continents. In this discussion, we will focus on chance, conflict and transformation that lie in the interaction of the political, economical and socio-cultural aspects within the personal histories of the artists. The roundtable participants include Liad Hussein Kantorowics, with her film There Is No Democracy Here screening in the Queer Documentaries category, Maria Dolores from Athens Queer Arts Museum, Hülya Dolaş from Dramaqueer and performance artist Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu.

TALK: QUEER WORKERS IN TEXTILE INDUSTRY SPEAK

January 25, 19.15, Kıraathane Istanbul Edebiyat Evi

A conversation with queer textile workers, titled “Queer Mensucat Inc.: Queer Workers in Textile Speak”, will follow the screening of the film Electric Body in the Under the Rainbow category.  In this talk, discrimination against LGBTI+ people working in the labor-intensive textile industry will be discussed.

PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP WITH GIZEM AKSU

January 26, 13.30-16.00

Artist Gizem Aksu’s solo performance YU, shown in many festivals, explores the body’s organic wisdom. Produced for the 4th Mardin Biennial, the installation, Shelter, Barricade, Nature, focuses on the absence of the body. To celebrate the multiplicities and the abundance of the body, they bring the object constructed for the installation Shelter, Barricade, Nature to this performance workshop, making it available to a queer context and performance artists. In this workshop, attendees will experience being performance researchers and experiment with performative propositions towards queer constructions of the body, movement and perception. Anyone open to performative experimentation can attend this workshop. Because of the limited number of space available, please send an email to kuirfest@gmail.com if you wish to attend. 

PANEL: ERROR IN HATE.DLL

January 26, 14.15, Tasarım Atölyesi Kadikoy

The panelists will point to how hate speech is not a regional but a universal problem by looking at examples from Canada, Turkey and Greece and by sharing experiences from their personal and professional lives. In this panel, you will hear from victims of hate crimes and their attorneys as they discuss how the way we use language may turn to hate speech and lead to hate crimes.

Pink Life LGBTT Solidarity Organization’s law consultant Emrah Şahin will moderate the panel. The panelists include lead actor Scott Jones in Dear Scott, lawyer Eren Keskin, Turkey’s first openly transgender lawyer candidate Efruz Kaya and Anna Apostotelli, an activist who has been part of queer and feminist groups in Athens for twenty years.

PANEL: X: TRANSNATIONAL INTERSEX ACTIVISM

January 26, 17.45, Kıraathane Istanbul Edebiyat Evi

This panel will discuss intersex activism by looking at examples and experiences of intersex people from around the world, intersex gatherings that cross borders and the struggles intersex people face in different locales. Panelists include Ins A Kromminga from Germany, Vincent Guillot from France and Vreer Sirenu from Holland. Intersex activist, Şerife Yurtseven will be moderating the panel.

TALK: NIGHT, ANGEL AND OUR QUEERS

January 26, 19.15, Fransız Kültür Merkezi

Atıf Yılmaz’s film Night, Angel and our Queers will meet with QueerFest audience in a special screening for the film’s 25th anniversary. Atıf Yılmaz became known as a director of women’s films in Turkish cinema and of movies that created subtle unease. The film Night, Angel and our Queers left its mark during the director’s time.

After the screening of Night, Angel and our Queers, the film’s screenplay writer Yıldırım Türker with “Angel”, Deniz Türkali with Scenes That Couldn’t Be Shot, a film about women sexuality in Turkish cinema, and Metin Akdemir will discuss queerness and sexuality in 80s and 90s Turkish cinema and the time period itself. Esma Akyel will moderate the panel.

FORUM: CONCERNING CHILDFREENESS

January 26, 19.30, Feminist Mekan

The forum will take place after the film in the Queer Documentary series, Lunadigas or About Childless Women. The discussion will center on the experiences of women without children or women who choose not to have children.

TALK: THE GOOD CITIZEN: STATE, ELECTION, WHIP: ON POLITICAL BDSM WITH LIAD & NOIR

January 26, 20.00, Kıraathane Istanbul Edebiyat Evi

After the screening of Liad Hussein Kantorowicz’s performance film, There is no Democracy Here, translator, editor, writer, poet researcher Gülkan Noir and Kantorowicz will have a multifaceted discussion about the political concepts in the film and how these intersect with erotic / pornographic issues and the political foundations of BDSM.

TALK: QUEERATION: QUEER PROGRAMMERS TALK

January 27, 15.00, Kıraathane Edebiyat Evi

How are the programs for queer festivals organized? What is given priority during the selection process? What sensitivities are taken into consideration? Queer festival programmers will talk about how festivals are organized in Europe and share their experiences on the organizing process. Esra Özban (QueerFest) will moderate the talk. The participants include Ricke Mericke (Queer Lisboa), Theresa Heath-Ellul (Wotever DIY Film Festival), Muffin Hix (Fringe! Queer Arts Festival) and Andrea Coloma (Mix Copenhagen).

FORUM: QUEER FILMMAKERS ON BOARD

January 27, 17.45, Kıraathane Edebiyat Evi

This forum will bring together the directors and their teams with queer filmmakers, after the screening Shorts from Turkey, to discuss issues on the conditions and challenges of film production, screening and distribution in Turkey. We invite all those who make or want to make queer cinema in Turkey to this forum.

Share your Festival memories with the hash tags #ÇokGüzelsinYasakMısın and #URPrettyRUBanned.

For more information:

basin@pembehayat.org

www.pembehayatkuirfest.org

www.instagram.com/kuirfest

www.facebook.com/PembeHayatKuirFest

https://twitter.com/kuirfest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gizem Aksu Performance Workshop

The Pink Life QueerFest workshop series aims to provide channels of expression for LGBTI+ individuals through art. This year, it continues with a performative workshop led by Gizem Aksu. The workshop will take place on January 26, 13:00-16:00 at Asmalı Sahne.  

For the first time Artist Gizem Aksu will introduce an object they used in two of their works Yu and Barınak, Barikat, Tabiat to a queer context in such a manner that participants and performers will be able to use it. In their solo performance Yu the artist investigates organic wisdom of the body and their installation Barınak, Barikat, Tabiat (Shelter,  Barricade, Nature) which was produced for IV.Mardin Biennale focuses on the absence of the body. The participants of the workshop will be taking the role of performative researchers at the workshop and try out performative premises for the queer construction of the body, movement and perception. Anyone who is open to performative experiments can participate. The participants are requested to send an e-mail to kuirfest@gmail.com by January 22, 2019 as participation is limited to 15 people.

To participate please click: https://goo.gl/forms/NRMxgvZWTN7MAw052

Share your festival memories with the hashtags #ÇokGüzelsinYasakMısın and  #URPrettyRUBanned