The WWP’s photographer, Charles ‘Chad’ Meacham has been in Minsk, Belarus photographing the gay rights activists during Minsk’s 2011 Equality Festival. Images include pictures of the banned Pride march, which took place on May 17, 2011. See more photos on Chad’s website – www.CharlesMeacham.com
In Belarus LGBT Prides are illegal, and are planned out in secret by a small group of activists.
The activists face being arrested for protesting for very basic Human Rights.
The average age of activists here is 20. Almost all of them have spent time in jail.
Many have also been kicked out of their universities for their actions.
However, they keep fighting on.
See more photos on Chad’s website – www.CharlesMeacham.com
STRASBOURG, 11 May 2011 — Yesterday, President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek inaugurated a photo exhibition on European gay prides. The Polish centre-right President addressed Members of the European Parliament, staff and visitors. Mr Buzek declared that homophobia had no place in the European Union, and that human rights were unalienable, including for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Jerzy Buzek officially marked the International Day Against Homophobia for
the first time in 2010 via video message. The President of the European Parliament was joined by Members of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek and Michael Cashman, Co-Presidents of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, and Charles Meacham, author of the photographs.
After the event, Michael Cashman and Ulrike Lunacek declared: “We are
proud to be members of a Parliament that represents 500 million Europeans,
and which stands ready to defend the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender people. The genuine and heartfelt engagement of Jerzy
Buzek, a Polish EPP President demonstrates that homophobia no longer
belongs to mainstream EU politics. We are grateful to Mr Buzek and all our
colleagues for helping LGBT people live their lives freely, and without fear.”
Since 2006, the European Parliament adopted five resolutions demanding
that LGBT people’s human rights be respected in Europe, reminding EU
countries that banning pride marches breaches the European Convention on
Human Rights. Over 180 European pride marches will take place in 2011,
from Iceland to Malta and from Portugal to Russia.
The exhibition contains 20 images by award-winning photographer Charles
Meacham, from New York. The photographs will be shown in over 20 locations around the world, starting in the EU Parliament from 9 to 12 May. About the International Day Against Homophobia 17 May is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Each year, the date marks the anniversary of the 17 May 1990, when the World Health Organization announced it would remove homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders.
European Union Press Release, www.lgbt-ep.eu/
View the online slideshow of the ‘Images Against Homophobia’ exhibiton! Click Here!
Images Against Homophobia
Posted in Project Information, Special
Tagged gay rights, GLBT, homophobia, LGBT, LGBT rights, photography, photography project, pride, pride march, pride parade, Walk with Pride
The Walk With Pride project is partnering with the IDAHO Committee (organizers of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) to organize a global exhibition in over 15 cities around the world in recognition of IDAHO day on May 17, 2011. This includes an exhibition to be held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
See if there is an exhibition near you on our Upcoming Exhibitions page.
The WWP project is still accepting applicants to take part in this global exhibition. If interested please contact us at: email@example.com
To find more information on IDAHO visit: http://dayagainsthomophobia.org
While doing this project to photograph international Prides, we’ve also witnessed homophobia in a variety of forms. From the religious fanatics with their bible quotes, to young skinheads who look barely over 15, to government homophobia in places like Belarus and Russia, and even the appearance of a small group of Nazis at Lithuania’s first Pride, we’ve seen a lot of hate. What always surprises us is the contrast between the scowling angry protestors and the smiling happy pride participants.
While homosexuality is not a choice, homophobia is …
View the Homophobia Gallery at the CharlesMeacham.com website.
Posted in Special
On Monday morning we arrived in Hungary, still slightly exhausted from catching an 8a.m. flight into Budapest. However, we are looking forward to documenting Budapest Pride.
While this year the annual Budapest Pride march will be celebrating its 15th anniversary, the march has also been plagued by escalating levels of violence. While the first 11 marches only had only minor disruptions, starting in 2007 the events have had more violent protests. Not only eggs, but also beer cans, smoke bombs, and other trash were thrown at participants. The ultra-nationalists have also chanted disturbing slogans like, “Queers into the Danube, Jews after them.” After this pride eleven attacks took place on those who had participated in the Pride. In 2008 the Police Chief tried to deny the organizers permission to hold the Pride, but this decision was soon reversed. However, levels of violence increased with Nationalists websites encouraging violence on the LGBT community, and publishing lists of gay hangouts – some of which were later attacked with Molotov cocktails. During the 2008 pride, bottles, rocks, firecrackers, and gasoline bombs were thrown at the participants.
Starting in 2009 the strategy of isolating the march from public view was put into practice, and this will be the same strategy employed this year. Unfortunately, already this year Pride organizers have had to face disruptions caused by neo-Nazis. A dozen showed up on Sunday at the opening of the Pride festival, including two who attacked a participant leaving the event. Again, like many of the places we’ve visited, the perpetrators of these hateful actions are youths!
Anyway, it should be an eventful time documenting this Pride, and getting to know the community hosting the march. We are spending the early part of this week attending workshops hosted by the Pride.
To see a full schedule of programs, check out:
Posted in Hungary, Journal Entry
Tagged Budapest Pride, Budapest Pride 2010, Budapsest, gay, gay rights, GLBT, homophobia, human rights, Hungary, LGBT, LGBT rights, pride, pride march