The action on “Promotion of Diversity and Equality in Albania” under the EU/CoE “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey” and the Council of Europe Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) unit are supporting “Aleanca LGBTI”, “Pro LGBTI” and Streha LGBTI organisations for the launching of a series of events and activities to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia - IDAHOT 2020 and the 10th anniversary of the Pride in Albania.
Considering the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to come together and find creative ways in order to inspire, support and engage LGBTI communities, but this time it will be “ONLINE”.
The main activities happening during 11 -17 May are as follows:
- Life in #Queerantine: An ONLINE campaign featuring videos that reflect the stories of how LGBTI community is experiencing quarantine, which aims to create a parallel line between the fact that for LGBTI people, social distancing is not a new condition since they have been living it all their lives, but their resilience has made them survive and win.
The audio and visual materials are provided by community members that want to share their stories and experiences. We are planning to produce at least 20 videos, some of which will be translated in English. We hope this initiative will be the starting point of creating an online LGBTI Oral History campaign all around the world, as we think LGBTI life experiences and stories have been misunderstood, misinterpreted and underrepresented throughout history.
- Read Queer: an online book club which will present to the LGBTI community and general public with the most well-known Queer and feminist writers through the history. The aim of this event is to raise awareness and knowledge on LGBTI issues through literature and culture.
- #QueerGotTalent: An online talent show that aims to empower the LGBTI community through art and also keep the community engaged and away from the stress created from quarantine. LGBTI talented individuals are sending their videos performing in different disciplines and they will be shared on Aleanca’s Instagram and Facebook. The voting process is public and on 17 of May - IDAHOT prices will be given to the finalists for their best performance.
- Balcony Pride, Due to the fact that the pride cannot be held on the 17th of May as the usual Tirana Pride, a new form of Pride is created by making a video of LGBTI community and Allies by raising the LGBTI flag in their Balconies. The video will be published on the 17th of May, the ‘’International day against homophobia and transphobia’’.
- #QueerTalks: An online show with interviews of LGBTI activists through the Balkans and Albanian Public figures, Ambassadors, Commissioner against Discrimination, People’s Advocate etc. The show aims to raise awareness on LGBTI community challenges and realities in different Balkan countries.
- Online regional webinar with LGBTI activists from the Balkans on ‘’How LGBTI movements are challenging the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the webinar will be to create the possibility for activists to share their best practices of work, experiences and challenges derived from the COVID-19 situation.
- LGBTI History Month: Online campaign that aims to present the general public and LGBTI community with information on famous LGBTI people and activists that have helped to reshape the world.
- Tirana Pride through years: The video to be shared in social media and other channels describes how the history of Pride started in Albania and how it developed through the years into a social movement.
- Photo Exhibition ‘’Queer in Queerantin’’: A virtual photography exhibition with pictures that portray lives of queer people in the Balkans living under quarantine. The exhibition will be shared in social networks of different organisations in the Balkans and will be open during the whole week.
- Tirana Gay Pride - 15 May: For the first time the LGBTI Pride will be held online on Zoom platform. Around 500 people are expected to join the celebrations. A final video of the Zoom Pride will be shared on social networks.