Serbia: Queer Beograd, LGBT Festival Kicks Off in Belgrade This Week
Serbia is one of the least gay-friendly countries in Europe. Discrimination is widespread and impacts not only members of the LGBT community, but also persons with disabilities and the Roma community.
All of which makes it remarkable that the festival, Queer Beograd, is taking pride to the streets of Belgrade:
Pink News reports: “Cabaret, street performance and film will all be on show at next week’s Queer Beograd X5 in Belgrade.
The festival begins on Thursday 18th with cabaret Direcktno featuring activists turned performers from London, Amsterdam and Berlin, and runs until Sunday.”
The Eurovision Song Contest was held in Belgrade earlier in the year. Far right groups issued warnings that gays would be targeted. One of these groups, Obraz, is classified as an ‘Orthodox clero-fascist’ organization and is well known for its virulent anti-gay views – also for assaults on gay people.
An organizer of Queer Beograd offered his assessment of some of the challenges:
“Serbia has seen some changes in the last year, a referendum, the ‘passing’ of the so called constitution, the fall of government, the independence of Kosovo, yet another election. All the time the political climate moves increasingly to the far right neo fascist identity.”
“It is from this position that we place the agenda for our festival as direct action and antifascism – because we always want to take the most concrete steps to build bridges to smash borders, to see our liberation linked with everyones.”