Tonight, the fourth Merlinka – the International Festival of Queer Film will open at 7pm. This Festival has been organized for seven years in Belgrade with the idea to promote the movies that tackle lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersexual and queer topics.
This years’ Merlinka in Sarajevo is different because its program is not as same as the one shown in Belgrade – the movies will be screened for the first time and the Festival will last for two days. Festival’s program can be found at this link.
Tonight, with the grand opening of the Festival, we are sending the message that culture is an important part of the fight for rights and freedom of expression of LGBT people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that are, ultimately, safeguarded by the laws of our country.
After 2014, when 14 masked attackers stormed in and attacked guests of the Festival, during the discussion on transexuality, and after the decision to continue with the Festival the day after, not letting the homophobes and bullies to endanger the freedom of assembly, a year later, in 2015, Merlinka was organized as it should be – with movies, good company and good atmosphere.
It is extremely important to, once again, show that this is a state of all its citizens, and that every festival which aims to present other and otherness or promote any social group that can exercise the rights and freedoms in this country – are welcome in this city and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Violence and intimidation, which became an everyday occurence in our society, will not and should not stop us to continue fighting for the better society and respect for human rights of all citizens.
That is the reason why the presence of all of us is very important, especially in the state where the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* people is still on a very low level, and there is a lot ahead of us in this fight.
See you tonight and tomorrow… in solidarity!