School of LGBTI activism is rolling on very well! After the first module where participants gained information on development of Queer history and sexuality through the ages, as well as new terms and knowledge of queer theory, it was time to start narrowing down topics and go into depth of each of those.
This time we had remarkable Zoe Gudovic from Belgrade, with us, long-time activist, queer feminist, lesbian and women who raises her voice against any kind of oppression, discrimination and violence.
This time we talked about lesbian activism in our region as well as the various initiatives that have happened and are still happening in the streets, raising awareness of the presence of the problem of violence, discrimination or the invisibility of women and lesbians in particular in our societies.
Zoe emphasized the importance of identifying the woman as a feminist or lesbian and especially having in mind the context we in which we all live and work. Feminism, as such, is always “pro”, for change, for the better, for dialogue, for transparency.
In 60s and 70s in Yugoslavia development of lesbian and feminist discourse has started, with the focus on the body, what is public, what is political and what is personal? Between the 90s and 2000s with the development of non-governmental organizations and organized association, peace activism is the one that linked lesbians and feminists together into powerful women’s voice against violence and torture.
We, as activists and lesbians, we are more than just our lesbian identity, our mission is to always question our identities and our actions that follow it, we are role-models who are changing society for the better. The 4 hour session was finished by preparation of the actions that will follow.
Some of us for have heard for the first time some historical events that occurred in 80s and 90s, but the activist seed is sown and we all need to continue, because as Zoe says “No more silence!”
Zoe is also the winner of the “Jelena Šantić” award in the category of individuals for their continuous action promoting peace activism, tolerance and non-violence. Zoe is a woman, a feminist, a lesbian, a loud and public and advocates for the protection of human rights of marginalized groups and individuals.
With Zoe it is always energetic, motivating and empowering. Because after these lectures and talks, it is impossible not to continue to build up a better society for all of us!
Zoe Gudovic, brilliant as always!
Actions we are working on are yet to come 🙂 Hope to see you at one of those!