They care: What messages did famous persons send out from Merlinka Festival

Text and photo: Azem Kurtić

Last Saturday, International Queer Film Festival Merlinka closed its doors for the fifth time. This year, there was record attendance of over 500 people. In the attendance there were some well-known people from political and public life. With some of them we managed to have a talk and here are some of their messages.

One of those persons is Besima Borić, member of presidency of Social Democratic Party of B&H and ex-representative in Federal Parliament of FB&H. She came to give her support to the festival and to send strong political message. Her political work was closely attached to her activism and she is well known for her human rights work.

“Besides the tragedy and many human rights violations this society has endured in the past, we still live in a society that discriminates certain part of the population. If we want to develop as a truly democratic society, we have to be open to all social groups and provide well-being to each and every person in this country, regardless of their name or orientation”, said Besima Borić for

LGBT people are persons just as any other

Knowing how to use ones publicity in positive purposes is one of best characteristics famous person can have. Using his publicity and presence in media in that manner is something that journalist and translator Aleksandar Saša Brezar does for years.

“Regardless of what I do in my life, as a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, human being, straight person I have a responsibility to show with my presence here that things like this are really important in our society. Even with all the progress that we showed, at least in legal aspect, LGBT people still come across huge obstacles they need to scale”, states Brezar.

“If we want to achieve the moment where we rationally perceive all the things that are part of LGBT people, to come to the point where they will be equal in our society, where they will be perceived as equal, events like this one are of immense importance. I find that they are so important because anyone who has some perplexity about their perception of LGBT people, he or she can come here, watch movies, talk and meet with different people. I find it funny that I have to explain all of this, but this is the place where everyone can realize that LGBT people are persons just as any other.

May everyone kiss whomever they want

In the attendance was also, on the opening night, representative in House of Representatives of the Parliament of FB&H Alma Kratina. Fighting for human rights is in the focus of her political work and that is the reason she decided to show her support.

“Unfortunately, even though we have ratified all important international treaties, this is a country where discrimination is widespread and where human rights are being violated on a daily basis. We have a good legislative but we still witness that the reality is different. I want to give my support and I will continue to give it unreservedly in all the places where we can fight for human rights and I will be honored to be part of that noble fight”, said Alma Kratina.

Perhaps the best message from this year’s Merlinka sent out singer Elvir Laković Laka and his message we transmit whole and in its original form: “Snow fell on blossom and trees, may everyone kiss whomever they want”(rough translation of a famous line in one traditional Bosnian song), said Laka.