Anna Sharyhina program coordinator of Women’s Solidarity Weeks together with her colleagues: Daria Nagaivska from Actual Woman and Dasha Serbina from Centre of Gender Culture spoke about the events that will take place in March in Kharkiv.Start of the Women’s Solidarity Weeks project will happen on the 1st of March – come to the opening and lecture about female artists Being an artists: publicity, vulnarability and personal strategies, March 8 to the public action Women Solidarity March. Time for a woman, March 12 Business forum and discussion. You can find the details in description facebook events. You are welcome! 💜
Let’s stop far-right violence!
In 2018, the activities of far-right groups have intensified in Ukraine. In particular, on February 13 in Kharkiv, 15 aggressive people interfered with the discussion of “LGBT activism in Ukraine and the world” at the bookstore “Ye”.
The Kharkiv case was the first among many others – similar events took place in Kyiv, Uzhgorod, Vinnytsya, Maryupol, Poltava. Aggressive young people disrupt lectures, roundtables, trainings on LGBT topics, interfere with events, attack participants in peaceful gatherings.
In this regard, Amnesty International Ukraine launched a campaign on writing letters to local government asking them to provide a public assessment of the situation, and to take the necessary steps to investigate the attacks and to further secure the right of peaceful assembly.
GO WA Sphere joins the campaign and sends relevant letters to Kharkiv City Council and Kharkiv Regional Administration.
We invite you to participate in a letter writing marathon. You can do this by writing your own letter or downloading, signing and submitting proposed template.
The appeal should specify:
- last name, first name, patronymic;
- the residence of the citizen.
You can send a letter:
1. By mail:
- Kharkiv City Council – 61200, Kharkiv, Constitution Square, 7, Bureau of Information,
- Kharkiv Regional State Administration – 61000 Kharkiv, Sumska Street, 64.
2. By email:
- KRSA: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- City Council: email@example.com (or fill a convenient form on the city council website)
Statement should specify:
- last name, first name, patronymic;
- the residence of the citizen.
To the attention of those interested – an official statement by activists about yesterday’s incident.
We ask you to distribute the information and invite you to the discussion on February 16th, Friday, in Nakipelo
“We have the right of voice and space”: LGBT movement activistsin Bookstore “Ye” Kharkiv at 19:00 a lecture of activist of NGO “Kharkiv Women’s Association ‘Sphere” Anna Sharigina began LGBT movement in Ukraine and in the World , which aimed to discuss the achievements, challenges and contributions of the LGBT+ movement in the development of Ukrainian society.
Looking ahead, let us announce that the lecture will be repeated on February 16, Friday, at the Nakipelo Media Center (7/9 Svobody Street) at 7:00 PM
Within 15 minutes of the event, a group of about 15 people entered the bookstore and, without any legal reason, announced the event was ending.
Note that the event was organized on the initiative of Bookstore Ye, where educational events take place on a regular basis. We do not know of any event where bookstore visitors would be outraged at any other event, as if the event was disturbing them.
Representatives of the Patrolling Police of the Kharkiv region, who arrived on the spot, refused to secure the right of a peaceful assembly and offered visitors to the event to go in order not to “provoke” their opponents.
Unable to guarantee the safety of participants, we were forced to finish the meeting prematurely.
In view of the above, we, the community activists, the people who attended and watched the event –
evaluate the actions of radical grouping as another attempt to attack freedom of expression – this time by methods of psychological pressure and physical domination in space;
We consider assaulters’ statements as hate speech and incitement to discrimination, which is inadmissible under current Ukrainian law;
We also remind you that similar actions have been taken in different cities of Ukraine at human rights and non-discrimination activities (for example, the disruption of the Culturetriggers Lecture. Discrimination in Culture and Cinema in Mariupol or the disruption of the presentation of the children’s book “Maya and her Mom”). in Lviv).
We are convinced that further educational events, actions and peaceful gatherings are neccessary to uphold the achievements of Ukrainian society in the field of democracy, human rights, gender equality and anti-discrimination.
We have the right of voice and space and this year we will hold a series of such events, in particular, we will hold a lecture on “LGBT+ Movement in Ukraine and the World”.
We call on the leadership of the National Police of Ukraine to carefully address the new challenges and ensure the rights of citizens of freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.
We also urge all Kharkiv civic organizations, activists, our colleagues from other regions of Ukraine, from similar and other areas of human rights activity, to express solidarity and mutual support. Respect for human dignity, awareness of human rights values and their enforcement are a new challenge for the Ukrainian public movement – we are convinced that we must unite our efforts in this fight.
We invite everyone who is ready for the dialogue, on February 16, at 7:00 pm to the Nakipelo Media Center (7/9 Svobody Street) – to listen the lecture on “LGBT+ Movement in Ukraine and the World”. At the end of the lecture we invite everyone to talk about the latest strategies of different socio-political movements and to try to find a way to invite constructive dialogue of representatives of polar ideologies.
The topic of the different kind of sexual culture and practices in our society is still a taboo for discussion and education. Perhaps, that’s why we have such a huge level of crimes and offenses in sexual sphere in Ukraine – violence, homophobic attacks, hate speech and etc.
Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people who were brought up on the territory of the former conservative Soviet Union, as much as heterosexuals, are uneducated in matters of sexual practices. However, when they try to find information about this sphere the first thing they can find is an Internet which is overloaded with porn where you can find out only about violence and aggression.
In the purpose to spread the information about mutually and confidence sexual practices #QueerHomeKharkiv in cooperation with Shibari “Bondage Studio” and Yuliya Vasileva decided to start educational work for LGBT-people and for all friendly people of other sexual-orientations and gender identities. So, in the beginning of September, Yuliya Vasileva performed a workshop called “Shibari – Japanese art of binding” and in the end of October Jey Robin organized informative lecture-discussion about culture of Fetish.
“Anytime soon I and “Bondage Studio” with Yuliya Vasileva are going to organize a series of lectures, discussions and workshops about BDSM. Also we are going to continue our introduction into Shibari.” said Jey Robin the coordinator of fetish line in Queer Home Kharkiv.
“The most important thing that people of different sexual-orientations and gender identities can talk and discuss private issues in trust and safety atmosphere. They can get almost exclusive knowledge about sexual practices. We hope that it will lead to the non-violence and increase level of the pleasure in relationships generally” said Anna Sharigina the coordinator of the Queer Home Kharkiv.
Queer Home Kharkiv – it’s a community center for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people, and for all friendly people of other sexual-orientations and gender identities. Queer Home Kharkiv is one of the six in Ukraine. Queer Home project was created by “Gay Alliance Ukraine”.