08 Jan 2019

Bosnian LGBTIQ community seeks recognition through film 

This February, Sarajevo will host the 7th Merlinka International Queer Film Festival, organized annually with the aim of promoting queer art and culture. The title of this year's edition is: "I am a lesbian, so be it". 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Bosnian LGBTIQ community seeks recognition through film  - NewsMavens
Vjeran Miladinović Merlinka, Facebook

Why this story matters:

The video below shows Sarajevo eleven years ago. It was September 2008, when the then-active "Q" association planned to organize a four-day long cultural festival, which was canceled due to violence. Feelings of disappointment, discomfort and fear kicked in instead of celebration. 

Some years later, Sarajevo Open Center -- another Sarajevo-based association focused on the promotion of LGBTIQ rights -- started organizing cultural events, such as music parties, panel discussions, and movie screenings. Since 2013, the Sarajevo edition of the LGBTIQ-themed Merlinka Film Festival has attracted more and more visitors every year with a variety of programs, according to organizers.   

Through these efforts, the Bosnian LGBTIQ community has become more visible in recent years, and, it is hoped, increased Bosnian society's understanding of LGBTIQ related issues.

Details from the story:

  • The Bosnian human rights association Sarajevo Open Center (SOC) will organize the International Queer Film Festival Merlinka in Sarajevo between February 7-9, 2019. The title of this year's edition is: "I am a lesbian, so be it". 
  • It will be the seventh time in the row that Sarajevo host's the Merlinka Festival, which was founded in Belgrade, Serbia. 
  • Besides movies screenings, the festival will organize panel discussions, concerts and DJ sessions. 
  • The festival was named after Vjeran Miladinović Merlinka, a transgender sex worker and actress who was murdered in 2003.
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