Monographs | LGBTI Rights | LGBTI

The people pushing LGBTI rights

A look back over the last five years.

By - 10.10.2017

Over the past few years, a number of diverse political, cultural and artistic initiatives have investigated, pushed and explored LGBTI rights in Kosovo. The following photo essay offers a look at some of them.

“The LGBTI+ community are almost totally invisible in Kosovo and although it makes sense, living in the most homophobic country in Europe, it is still totally unacceptable. This is why it is the responsibility of everybody that thinks differently to make them feel they are not totally forgotten, and that there is some hope of change sooner rather than later.” — Keka Berisha
“This society still doesn’t accept and stops same sex love for ‘moral’ reasons. Let love prevail!” — Haveit on their performance.
“‘Kushtetuta?’ arrives as a consequence of the everyday life I shared with Alvaro for some years in Berlin, and the wish to think and feel the same in Kosovo too. It was also important from the beginning to have a light and accessible way of communicating these thoughts through a zine based on a collage of ideas.” — Petrit Halilaj
“The idea behind this graffiti was to show the citizens of Prishtina that the LGBT community is a part of Kosovar society. This was one of the first instances in which the LGBT community raised their voice and became more visible in active life.” — Liridon Veliu
“The attacks on Kosovo 2.0 and the LGBTQ community in 2012 instilled fear among the general public — mostly because these events displayed the fact that the police was bias in protecting its citizens. Their lack of action empowered the radical groups, who acted as if they had the mandate to bring societal order on their own terms. This realization became a source of anger that drove me to tell the story of Sex.” — Kaltrina Krasniqi
“George Orwell said that all writing should be political if the author is to avoid falling into 'purple passages' — paragraphs that use exquisite language, but nothing more. Storytelling and worldbuilding aren't limited to fiction. In my poetry, the rain's a little softer, the love's a little louder, and my statistical infrequency of a body is beautiful. Queer art is not 'alternative.' This is how I know love, pain, injustice, and healing. It's not a purple passage if the beauty it describes combats stereotypes and normalizes taboos. Art is activism.” — Lindon Krasniqi
Monographs | LGBTI Rights | LGBTI

On Sept. 8, 2017, Neziraj’s “55 shades of gay” premiered at the National Theatre of Kosovo. Addressing the struggles of a gay couple’s attempts to get married. Photo: Atdhe Mulla / K2.0.

By - 10.10.2017
“In the Kosovar context, in the circumstances of a homophobic environment, just approaching LGBTI issues in the theater is important and useful. First of all, because that taboo issue is brought in from the margins, shadows, and 'non-existence' and it becomes visible, accessible, and existing. Often this alone is enough.” — Jeton Neziraj
“Film is the most popular art after music. But unlike music, which often only conveys feelings, film has the ability to also convey ideas, and in this way it can open the minds of the masses and the politicians that make laws and implement changes in society. Love is the most beautiful feeling a human can feel, and for me it has always been absurd how someone could be bothered by two people loving each other, to the point of actively fighting against them.” — Blerta Zeqiri
“Media must not only be a reflection of social reality — in this case, by giving a voice to homophobia — rather it should also have an emancipatory and educative role, so as to influence and enrich the debate about human rights and freedoms. Knowing that state institutions have not even done the bare minimum for protecting human rights and freedoms, I think it is necessary to utilize the space that we have as journalists for pushing forward emancipatory themes.” — Leonida Molliqaj
“Over the course of my nearly 18 years as a journalist, I have never felt a heavier burden as I did while working on a documentary about the LGBTI community in Kosovo. I never felt such a thin line between ruining people’s life, all while attempting to clarify a long list of misconceptions about the most discriminated community in the country, hence the title of the documentary: 'The LGBTI curse.'” — Artan Haraqija
“A person must be free to implement any idea that comes to their mind in order to find comfort in their body. Acknowledging that every day is a possibility to change allows our identities to be in constant transition. Sometimes we need to make remarkable choices like changing gender or getting butt implants or adding an extra eye or hand in the body. We should definitely go for it, making sure it is not coming from social pressure.” — Astrit Ismaili