Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) organized second Queer Forum,Tbilisi, January 2018. The main aim of the Forum was to critically rethink existed political reality, controversial practices and forms, to analyze global and local perspectives and to trigger alternative thinking and creation of strategies of queer resistance through guided discussion. Beyond analysis of existed reality, Forum strived to create alternative leftist educational space and to encourage mobilization of groups for united struggle against oppressive structures.
As mentioned above the Forum lasted three days. It started with the Presentation of The Volume by Tamta Mikeladze, Director of Equality Policy Programme, EMC.
After her presentation there was a lecture about “The (Post) Socialist Politics of Sexuality”, which was held by Piro Rexhepi. Piro holds a PhD in Politics from University of Strathclyde and is currently a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.
The Forum was also full of Panel Discussions in total questions raised by Georgian activists.
The next day was interesting for its diverse reports both by foreign lecturers and Georgian professionals. Johanna Oksala, who had her lecture at this time, spoke about “Feminist and Queer politics against Neoliberalism”. Joana is an Associate Professor of Environmental Philosophy at Pratt Institute.
The last day of the Forum began with the Video Lecture. The theme of the lecture was “Fighting to Win: Resisting False Victories and Building a World We can Live in”. It was presented by one of the Associated professor at the State University School of Law Dean Spade. This was criticising both Obama’s and Trump's politics toward LGBTQI+ issues.
Afterwards, Paola Bacchetta, who is a Professor from University of California, Berkeley, presented her topic on “No Compromises: Queer Alliances to Bring Down Planetary Coloniality, Capitalism and Misogyny”.
The Forum was closed with Panel Discussion on the main topic of “Reinventing the Queer Left: need for alternative activist platforms and strategies”.
In solidarity with our partners in Georgia the members of Women in Black, Armenia initiative Arpi Balyan and Lusine Kosakyan also took part in Queer Forum. They highlighted the importance of the Forum and outlined the need of such discussions in our region. They also got acquainted and built up a network with some of the speakers, who were very surprised and happy for the participation of the Armenian representatives in this Forum.