Event series: LGBT lives in Russia and Lithuania, 11-23 February 2014

This programme of screenings and talks presents a close glimpse into the state of LGBT cinema and culture in Russia and Lithuania today – cinemas and cultures which aren’t supposed to exist.  Our aim is to present them through the exact opposite of the ‘propaganda’ which everyone talks so much about: to depict what Russian and Lithuanian LGBT culture actually is and could be, either as an artistic expression or as the way that some people live or hope to live.

This programme is not intended as protest. Through the insights provided by the film screenings, talks and roundtables, we hope to inform debates in Scotland and the UK, and to create a dialogue about the issues raised, both locally and across geographical borders. If some of the events have perforce become political ones, it is because it has become impossible to discuss these queer cultures without inherent baggage. We hope instead to uncover and present emerging queer cinemas, and to encourage further the development of the nascent Russian and Lithuanian queer cinemas. Our film screenings will focus on a number of exciting emerging filmmakers, including the world and international premieres of two new documentaries made in Russia over the past year.

Films and events have been organised by Edinburgh Film Guild New Cinema, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Scotland-Russia Forum, Amnesty International (Edinburgh University) and Dr Francesca Stella, University of Glasgow.  Funding from CRCEES and the Sociology Dept, University of Glasgow. Programme also supported by Summerhall and University of Edinburgh DELC and Film Studies.

Programme of Events

11 February: LGBT equality and the geopolitics of human rights.  Insights from Russia.  Discussion 17.00-18.30, Sir Charles Wilson Building Seminar Room, University of Glasgow.

Opened by Russian guests Olgerta Kharitonova and Sabine Hofmann, editors of the samizdat lesbian journal Ostrov; discussants Dr Francesca Stella, Dr Vikki Turbine, Dr Matthew Waites.

13 February: Launch of the Russian lesbian journal Ostrov at Glasgow Women’s Library, 18.00 – 19.30pm Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy St., G40 1BP.

GWL is now hosting the complete collection of Ostrov, the oldest existing Russian lesbian magazine (founded 1999). Presented by the editors Olga Kharitonova and Sabine Hofmann.

14 February: Notes from the Underground: Queer Russian Cinema. Fiction/documentary films. 21.00-22.30, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Centre for Cont. Arts, 350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow. With extended introduction by Russian guests Olya Kuryachyova (journalist and representative of Russian LGBT film festival Bok-o-Bok), Olgerta Kharitonova and Sabine Hoffman (Ostrov).

15 February: The LGBT Situation in Russia.  Roundtable and films,15.00-19.00, Lecture Theatre 175, Edinburgh University Old College, South Bridge.

A roundtable panel discussion between Chris Bryant MP (vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Russia Group at Westminster), Olgerta Kharitonova, Sabine Hofmann, Olya Kurachyova and Dr Vikki Turbine, chaired by Dr Francesca Stella. The panellists will exchange views and experiences and take questions from the audience. The discussion will be followed by a programme (ca. 90 mins) of relevant recent short documentaries and pieces of ‘social advertising’ (public information films) made by Russian LGBT filmmakers, and will also include an example of similar work from Lithuania (see also 23rd February).

16 February: Wing in Sleeves and other documentaries by Kseniia Khrabrykh.15.30-17.30, Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL. Work-in-progress premiere of Wing in Sleeves, shown alongside a selection of earlier films by Kseniia Khrabrykh. Introduced by Olya Kurachyova.

22 February: Documentary double bill: They Hate Me in Vain. LGBT Christians in Today’s Russia and Not with Us. 18.30-21:00, Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL. International premiere of the main feature by Yulia Matsiy, plus short documentary ‘Not with Us’, by Svetlana Sigalaeva. Yulia Matsy’s attendance to discuss her film tbc.

23 February: Roma Zabaraukas’s We Will Riot and Porno Melodrama + Q&A. 18.30-21.00, Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL. UK premiere of We Will Riot. With Lithuanian director Romas Zabarauskas  in attendance.

Organised in association with Kristina Kunsteinaite, founder of the Invisible People Project, a support group for LGBT Lithuanians. Kristina’s attendance to discuss her project tbc.

23 February: Closing party: Dive QueeRevolution Party. 21.00- 3.00, Dive Queer Party @Henry’s Cellar Bar, 16 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8BJ.

Specially curated selection of short Russian and Lituanian LGBT films, mixed with live performance, dancing, new music and spoken word.

Queer cinema programme, Edinburgh and Glasgow, 14-23 Feb: 

Information at http://www.edinburghfilmguild.org.uk/ For tickets please contact individual venues

Roundtable and films event, 15 Feb, Edinburgh:

Free event, information at:

Scotland-Russia Forum, http://www.scotlandrussiaforum.org/talks.html

Amnesty International Student Society, Edinburgh University https://www.facebook.com/groups/2219268420/

Seminar at Glasgow University, 11 Feb:

Free but ticketed, information at http://www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/glasgowhumanrightsnetwork/events/

Event at Glasgow Women’s Library, 13 Feb:

Free but ticketed, information at http://womenslibrary.org.uk/event/talk-by-the-editors-of-the-russian-lesbian-journal-ostrov/


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