Parents reborn – movie night and discussion

On Friday, 14th of June, in cooperation with CNK Záhrada, we organized a second movie night with a discussion on the topic LGBTI –a group of people with, a minority sexual orientation. For this occasion, Emanuela, the initiator of the project, proposed the wonderful Italian documentary Parents reborn (Due Volte Genitori) which was created with the support of European grant program Daphne. The film presents especially the personal experiences of parents about the process, which they had to go trough, after they got to know that their children are homosexual. Emanuela organized an official projection of the film on our event and also arranged the creation of the Slovak subtitles for the film. Mainly thanks to her long-term effort, it turned out again that also in Slovakia is possible to organize successful events also on this topic. Although….

The event was promoted (mostly in Slovak and English) through social networks, e-mails and also official posters. We were curious to see who would come in the end. Just before six p. m., when the event was planned to begin, in center Zahrada mainly young people started coming. But paradoxically the most of them were foreigners: other volunteers and friends of the volunteers we host, but also foreign students and interns and so on.

In the audience there were also several representatives of the older generations, but again mainly foreigners. The projection took place with the help of Stanka, local interpreting student, thanks to whom it was possible also for people who don’t speak enough Slovak to understand the Slovak subtitles. That allowed everybody to listen to the extremely personal experiences of parents and relatives who made a huge effort to fight against their own prejudices, but also against the prejudices of others, so with their painful “rebirth” they became more integrated and “richer” people. The protagonists of this Italian documentary are real characters, who already don’t perceive the “difference” of their children as a burden, but as an enrichment for their family and for the whole society, too. It was really touching to follow the fate of these people as it was “at first hand”. Even more, so as thanks to this film they let us so deep into their own privacy. I think that they did this not only for their children to let other people identify with them and educate the society, but just for all these young people for whom the non-acceptance of their parents and the society is often a reason of very sad acts and destinies.

The film was seen by about 25 participants and most of them stayed also for the discussion, which took place after the film. During the discussion we, as organizers, were surprised by several things. Firstly – the fact that people wanted to discuss at all: the film was so deep and touching, that we had the feeling that the majority of people would prefer to digest quietly the impressions from it and obviously retreat after the projection. We were wrong: the majority of the participants stayed and the discussion was long and good. Secondly: the discussion was in English. But this was a logical consequence of the composition of the audience of the discussion. Among the people participating in the discussion there were just five Slovaks, four of them were organizers of the event. Therefore the common language of the majority was English, so our interpreter didn’t have to translate. Most of the participants described situations, connected with tolerance, or intolerance towards the people with minority sexual orientation in their countries. Therefore we got to know also some facts and news from Russia, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, France for instance. Thanks to our experienced moderator Rado Sloboda from Amnesty International we made clear some details, the respective terminology and real facts about this field. We even tackled the reason why to such discussions come many more women than men.

Also thanks to the personal qualities of all the participants, I got the feeling of a very good event, which also convinced me that discussions about this and other similar topics related to tolerance towards difference and freedom as such are very needed in Slovakia. In my opinion it is worrying that the Slovak community pays so small attention to a topic, whose importance is evident and confirmed also in European grant schemes, including programs for non-formal education of young people. Ignoring this important topic, which directly involves approximately every sixth Slovak family, is actually discouraging and certainly says a lot about what kind of people we are. And also –on this we have a lot of work to do.

Even more luckily that here we have these young foreigners!

Andy

(Coordinator of the volunteers)

Translated into English by Vessy with the big help of Manu (for correction some inaccuracies with the translation :))

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Druhý raz rodičom – filmový večer s diskusiou

piatok 14. júna sme v spolupráci s partnermi zorganizovali v CNK Záhrada druhý filmový večer s diskusiou k téme LGBTI, teda ľudí s menšinovou sexuálnou orientáciou. Emanuela, autorka tohto projektu, pre túto príležitosť navrhla vynikajúci taliansky dokumentárny film Druhý raz rodičom (Due volte genitori), ktorý bol vytvorený vďaka jednej z európskych grantových schém (Daphne). Film prezentuje najmä osobné svedectvá rodičov, týkajúce sa procesov, ktorými prechádzali po tom, ako ich vlastné deti informovali o svojej homosexualite. Emanuela dohodla oficiálnu projekciu filmu na našom podujatí, aj sprostredkovala vytvorenie slovenských titulkov. Najmä vďaka jej dlhodobému úsiliu sa opäť ukázalo, že aj na Slovensku sa aj na takúto tému dá zorganizovať úspešné podujatie. Hoci …

Podujatie bolo propagované (najmä v slovenčine a angličtine) cez sociálne siete, e-maily, aj oficiálne plagáty. Boli sme zvedaví, kto nakoniec príde. Pred šiestou večer, kedy mala akcia plánovaný začiatok, sa v centre Záhrada začali schádzať najmä mladí ľudia. Paradoxne však nimi boli predovšetkým cudzinci. Ďalší dobrovoľníci a priatelia nami hosťovaných dobrovoľníčok, ale aj zahraniční študenti, stážisti a podobne. V obecenstve bolo aj niekoľko zástupcov starších generácií, opäť však v drvivej väčšine cudzincov. Projekcia prebehla za asistencie Stanky, miestnej študentky tlmočníctva, vďaka ktorej mohli slovenským titulkom porozumieť aj ľudia, ktorí slovenčinu dostatočne neovládajú. Umožnila im tak byť svedkami mimoriadne osobných svedectiev rodičov a rodín, ktoré urobili obrovský kus práce v boji s vlastnými, ale aj cudzími predsudkami, aby sa svojím bolestným „prerodom“ stali integrovanejšími a „bohatšími“ ľuďmi. Protagonistami tohto talianskeho dokumentu, sú totiž reálne postavy, ktoré už nevnímajú inakosť svojich detí ako ťažké bremeno, ale naopak ako obohatenie vlastnej rodiny, ale aj celej spoločnosti. Bolo veľmi dojímavé sledovať osudy týchto ľudí takpovediac z prvej ruky. Tým viac, že nás vďaka tomuto filmu pustili hlboko do svojho súkromia. Myslím, že to urobili nielen kvôli vlastným deťom, „nastaveniu zrkadla“ a vzdelávaniu spoločnosti, ale práve aj kvôli tým mladým ľuďom, pre ktorých je neprijatie rodičmi a spoločnosťou nezriedka dôvodom tých najsmutnejších činov a osudov …

Celkovo film vzhliadlo asi 25 divákov, z ktorých väčšina zostala aj na diskusiu, ktorá po filme nasledovala. V rámci diskusie nás ako organizátorov prekvapilo pár vecí. Po prvé, že ľudia vôbec chceli diskutovať: film bol natoľko hlboký a dojímavý, že sme mali pocit, že väčšina divákov bude skôr chcieť potichu vstrebávať dojmy z neho a zrejme sa po projekcii uberú do ústrania. Mýlili sme sa: väčšina divákov zostala a diskusia bola dlhá a kvalitná. Po druhé: diskutovalo sa v angličtine. Toto však bolo logickým výsledkom zloženia účastníkov diskusie. Medzi diskutujúcimi boli len piati Slováci alebo Slovenky, z toho štyria z radov organizátorov podujatia. Spoločným jazykom drvivej väčšiny diskutujúcich bola teda angličtina a naša tlmočníčka nemusela tlmočiť. Viacerí diskutujúci opisovali situáciu okolo tolerancie, resp. intoleranice voči ľuďom s menšinovou sexuálnou orientáciou v ich krajinách. Dozvedeli sme sa teda aj niektoré fakty a novinky napr. z Ruska, Nemecka, Talianska, Bulharska, Francúzska. Vďaka prítomnosti a vzdelaniu moderátora diskusie Rada Slobodu z Amnesty International, sme si urobili jasno aj v niektorých detailoch, súvisiacich s terminológiou a reálnymi faktami z tejto oblasti. Dotkli sme sa aj témy, prečo na takéto diskusie prichádza omhoho viac žien než mužov…

Aj vďaka osobným kvalitám diskutujúcich vo mne zostal pocit veľmi dobrého podujatia, ktoré ma zároveň utvrdilo v tom, že diskusia na túto a podobné témy súvisiace s toleranciou inakosti a slobodou ako takou, je na Slovensku veľmi potrebná. Z môjho pohľadu je alarmujúce, že slovenská verejnosť má zatiaľ len veľmi malý záujem o tému, ktorej dôležitosť je zjavná a potvrdená aj európskymi grantovými schémami, vrátane programu neformálneho vzdelávania mladých ľudí. Ignorovanie tejto dôležitej témy, ktorá sa však bytostne týka približne každej šiestej slovenskej rodiny, je skutočne zarážajúca a určite hovorí veľa o tom, akí sme. Ale aj o tom, na čom treba pracovať.

Ešte šťastie, že tu máme tých mladých cudzincov !

Andy

(Koodrinátor dobrovoľníkov)

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Some comments about our first movie night

Last Friday, to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia there was our first movie night against homophobia. We watched the French animated film Le baiser de la lune (to have more information about the film or to buy the DVD click here).

The film was released in 2010 with the aim of speaking about different forms of love with children of 9 to 11 years old, through the stories of Felix and Leon, two male fish who fall in love with each other, Agata, who’s waiting for her prince and the sun and the moon. As it’s easy to imagine, the release of a film with such an aim caused quite a big uproar in France.

I found out about the film about one year ago thanks to a French radio programme in which they interviewed the director (here’s the link). When we decided to organise some movie nights about homophobia, I immediately thought that I wanted to share with other people this special movie, so I got in touch with the director, Sébastien Watel, who immediately accepted, and we started preparing the subtitles.

The preparation of the subtitles was for me extremely interesting and rewarding because it’s something related to my big passion and work and as it was another opportunity for me to work on my Slovak.

But let’s go back to Friday. The movie night was very successful, even more successful than we expected 🙂 , because more than 30 people took part in the event and discussed about homophobia for about 2 hours. The discussion was for me really stimulating as, even though we didn’t all have the same opinion on some topics (and perhaps even more so), everybody was willing to exchange their views.

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The aim of this initiative is to fight against homophobia, but to achieve it, we don’t need to do any brain washing: we just need to discuss and share information, as I think that lack of information is at the root of all the forms of racism.

Thanks a lot to all the participants, I’m really glad that you came and shared with us your time and ideas! And also a big thank you goes to Sébastien Watel – the director of the film, Andy – my coordinator, Rado – from Amnesty International, Milan and Kristina – from Záhrada, the Interpreters and Translators University Agency (Tlmočnícka a prekladateľská spoločnosť FHV UMB), Stanka – our fantastic interpreter, Charlène – from Alliance Française, Martina – who helped me translate the subtitles and Vessy – who made the flyer.

See you on Friday June 14 at 6 pm in Záhrada for our next movie night against homophobia. We’ll watch Parents Reborn. I will soon post more information, stay tuned!

Emanuela