Professional cooperation: Magdalena Łuczyn
Reflecting on this year’s idiom of the festival Open City – “Hospitality”, I decided to invite the Lublin Equality March Association from Lublin to work with me. It is a non-governmental organisation which, through its actions, fights for equality of people regardless of the sexual orientation and identity, their place of origin or skin colour. This group of people works on freedom postulates demanding that the city become hospitable towards all that is described by media, the present state policy and even the local authorities, as anomaly.
Both the opening of this year’s edition of the Festival and the second edition of the March for Equality will take place in September. In our cooperation, we have explored the possible ways of popularising and promoting anti-discrimination ideas through art. We decided to apply a tool used both for advertising and social engagement purposes, i.e. billboards. Undoubtedly, we were inspired by the billboards carrying the inscription “Love is Love” on a rainbow-coloured background, installed in Lubelszczyzna in spring 2019. We worked together on the slogans to be put on the billboards. Unfortunately, it was not possible to realise that idea, as the advertising agency refused to implement it, despite our signed agreement. We are not giving up, however, and are going to present the slogans in a different form.
“I know best who I am, because it is my heart and my head that decide about my identity. It is not a phase or a whim”.
The slogan expresses the nature of transgenderism, as described by people experiencing it. Despite the others’ views, it is not a whim, as each of us knows best how they really feel about their gender, since it is our mind which determines it, next to genes, hormones and anatomy as such. The fact that a transgender person – if they consider it necessary – undergoes corrective surgeries and changes to their appearance to adjust their body to the unchangeable interior, their identity, is also crucial.
“We don’t want people to be marked with pink triangles”.
A pink triangle refers to the graphic identification of homosexual men imprisoned in concentration camps, e.g. in Majdanek. The slogan reminds us that stigmatisation of human beings and dividing them into better and worse ones by means of an ideology, only through expressed opinions at the beginning, results in the fact that such markings become material, and an ordinary mesh fence, as in the background of the slogan, turns into the barbed wire of a ghetto or death camp.
“Everybody has the right to family life, to be part of it or to start it”.
The statement emphasises that LGBT+ people are first and foremost members of families which have brought them up, and which can reject a person upon finding out about their sexual orientation of sexual identity. It is also an appeal to take care about relationships with the “rainbow” loved ones by means of understanding, to support their efforts aiming at ensuring marriage equality in Poland, so that people of the same sex can officially start a family together.
“Diversity is our future, so when you understand and accept the other, your neighbour, you pass the test in humanity.”
It is a pure accident where each of us is born and, as a result, what culture brings us up and is closest to us. On the other hand, it is our choice, not an accident, to understand this diversity and appreciate it because our neighbour is just a different version of us.
Paulina Piórkowska (1995) – active in the social field through visual arts as an artist, curator, animator and educator. Co-author of the interactive project and zine Dziewczyństwo. A member of the collective Życie na fali organising participatory dancing parties for local communities and others. Since 2017, she has been cooperating with the outsider Galeria TAK in Poznań as a project coordinator and educational workshop instructor. This year, she has participated in the following exhibitions: Dziewczyństwo / Girlihood, Bedtime, Gry / Gams, Bloki Animacji / Animation Blocks of Flats, Wakacje z Blokami / Summer Holidays with Blocks of Flats. She is active in bottom-up socially oriented initiatives. She also works as an assistant to people with disabilities.
Lublin Equality March Association
The group has been unofficially active since the organisation of the first March for Equality in Lublin in 2018. The association was formed in 2019. In spring this year, in respect of the self-government’s actions and initiatives regarding adoption of the resolution “on counteracting the LGBT ideology”, the members of the Association participated in the sessions of the City Council and the Lublin Province Assembly to counter the proposed resolution. At the same time, a recognised action of the Association – a response to the local self-government’s actions – consisted in putting the slogan “Love is Love” on a rainbow-coloured background on billboards in Lubelszczyzna. The first one was installed in Świdnik, unfortunately, just after the local authorities passed the legislation. Representatives of the Association support with their presence the Equality Parade and Equality Marches in other cities. Following the Equality March in Białystok, which took place on 20 July 2019, and escalation of violence against their participants, the Association along other Lublin initiatives –
the Lublin Region Committee for the Defence of Democracy, Lubelska Koalicja na Rzecz Kobiet (the Lublin Coalition for Women), Polish Women on Strike, Razem Lubelskie – organised a manifestation under the slogan “Lublin against violence – in solidarity with Białystok”.
Philosophy graduate and passionate seeker of forgotten places and interesting stories. Lublin cultural events moderator for over ten years. Co-organiser of the first Manifa in Lublin and the marches against violence “Odzyskać noc” (Reclaim the Night). She has been guiding her extraordinary tours around Lublin, discovering little known histories/herstories and slightly forgotten places, with great enthusiasm for many years.
She has been working for the equality and improvement of LGBT+ people for over a decade.