Human Rights Day

December 10th is more than just an ordinary day in the calendar, it marks the day when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is celebrated around the globe every year and it is marked by cultural events, meetings and conferences discussing the human rights issues. This day was also celebrated in Timișoara and between 8 – 10th December 2018, Identity.Education together with the MozaiQ Association and informal group Equivox hosted a series of events.

The first day brought to us a daytime party for the LGBTQ+ community that took place at AMBASADA. Here we had the chance to meet new people, socialise and we enjoyed some good music and wine that managed to help us warm up from the cold weather that was outside. We discussed about what this day means for the community and we even made some new friends. Together with MozaiQ, PRIDE Romania, Departamentul Rainbow Romania, Gender Talk, Glia Queer and Queer Sisterhood Cluj, we held a gathering where we talked about every organization’s initiatives and their work for the communities in Bucharest and Cluj. The people had the chance to see how they can be part of an organization and how everyone can get involved to create a better future.
The same day we launched, in Timișoara, The Adrian Newell Păun Queer Archive. Throughout this project, the work of the activist Adrian Newell Păun was transformed in a digital archive. This platform consists of information and documents about the LGBTQ+ community, information that was collected for over 3 decades - we are talking about magazines, articles about the community, posters and many more. This was an important step in centralizing the history of a community that lived in the shadows and still has a long way to go to fully come out.

On the 9th of December we started the day by talking about the initiatives of activism in Timișoara. We started with history, we saw what has been done up until today and where and when the initiatives stopped, and we tried to understand why. We discovered that there has been a lack of activism in this part of the country and the reasons are still not clear. Community members from Timișoara told us their point of view along with others from the rest of the country. We saw there are differences within the country, but we also came up with new ideas and perspectives for the future. To end the day, we watched a documentary about LGBTQI+ life in Russia and the struggles of activists.

We ended this series of events with a city tour on the 10th of December and a conference. The city tour showed us different places which held stories of the gay community in Timișoara. These represent an important part from our history and the social life within this city. Our guide was our friend from Timișoara Tour Guide.
The same day, we organised press conference where we discussed LGBTQI+ rights in a democratic society. In a society where the human rights are still questioned, we need to raise awareness and discuss about the role of the minorities. Our speakers were: Arthur den Hartog, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bucharest; Alexandra Mercescu, doctor of Law at the Sorbonne University, research assistant at the Faculty of Law, West University of Timișoara, affiliate researcher for the Centre for Legal Education and Social Theory from Poland and lawyer; Vlad Viski, executive director at MozaiQ and Deea Rădulescu, founder and president of Identity.Education.

The event was part of the project OUTreach Romania and it was organized with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Romania.