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Turkey bans this LGBTI film fest, so we’re showing their films

Written by gaytourism

Digital Pride is proud to screen these films – courtesy of Pink Life QueerFest in Turkey.

Pink Life Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Solidarity Association has been running this amazing film festival in Ankara, the capital of Turkey since 2011.

But on 18 November last year, the Ankara governor put in a blanket ban on LGBTI activities. He banned ‘film screenings, cinevision, theater plays, panels, talks, exhibitions’. Why? Because they may upset ‘social sensitivities and sensibilities’.

Pink Life QueerFest says the ban is an ‘illegal, discriminatory and arbitrary’ attack on their fundamental freedom of expression.

Sadly, it’s a typical tactic for homophobes and transphobes. They want to silence LGBTI people.

But despite the ban, Pink Life QueerFest’s organizers are finding innovative ways to continue their work.

So when Gay Star News heard about the governor’s ban, we offered to host some of the films as part of Digital Pride. We are bringing you one full-length documentary, a short film and a performance. They are only available until the end of Digital Pride this weekend, so don’t miss the chance to watch them now.

Watch the Pink Life QueerFest films from Turkey

Hatewalk tells the story of Deniz. She is a trans woman who is a sex worker in Mersin, a port city on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. When a gang, armed with knives, attacked her, they inflicted terrible wounds. Moreover, she try to flee but crashed a car in her getaway, seriously breaking her leg.

Hatewalk charts her recovery and her fight for her rights. It also shows how activists from 7 Colours, the leading LGBTI association in Turkey’s south region, supported her. Together, they try to increase their visibility to combat hate.

Istanbul-born documentary director and film editor Serkan Çiftçi directs the film. He still works at the communication faculty of Mersin University.

You can watch Hatewalk here.

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Rebirth is a beautifully filmed short and just four minutes long. Rebirth is a dance ceremony. Directors Zehra Gökçimen, Gökçe Oraloğlu take us through the performance as a doctor cuts the umbilical cord tying our hero to her former life.

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Despite the challenges facing Turkey’s LGBTI community, there is still joy. Watch 7 Colors Choir, the only LGBTI choir in Turkey, celebrating through music.

They told us: ‘In our struggle against homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and heterosexism, we as LGBTI community in Mersin, choose music as a resistance tool.’

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We are grateful to our friends at Pink Life QueerFest for joining Digital Pride. And we’d like to thank the filmmakers for sharing their films for free.

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