Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Online TV interview with editors of Georgian LGBT Me magazine is a teenagers’ TV programme (in Georgian) transmitted via Internet. They focus on alternative subcultures and try to fill in that gap through their programming.

Teen TV was initially broadcasted on Public TV. Once they prepared a plot about how several priests came to the Halloween celebration (it was sponsored by a city hall; and they closed one pedestrian street when they encountered a clergy violent protest - the DJ was beaten up by priest). However, this did not get aired, and in protest they left the public channel. Teen TV will soon be hosted by Rustavi 2, a leading (private) channel. Till then, it is only available via blogging which is reportedly very popular.

Their most recent programme was devoted to Georgian LGBT magazine - Me. Below is a video which includes interviews with the editors of the magazine and passer-bys (in Georgian). Also - a brief summary transcript in English. (Many thanks to Paata for translation and the info provided!)

"One can find a large number of publications in press booths. However, the vast majority of these are addressed to the same type of readership (mainstream). Where can one find an alternative read? The choice is not that diverse. After viewing our story one may ask a question: why would WE cover the issue? Yet we think that this topic is equally interesting to EVERYONE."

In this TV report, co-editors of the Me magazine Eka and Paata speak of the motivation behind the publication and its aims. They mention that Me magazine is the first attempt to assemble a publication about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Georgia. [in fact, in the whole South Caucasus] The idea of it came early in 2006, slightly ahead of the registration of the organization – Inclusive Foundation, LGBT NGO in Georgia. It aims not only at LGBT community, but also a wider society. Incompetent media spreading misinformation and widespread homophobia were all behind the motivation to start this publication to address information needs and increase awareness of the population. Since then there have been increased attention and discussions in Georgia of this previously tabooed topic (with active involvement of the church). Magazine is distributed free of charge.

Reporter then mentions that like with any other new, previously tabooed subject matters, the publication of the LGBT magazine is expected to be met negatively and critically by the public. But the very fact that this publication has seen the daylight and makes influences is a positive sign.

They also interviewed few passer-bys.

1st interviewee: No, I do not know about this publication.
Reporter: would you read it?
1st interviewee: Yes, perhaps yes. I think would be interesting to.

2nd interviewee [in Russian]: No, I would not have an interest. And I think that this type of publications shall not be out, and especially youth shall not entertain themselves with it.

3rd interviewee: No, I haven’t heard of it.
Reporter: Would you read it?
3rd interviewee: No, I doubt it, because this issue is of no concern to me.

4th interviewee: No I have not encountered this publication.
Reporter: What is your opinion?
4th interviewee: Hmm, I don’t know… I think that it is nothing to welcome really, in my opinion…
Reporter: Would you read it though?
4th interviewee: No, I would not be interested in reading it.

5th interviewee: No, have not heard of it.
Reporter: Would you be interested to read it?
5th interviewee: mm, if I would find a particular article interesting, of course, I would read it, yes.

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