Monday, 17 August 2009

LGBT Georgia: new issue of Me magazine - homophobia in Georgia, interview with Alekper Aliyev, the author of Artush and Zaur

The 11th issue of the only LGBT magazine in the South Caucasus - Me, is out now. I would specifically recommend “Homophobia in Georgia: Two Sides of the Coin”, and “Because of one love story" - interview with the author of Armenian-Azeri gay love story - Artush and Zaur - Alekper Aliyev. Apparently, soon Artush and Zaur will be published in Georgian too. I am still waiting for a Russian or English versions to be able to read it. Below are few extracts from the interview:

[...] I don’t know to what extent I have been able to outrage every average person in the South Caucasus, but this book certainly did anger the “patriots” who make parasitic use of nationalist passions, the popular mentality, and the notions of pride, honour, dignity and the exceptionalism of the Caucasian men. It is a challenge to society, as well as an effort to shock. I cannot separate these two concepts from one another. I won’t hide the fact that this was precisely the reaction I needed. More precisely, this was the reaction I was expecting.

[...] I did not have any real prototypes. My characters only vaguely resemble certain people.

[...] Frankly speaking, I am not concerned about what they accuse me of. You were right to put the word “accused” in quotation marks. Indeed, how can a person be accused of, say, drinking tea, enjoying riding a bicycle, masturbating or eating a pear? Who is accusing whom of what?

In our society people don’t have their own opinions. Our society consists entirely of vegetables - biological entities without minds, hearts, thoughts or feelings. Who are they to even have an opinion, let alone judge someone? Have they ever actually used their right to protest against corruption, lawlessness and the detention of political prisoners? No. What right do they have to give themselves the right to use their right to express an opinion about my book? That was a bit redundant, but I think you’ll agree it was wholly justified in this case.

And here is a message via Georgia's LGBT NGO Inclusive Foundation:

Good news: Our magazine has been included in Copenhagen Catalogue of Good Practices among 20 LGBT good practices from around the world and being the ONLY LGBT media entry!

Another good news: New 11th issue is out! It tells the reader how and why homosexuality was pathologized and criminalized; what impact does internalized homophobia have; gives reports from Riga, Moscow, Chisinau prides; and from very interesting training session in Istanbul; In interview section we speak with Alekper Aliyev - author of Azeri-Armenian gay love story entitled "Artush and Zaur"; Art section examines Mark Ravenhil's drama and "For women only" story gives account of men free adventure of Georgian girl in Germany. Last not least, our reader gets bonus sensitizer through Martin Rochlin's heterosexuality questionnaire. Don't miss the issue.

Publisher recommendation: Read it in the morning with naturally flavored coffee down the street.

Direct link: Me magazine

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