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40 YEARS OF UEEH: MEMORIES, VISIBILITY/INVISIBILITY OF OUR IDENTITIES :WHAT ARE OUR LGBTQI STRUGGLES FOR?

"Some time ago, I asked this question to Silvia Rivera, a drag queen, Puerto Rican, and Stonewall fighter. I asked her : "Were you fighting police violence? Were you fighting against racism? Or for your right to be gay? Did you bash back because the majority of drag queens could not present the order of enlistment in the army that government agents were demanding that night? Or because so many of you were homeless, starving and in danger on the streets? "Sylvia replied, in a calm and
solemn tone: "We were fighting for our lives. »
Leslie Feinberg, In the Spirit of Stonewall

June 28, 1969, Greenwich Village, New York.
Following a police raid on the Stonewall In bar, a bar run by the mafia and frequented by those who do not go anywhere else: drag queens, trans men and women, non-white people, young, poor, sex workers : a riot broke out between 4000 people and 200 police officers. It was to commemorate these clashes, which lasted several days, and to continue the fight, that the first Pride was organized in 1970.

July 2019, 40th year of the UEEH
In recent years, more and more people have been coming to UEEH, the Euro-Mediterranean Summer Universities of Homosexualities, an InterLesBiGayTransAsexQueer feminist meeting.
This moment, rich in its participants, allows us to spotlight our differences of contexts, the multiple realities of our lives, to question our journeys, our bodies as political subjects. It allows us to change our understanding of the world through conflict and learning, to find echoes under the skin of the person close to you. Our bodies and our lives are not crossed by the same oppressions, sometimes we find ourselves at crossroads, sometimes we feel alone, sometimes we reflect ourselves in the other, we reject each other as much as we touch each other, sometimes we are thousands in demonstration to be united...

This year, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and the 40th
anniversary of the UEEH, we wanted this edition to enable us to evaluate our struggles, to know where we stand, what we have in common, our prospects for resistance. It’s in this state of mind that we have chosen this theme:

40 years of the UEEH - Memories, visibility and invisibility of our identities: what are our LGBTQI struggles for?

From memories to strengthening our struggles
We are glad that this annual meeting still exist 40 years after the first edition. The history of the UEEH is long and tumultuous: as the one of LGBTQI movements, it has undergone many changes, has taken turns which were unexpected for some of us, and contested by some others ones.
The history of the UEEH has always been written in the plural and we would like to take the time to tell it again, to better understand ourselves, to better criticize ourselves, to better move forward.
But we do not want to talk exclusively about the UEEH. On the contrary, we would like this edition to be an opportunity to make a point on our today’s struggles, with all the contradictions we face. We are thinking in particular of the issue of race relations, from everyday racism in our areas of struggle to state racism. We also think of the regression experienced by our communities in terms of legislation and crimes, in a global context of spreading fascist ideologies and maintenance of authoritarian regimes linked to imperialism. We also think about the use of our identities for racist
and nationalist purposes and our attempts to respond. We would also like to take the time to discuss about how we experience different political practices : large-scale collective movements, direct action, artistic practices, radical tenderness, spiritualities...
Here are some questions we would like to ask ourselves during this edition:

  • On what memories have we built our struggles?
  • Which are ou commun memories ?
  • What memories are missing?
  • Which memories are highlighted at the expense of others?
  • What tools from the past could we use to deal with the current situation?

(In)visible

Issues of visibility and invisibility are an important part of our lives. They often guide our struggles, our personal as well as our collective practices.
They affect the walls of our cities, our countryside, our presence or absence in public and private space, our bodies and ways of living in them, the codes we invent, the rights we snatch, the way we touch the other and are touched by the other, the way we love and arm ourselves.
Moreover, visibility and invisibility are notions that do not necessarily have the same meaning depending on where we live and its geopolitical context.
Here are some more questions we would like to address this year:

  • What has visibility provided us and still provides us ?
  • What did visibility take away from us?
  • Why fighting for it?
  • Why are some of us still invisible?

Use of LGBTQI struggles
Since the 2000s, particularly after the attacks of 11 September 2001, we have witnessed a general legitimization of reactionary, security discourses. They are no longer the prerogative of the right wing or of the far right, they spread through the various political currents to the governmental and institutional left wing groups, to varying degrees.
In particular, we see a growing number of countries headed by openly nationalist, racist leaders, who push for closing borders, for the limitation or prohibition of the right to abortion, or for the absence of recognition of violence against LGBTQI people. The implementation of these ideologies does not imply the same responses and resistance. States, parties, capitalists or other powerful individuals use our identities by claiming to be for the emancipation of LGBTI people in order to justify deadly and neo-colonial policies.
At the level of our militant networks, we can observe the impact of the dominant ideology on our lives, in our daily behaviours, which weakens and excludes us. We carry contradictions within us by reproducing relationships of domination on our own scale. We are suffering the consequences at the same time.
We do not believe that there can be such a thing as a « safe space ». However, we continue to believe that we can carry our desire for collective emancipation with spaces where violences are reduced to a minimum. When they occur, we also want them to be both assumed and repaired as best as we can.

The analysis of the current situation leads us to ask the following questions and challenges:

  • How to deal with pinkwashing, homonationalism, pink capitalism?
  • How to articulate the LGBTI movements and the anti-racist, decolonial and anti-imperialist struggles?
  • How are our identities stolen to be used as pink paint for fascist speeches ?
  • What responsibilities and alliances can we make as queer people on issues of racism, borders, colonialism, mental health, exploitation, economic insecurity, imprisonment?
  • As for the strategic question, what are the points of junction between reformist and revolutionary struggles?
  • What are their impacts in our different contexts? What strategies of struggle can we share and exchange?
  • How our identities can cross or how are they plural in each of us?

How to propose your contributions: workshops, screenings, performances?

To propose workshops, screenings, performances and everything else you want to
imagine, just fill out the workshop sheet attached at the end of this document, and send it back to

educpop@ueeh.net

To ensure that your contributions are included in the program that will be online in early
July, please send us your proposals before June, 6 in the evening. We know it’s a very
short time but we have not been able to deal with it before and as registrations will open on June 6th it is necessary to close the call before to make sure that the people whopropose a workshop have a square.
Anticipating allows us to set up translations and other logistical funny stuff!

In order to facilitate the work of the translation team and interpreters, it would be great to send us a summary of your workshop/discussion/performance, and if you can ask people you know to translate it, it’s even better.
We must warn you that this year we will not be able to find workshop materials or go
shopping.
We also remind you that there are no possible expenses for people proposing
contributions, whether they are workshops/performances/discussions, people who help all year round or members of the organization.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: educpop@ueeh.net

A beautiful day,
2019 UEEH organization team

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