Sun, 21 Feb|
Live streaming with Q & A
March for Dignity - film screening
3pm An extraordinary account of the huge difficulties surmounted by queer activists and allies to hold the first ever Pride in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2019. A Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival Event. Donations to Tbilisi Pride
Time & Location
21 Feb 2021, 15:00 – 16:40
Live streaming with Q & A
About the Event
In the Programme we are delighted to include an Introduction by the Film Maker, John Eames, the live screening of the film and, a Q & A with him and Miriami Kvaratskhelia an activist from Tbilisi, Georgia (NOTE; the livestream won’t go live until 14:50 GMT) https://www.marchfordignityfilm.com/
An extraordinary account of the huge difficulties surmounted by queer activists and allies to hold the first ever Pride in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2019. From the start we see footage from attempts to organise in 2018; a mass baying crowd surround a be-leagued yellow mini bus as the police haplessly ‘protect’ the fleeing activists. The opposition comes from small right wing organisations, funded by wealthy men with the full support and participation of the Orthodox Church.
Trans people are incredibly vulnerable and the activists seeking to empower the lives of all LGBTQ+ people are very small in numbers. They are often confronted by large malign men and commonly face sentiments that liken them to ‘sodomical movements and paedophilia’ or clearly say ‘ your disease is contagious’ ‘we’ll tie their hands - use our belts and beat them’ (this said with a priest standing by) and ‘a Georgian is a Georgian when he is masculine’. Death threats are sent to the activists’ mobile phones and every move they make to organise the Pride is ‘leaked’ to the far right groups who are able to block every avenue (quite literally).
There is, however, such close comradeship between the activists that they have the strength to prevail and there is a wonderfully inspired moment, that could come straight out of the 1970s Gay Liberation Front. The technology is very different, but that magical moment lifts spirits, and makes fun, such that even apparent homophobes have to laugh. ‘I was super happy’ says one activist of that moment, as were we, watching this remarkable film.
At the request of the film makers, donations at this screenings will be sent by Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival in equal shares to Tbilisi Pride who run an emergency fund to support vulnerable LGBTQ+ people in Georgia e.g. there’s a recovery fund for the queer bar there that’s suffering due to covid restrictions. If that was to close, the possibility of getting premises for another to open is potentially slim due to homophobia They also support a fund for trans sex workers in Tbilisi.
This will be sent directly to support Pride events in Georgia