DVDs will be shipped tommorrow

The Photo DVDs of Queer Easter 2012 are now ready and will be shipped on Monday,14th of May 2012.

A short countrywise statistic 😉

Germany: 7
Netherlands: 6
United Kingdom: 5
Austria: 4
Belgium: 3
Israel: 3
Norway: 3
Ireland: 2
Switzerland: 2
Belarus: 1
Czech Republic: 1
Italia: 1
Poland: 1
Slovenia: 1

Neues Deutschland about Queer Easter

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE ARTICLE IN THE NEWSPAPER “NEUES DEUTSCHLAND” FROM SATURDAY (German Version)

04.07.2012 / Berlin / Brandenburg / Page 16

Education – sexual and historical

A visit to the largest gathering of Europe on gender-role-critical children’s and youth work

by Ralf Hutter

English voices echo through the brightly decorated staircase of the Kurt Löwenstein House (KLH). On the first floor young people squeeze, look at announcements or fill into lists. They need to decide before lunch, which topic they want to focus on this week. The offered themes include: What potential has the changing society for non-heterosexual families? What were the gender relations exported by European imperialism?

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Photo: Mikhail Nerush

The KLH in Werftpfuhl (Barnim), which is the federal education center of the socialist youth “Die Falken”, is regularly running seminars with participants from many countries. But for now the house is decorated with rainbow flags, a symbol of the LGBT movement because it is “Queer Easter”. The term “LGBT” stands for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals. “We have taken the word “queer” because this term includes a variety of sexualities,” said Tim Scholz.

Scholz is education officer at KLH and primarily responsible for the international seminars . On the 13th Queer Easter 105 people aged between 18 and 28 years came as guests in order to discuss “same-sex lifestyles in the tension between traditional family structures, social norms of expected behavior and emancipatory forms of life”. The seminar is organized by a team of 20-members, (relatively young) members from 12 countries, who work voluntarily – most of them have been Queer Easter participants before, says Scholz.

This annual seminar week was developed in the KLH and the first time there were only 30 young people. Meanwhile, it is intended primarily for multipliers, people who do education themselves. In addition, it has grown considerably – Scholz knows of no larger seminar in Europe on the topics of LGBT rights and gender-role criticism. The 125 people in the house are coming from 31 organizations of voluntary youth work in 19 countries. The focus this year is the criticism of the bourgeois nuclear family.

Here, people from different backgrounds meet and informally exchange in the evenings in Kellerbar. The young people can tell each other about the political situations in their countries, and about their educational work. So the problems are well known: “In Poland one cannot talk about homosexuality in schools,” says Tim Scholz. “In Serbia, there were even attacks by hooligans on spaces of LGBT organizations. Other problem-cases are in Belarus and the Arab minorities in Israel. Some of the organizations have to be careful in everyday life. If they participate in Queer Easter, some do not tell at home exactly where they go,” replies the KLH-employee.

Photo: Mikhail Nerush

Photo: Mikhail Nerush

Not only the geographical origin of participants is diverse. “It is exciting to bring together the political left and LGBT” says Scholz. “We have to carry LGBT issues out of own community.”

It is significant that “Die Falken” are the only German organisation that is attending Queer Easter. Is this seminar still unknown after 12 years? Tim Scholz says no. “We have presented Queer Easter on the German children- and youth symposium, the largest conference for children and youth work, he says. “Of more than 80 events our Queer-Easter-presentation was the only one on LGBT. It is a niche topic. The question is: How do we sustainably address this issue inside the heterosexually-dominated society? Otherwise there is no equality.”

Some political organizations have shown their interest in this subject. For example a small group, which is gathering after lunch in the KLH kiosk area. The four young men come from socialist youth organizations abroad. For instance the 21-year-old Alessio from Florence. He belongs to “Giovani Democratici ” a youth organization of the “Democratic Party” in Italy, and would like to prepare here for an intra-party struggle for LGBT rights. Aldo, 28 years old, was studying in Linz in Austria and came through the association of socialist students to Queer Easter. This year it’s his fourth time, “because there are always new things to learn. Here, many aspects of daily life come up.” Dewi from the Netherlands has been to the KLH before, since her organization runs seminars here. The 24-year-old, who lives near Utrecht, is fully aware of the fact that she lives in a privileged country in terms of LGBT rights, and she wants to learn about the situation in other countries. Also some people from Berlin participate in Queer Easter. Denise, 19 years old, has become a member of the German falcons just a few month ago, but she has come to the KLH for years, for example to summer camps. The atmosphere and the program here are always great – so is Queer Easter: “So many things are put across here. You cannot find this anywhere else.”

Meanwhile in one of the seminar rooms, Kris an Udi are preparing a workshop. Both come from a LGBT background. Kris, 32 years old, was active in the largest LGBT organization in Poland called “Campaign Against Homophobia” and is now the fourth time at Queer Easter, for the second time as a member of the team. The 24-year-old Udi comes from Haifa, was also here several times and he now assists. Together they team a group of men – the participants are divided according to their gender for this session, which deals with the topic “safe sex”. Which STDs can be transmitted from oral and anal intercourse or the use of sex toys? What kinds of AIDS tests are there? Is trust a reasonable basis for unprotected sex? Does sex without a condom feel better? Also “thinking ahead” to always have condoms in the house, is reminded. Subsequently, Kris and Udi distribute some rubbers. The participants seem to be well informed about most of the discussed issues.

Afterwards all participants are engaged to discuss the links between the popular family-model and capitalism. It has the impression that Queer Easter operates in both: sexual education as well as historical and political matters.

URL: http://www.neues-deutschland.de/artikel/223520.aufklaerung-sexuell-und-historisch.html

Invitation to the 13th Queer Easter

Hereby we would like to invite you to the upcoming 13th Queer Easter.This non-formal educational seminar will take place from 02.-09.04.2012 in Werftpfuhl/Germany. The seminar is organized by the education centre Kurt Löwenstein of the Socialist Youth of Germany – Die Falken in cooperation with IFM-SEI and ECOSY. Content wise, we’ll be focusing this year at Queer Easter on the effects of capitalism on queer relationships (families, relationships, friendships).

At Queer Easter we strive every year to create a safe environment, where every participant can feel comfortable to talk about their own experiences, and feed into discussions held in an atmosphere of respect and understanding. In talking about such sensitive and personal issues and their relation to the area of politics and society, we are also asking every participant to challenge themselves, and reflect on their own lifestyle and attitudes. For this reason, we ask that every participant comes to the seminar with the willingness to examine themselves, to express their own opinion, and to respect those of others – to question some of those things that are embedded so completely in our societies, those things that perpetuate intolerance and inequality. To change the world, we must first examine, challenge and consciously change ourselves – and for this we ask that everyone remembers the importance of keeping an open mind in relation to this subject, and the process of the seminar.

PROGRAMME

The topic of the seminar will be explored through a variety of workshops, discussion rounds and working groups. Besides this, Queer Easter will also offer the opportunity to learn more about LGBT situations in other countries, and there will be provided a space for exchanging experiences, projects and campaigns that our different organisations are running. And of course we have not forgotten about having fun together e.g. while spending one day in Berlin. A draft program will be available beginning of march. Some 2 weeks before the seminar, we will send a description how to reach the educational centre and a last information email with details of what we would like you to bring, what to prepare beforehand and other useful information.

DATES

This 13th Queer Easter Seminar will take place from 02-09.04.2012.

VENUE

The venue and accommodation will be at the Education Centre Kurt Loewenstein in Werftpfuhl in the northeast suburbs of Berlin. The closest airports are in Berlin, from where the venue can be reached with local transport. Exact travel details will be sent to you after registration.

PARTICIPANTS

Participants are expected to:

  • To be active in an political youth organisation (either a youth organisation of ECOSY or IFM-SEI) or active in an youth organisation dealing with LGBT issues, preferably an LGBT-youth organisation
  • to have interest in working on the issue
  • to be able to follow the seminar and communicate in English
  • to be available for the whole duration of the seminar

We do not ask for sexual orientation identification of the participants but welcome everybody who is interested in the topic of the seminar.

FINANCES

The participation fee depends on the country you are coming from. Please contact Tim Scholz for exact details.

This fee includes participation in the programme and accommodation as well as four meals per day for the duration of the event and a day-trip to Berlin. For members of ECOSY organization, special financial rules apply. For more info, please check the special invitation to Queer Easter sent by the ECOSY secretariat or contact them at office@ecosy.org

TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

Due to the difficult financial situation we are unfortunately in general unable to reimburse your travel expenses, except in case of special agreements (please contact the education officer Tim Scholz on exact details of this).

REGISTRATION

Registration for the Seminar is only possible online via a registration form, which you can find here.

Registration Deadline is 10.03.2012

We are asking every participant from your organisation to register separately in order to let them fill in the motivation questions by themselves. If you are coming with a delegation from an organisation, we ask that you pay attention to the biological sex balance of your group, so that we have a balance at the seminar. In case participants need Visa to enter Germany the deadline is the 01.03.2012. Please register online as soon as possible since the original personal invitation letters are going to be sent out on the 02.03.12. The originals will be sent to the nearest German consulate. You will get scanned copies of this letters to apply for the visa.

FURTHER QUESTIONS

In case of further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Tim Scholz . Looking forward to welcome you at Queer Easter 2012 in Werftpfuhl!