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"Where Love Is Illegal" exhibition opened to coincide with Pride Parade

06.09.2019 at 08:05

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A photo exhibition "Where Love is Illegal” opened last night to coincide with the first BiH Pride Parade in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The photos show portraits of people taken by award-winning photographer Robin Hammond in countries where members of the LGBTI community are being persecuted and threatened. He encouraged his subjects to write down their story and presents these narratives, unedited, next to the pictures.

It was told at the opening that the aim is to strengthen fundamental human rights, and the message that people should not be discriminated on the basis of their sexual orientation.

The EU Info Center in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Heinrich Böll Foundation are organizers of the exhibition.

Gianluca Vannini, Head of Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation in the Delegation of the European Union to BiH, said at the opening that freedom of assembly and expression are one of the basic norms of the European Union, and hoped that there will be more exhibitions of this type in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the future.

The LGBTI population in BiH must be respected with rights guaranteed to all members of society, Vannini said.

“The European Union and the EU Delegation to BiH support the first 'Pride Parade' in Bosnia and Herzegovina, scheduled for Sunday in Sarajevo, as well as an exhibition opened last night,” said this European representative.

Marion Kraske, director of the office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Sarajevo, said the organizers decided to take part in this exhibition because Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only country in region where the 'Pride Parade' has not been held so far.

According to Marion Kraska, Bosnia and Herzegovina must begin to recognize and respect human rights and LGBTI community.

BiH Pride Parade organizing committee member Ena Bavčić said Bosnia and Herzegovina has advanced human rights legislation but not proper implementation.

The upcoming parade is planned in detail in all segments in coordination with police and there have been no threats to the organizers so far, Bavčić said.

She points out that LGBTI population do not live the same way in Bosnia and Herzegovina like in other regional countries, so the upcoming parade can at least encourage other people to think about unwanted 'identity hiding' in a community that is not tolerant enough of the LGBTI lifestyle.

The exhibition "Where Love Is Illegal" will be opened at the Museum of Literature and Performing Arts until September 11.

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