“Documentary Dance Film Raises Awareness about LGBTQ+ Torture in Chechnya”
NEW YORK – WAITING FOR COLOR is a documentary dance film revealing the harsh reality of LGBTQ+ persecution in the Chechen region of Russia. The contents of the film were inspired by testimonials of the arrests, torture, and blackmail that gay Chechens were subjected to throughout 2017. Through the accounts of 33 brave individuals who shared their stories, the film explores the themes of paranoia, trauma, and hope.
The film chooses dance as the primary medium in order to evoke three distinct emotions that showcase the intensity that Chechens faced: surveillance, brutality, and hopelessness. The physically-charged, abstract movement is choreographed to enhance the resonance of the spoken testimonies, offering a physical interpretation to the psychological torture that the individuals experienced.
The film is a direct response to the government anti-gay purge in Chechnya that made international news in April 2017 about the abduction, torture and extrajudicial killings of over 100 gay men in the Chechen Republic, a part of the Russian Federation. As news spread, activists tried to evacuate survivors and push the local government for accountability, admittance, and persecution of those involved in these terrible crimes against humanity. The Russian government has been stalling its investigation, refusing to come forward with anything conclusive even after reports and public testimonials of individuals who had successfully escaped were shared in the press.
The film was independently produced by Kosta Karakashyan and Studio Karakashyan and is being released in collaboration with Single Step Foundation, a Bulgarian non-profit organization that aims to help LGBTI youth recognize, come out and affirm their sexual orientation and gender identity. The goal of the film is to maintain international attention on the situation and to highlight the important work that the Russian LGBT Network is doing in uncovering these brutal stories and protecting the individuals that came forward to share them.
Waiting for Color (6:35) release: Wednesday, August 27, 1PM EDT.
Copyright Kosta Karakashyan.