NEW YORK – WAITING FOR COLOR is a documentary dance film about the Chechen region of Russia.

“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.

LGBT Activist Arrested in Russia During World Cup

An LGBT activist was arrested in Russia for staging a one-man protest.

Peter Tatchell, a British citizen, was detained Thursday in Moscow, the first day of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, for speaking out against the Eastern European nation’s inaction toward human rights abuses in Chechnya, a region of Russia.

“Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people,” read the sign held by Tatchell.

Tatchell was taken to a police station by several officers and released later that day, reports CNN. The activist will have to appear in court on June 26 because, according to a post on his Twitter, he is “charged with violating Federal Law 54 & Presidential Decree 202, which prohibit all protests near the Kremlin & during World Cup.”

After being released, Tatchell posted video of his arrest and explained how he had wanted to prevent a “PR coup” from the antigay nation for hosting an international sporting event.

“My Moscow protest was in solidarity with heroic Russian & Chechen LGBT people. I salute & support their struggle,” he wrote in the post. “The human rights abusing Putin regime must not be allowed to score a PR coup with the World Cup. There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime.”

Since last year, at least 200 gay and bisexual men may have been detained and as many as 26 killed in Chechen concentration camps, according to reports from LGBT groups and the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. In May, a representative of Russia told the United Nations that an investigation found no evidence of crimes against LGBT people in Chechnya — or even LGBT people in general.

Russia’s infamous “gay propaganda” law prohibits public LGBT demonstrations. Yet Tatchell maintained that his protest was not illegal.

“I was exercising my lawful right to protest, under the Russian constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and the right to protest in Articles 29 and 31,” he said in a statement submitted by the Peter Tatchell Foundation. “A one-person protest, which is what I did, requires no permission from the authorities and the police.”

“Getting arrested is standard for Russians who protest for LGBT+ rights or against corruption, economic injustice and Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its bombing of civilians in Syria,” Tatchell added. “Unlike brave Russian protesters, I have the ‘protection’ of a British passport, which means I have been treated more leniently than they are. My fate was mild compared to what often happens to Russians who dare to challenge the Putin regime. I am awed by their courage.”

It is not illegal to be gay in Russia, but homophobia has been on the rise in the past several years. A recent poll from the Levada Center found that 83 percent of Russians, regardless of age, think gay sex is “always reprehensible” or “almost always reprehensible.” Activists have advised LGBT fans in attendance at the World Cup not to hold hands or exchange public displays of affection.

Copyright:  https://www.advocate.com