[Breakingthesilence] homophobia and cultural programme

Kev Smith kevin.smith at gmx.net
Mer 21 Juil 15:46:34 CEST 2004


dear breakingthesilencers...
I am thinking of adding another small point to the reader but i wanted to
get soem feedback from people as to what they think, especially people who
are in belgrade and who can speak to people face to face about this.... I
feel a bit bad as obviously i have a lot of free time to think about this
now, instead of runnign round like crazy like iimagine all of you over there
are doing....

basically, when i saw the cultural programme of the free festival, it made
me a bit uncomfortable to see the two hours of the inverted coconut
soundsystem playing dancehall reggae.
Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me from a distance,
that the GLBTQ community in serbia faces quite violent societal repression,
with the gay pride parade being cancelled amidst threats of violence, and
this guy from the gay magazine being really violently beaten up with a few
other peopel outside a gay club recently.
In this kind of social climate, is it not strnage that we then have DJs
playing music which has a tendency to advocate more of this kind of violence
against homosexiuals within the cultural programme of the PGA? HOw would we
be reacting if it was DJs playing music that incited equivalent levels of
racial violence?

I have reservations about saying this in that I have no idea who the
inverted coconut soundsystem are, and maybe they are accutely sensitive to
these issues and they scrupulously check the lyrical content of the music
they playto check homophobic or mysogynistic statements.... but I am also
quite familiar with dancehall as a genre, and I know that many of the big
names and stars are very outspokenly, violently homophobic in both their
lyrics and their public positions.

I totally believe in freedom of speech, and I am relatively happy for anyone
tostand up and say that they think i am a disgusting, evil, pervert for
being queer, but I think it is a different story as soon as anyone starts
using freedom of speech to encourage people to participate in acts of
violence against oppressed minorities, and i think it seems  a little bit
inconsistent for this sort of thing to go unaddressed within the context of
the pga principles, and the climate of violence against homosexuals that
currently exists in serbia.

so, is there any sensible course of action that people think shoudl be taken
about this? I think it woudl be really good if someone from belgrade could
voice these concerns to the inverted coconut soundsystem beforehand.... I
would be happy to put in some info about violent homophobia in dancehall
lyrical content in the context of the gay hate crimes in serbia in the
reader......

do people think this is a good idea? Am i making a big deal out nothing or
do people think that this is a legitmate issue to raise?

Also, given how much in fighting and bickering that has taken place already
in the run up to the seminar, I dont really want to create loads more ill
feeling amongst over worked and stressed out people at the last minute.

OK, i hope to hear from some of you soon
cheers now
kev

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