In July 2009, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO) celebrated its 25th anniversary with an international LGBTQ activist conference in Amsterdam, bringing together more than 80 activists from all regions of the world.
The exhibition Faces of IGLYO consists of portraits some of these activists. It reflects the manifold backgrounds, experiences and people within the international LGBTQ community.
Activists dedicate an enormous amount of their time, of their capacities and their energy to change the current circumstances and situations. Very often, their personal efforts and sacrifices go unnoticed in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. This exhibition is also meant to act as a space for acknowledgement and recognition of the tremendously important contribution of each of these individual activists towards achieving equality for all LGBTQ people in all regions of the world.
On the occasion of IGLYO’s 25th birthday, Alex Müller has created portraits of 15 activists from all over the world. She is a self-taught photographer from Germany and considers photography a powerful tool of social activism. Her work mainly focuses on local and international activism around LGBT rights and health. From the jubilee conference in Amsterdam, the exhibition traveled on to World Outgames 2009 in Copenhagen, where it was exhibited on occasion of the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights at the IT University. It has since started its journey through Scandinavia and is traveling on.
The struggles we face are unique in each country. However, what we share are our convictions, our knowledge and our passion.
Faces of IGLYO is conceptualized as a traveling exhibition – IGLYO hopes that it will be shown in many countries – at local events, at high schools, at universities….. It can be shown on its own, or organized together with a panel discussion/ a talk/ an awareness event for international LGBT rights and activism.
IGLYO provides the exhibition free of charge. Your organization will only need to cover the cost for mailing the exhibition from IGLYO’s office in Brussels and back. If your organization would like to host “Faces of IGLYO”, please contact us by email.
Member of the South African Parliament, Ian Ollis, spoke at the opening of Faces of IGLYO exhibition at the University of Cape Town, March 2010.
I would like to get my whole community to come together so that we can work as one big organism.
Will I manage?
Alex Horky (19), Czech Youth Queer Organisation, Czech Republic
Activism means using my right to speak up about issues that effect my life, and create awareness that there is so much to fight for.
But we can change the world.
Annelies Mesman (25), CHOICE for youth and sexuality, The Netherlands
I consider myself an activist because of what I am. As a teacher I have to act on behalf of others.
Blessed Busingye (20), Youth Reproductive Health Link, Uganda
Being an activist means to change the world, knowing that we can only do this one person at a time. So everything counts.
Change is always happening – and it is only through advocacy (of any kind) that we convince decisions makers to change in our way.
Hayley Conway (24), Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Australia
Activism means courage, ambition and cooperation for change.
I am activist: firstly for myself as an LGBT person, and secondly for others who are oppressed.
Kamel Ordek (24), KAOS GL Cultural Research and Solidarity Association, Turkey
I am persuaded that if you don’t push forward, you’ll go backwards. Equality and freedom are never something that is just there or stays there by itself.
Laura Eigenmann (21), HalloWelt!, Switzerland
Almost every individual is an activist in his or her way.
I adovcate for change because it is an inner call and I can afford to do it.
Leke Salihu (26), Elysium, Kosovo
Activism means standing out to speak for an issue that requires a voice where there is none.
LGBTQI people in my country and the global south still face relentless trans – and homophobia.
Lourence Misedah (26), Ishtar MSM, Kenya
Advocacy on policies is needed to make sure that laws are in sync with the needs of society and especially with the needs of marginalised communities such as LGBT people.
Luluk (27), Srikandi Sejati Foundation, Indonesia
I refuse to be oppressed and I do not agree with the idea that some people have more privileges than others due to norms created by and present in societies.
Monika (26), ANSO – Association of Nordic LGBTQ Student Organisations, Sweden
Activism means something different for everybody. Everybody has their own motication. I have never thought about what it is called. I just wanted change.
We advocate for equal rights for LGBT people and the overcoming of homophobia.
Nadiia Korolova (24) & Krystyna Posunkina (20), International and Educational Center Za Ravnie Prava, Ukraine
Activism means standing up for justice and acceptance every day at any time and any level.
Being an activist is a meaningful and significant part of my life and my identity.
Selbi Jumayeva (22), LGBT Organisation Labrys, Kyrgyzstan
Activism is taking up issues of minority communities and of those whose problems and issues are not treated of equal priorities in regard to others.
Suman Nepal, Blue Diamond Society, Nepal
Activism symbolizes efforts made for making changes, contribution to ideas which lead to breaking stereotypes and prejudices.
Activism is movement.
Tinatin Japaridze (29), Inclusive Foundation, Georgia
I believe that there are people who were born to change the world. I am the one who attempts to help activists in their mission.
I urge people in my country to care about others who “differ” from them.
Zaruhi Shushanyan, We For Civil Equality, Armenia
Activism is intertwined in every aspect of daily life where one attempts to create an environment of consciousness about a specific issue.
As a queer immigrant, the most pressing issue that I see is a lack of accessible, culturally sensible services, information and legislation.
Denisse Temin Rosenfeld, Mexican immigrant living in Canada
Activism is a way of life. It is every day, everywhere and with every person I work with.
It is improving the way society perceives LGBTQ people and is ensuring that all of us can enjoy the rights we possess.
X (23), Red de Mujeres Lesbianas Y Bisexuales de Bolivia (Red LBBOL), Bolivia