Many citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina will remember the living conditions in the pandemic for limited everyday activities, limited freedom, denial of human rights and socialization, and unfortunately, domestic violence which further intensified during the pandemic. LGBTIQ persons, on the other hand, are forced every single day to go through various segments of their lives exactly in such a way – restrained, without having the freedom to be who they are.
We are aware that people in our society, when saying that we, LGBTIQ persons, should be “that” within our four walls, actually do not recognize nor understand what it means to live in such a way. Therefore, using this year’s campaign and the slogan of the second BiH Pride March, we would like to convey a message that no living being can live a full and well-rounded life within four walls.
The goal of using the living experiences during the pandemic is to distinctly present what it means to live a life of an LGBTI person in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the videos that you will see, participants read everyday life experiences of LGBTIQ persons, also referring to the limitations of life within four walls during the pandemic, with the curfew and limited movement.
We will continue emphasizing our experiences as long as the society, individuals, politicians and representatives od public institutions don’t realize that it is impossible to live a full life within four walls and that creating a safe public space, without fear and violence, where everyone will be able to live their authentic lives is the responsibility of the institutions, and the general society.
Being an LGBTIQ person, just like every other person, means going to school, to work, hang out with friends, have a partner, start a family, go to public events, vote, travel, be a part of family gatherings, and everything else that comprises daily lives of all of us. That means that living all of this is impossible within four walls. That is why in this campaign we must emphasize that four walls can’t mean life.
The participants of this media campaign are the citizens, activists and various public figures who want to join us in conveying the message that there is no life within four walls and that no one has the right to limit anyone’s life.
The goal of this campaign is to turn attention to the reality which LGBTIQ persons live through every day. The pandemic reality of all citizens has shed light upon all the impossibilities of life within four walls. By sharing the experience of our fellow citizens and connecting it to everyday life of an LGBTIQ person, we wish to bring attention to the meaning of four walls, and create an atmosphere where the citizens, along with the LGBTIQ people, are united against the common enemy – the four walls, and state their demands for freedom together.
The problems that LGBTIQ and all marginalized groups in the society face do not go away during the extreme situations such as this ongoing pandemic. On the contrary, these extreme situations just further aggravate their position. That is why it is more than necessary and needed for you to support the LGBTIQ persons, without calculating if it is right to do so because of the pandemic. Your support is very important and means a lot to all of us.
We invite you to share the campaign, show that you are here and support our efforts towards a better life for all of us.
Mersiha Drinjaković, a citizen and a journalist, says how she felt the first plastic example of homophobia while she was shooting the cover for the Gracija magazine. While trying to get the perfect shot, she was unfurling the rainbow flag, at the same time dealing with hateful looks and comments. This is just one of the examples that demonstrates the existence of walls in the public space as well.
Public space must not be a privilege.
As a member of the Romani community, and as a journalist as well, Dalibor noticed how socially rejected communities such as the Romani one live in such an isolation from the society that they are not even a part of the pandemic reality we live in. Dalibor knows that rejection is not a pleasant experience, and that is why he stands in solidarity against homophobia and other forms of oppression of citizens.
Acceptance and integration into society must not be a privilege.
Professor Pašić did not even think about how it is a privilege to be able to hug and show affection towards your partner. Sometimes we take some opportunities and possibilities for granted, almost without giving any thought into the fact that people who are a part of our society do not have equal, seemingly banal possibilities. Hugging and affection must not be a privilege.
Arijana Forić Kurtović
During the pandemic, for the sake of protection and security, many people have stopped meeting and hanging out with people they like. Imagine how it is when, for the sake of security, you need to suspend closeness or a kiss every day. For many LGBTI persons, physical distancing and protection measures are set in force 24 hours a day.
Kissing in public must not be a privilege.
Erna Saljević aka DivaIsBack
Coronavirus pandemic has isolated BiH citizens from their social circles, rituals and everyday habits. The new reality, unfortunately, reminds of the circumstances under which LGBTI persons live, in which they often face rejection, non-recognition and violence.
Unlike for the pandemic, isolation cannot be the solution for such life.
As citizens and workers, we cannot ignore the poor quality of working conditions. Work is equally important for LGBTI people and as long as there are cases of emotional neglect, discrimination and mobbing based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the LGBTI community will persist in seeking better working conditions for all, including LGBTI people.
Working without fear and discrimination should not be a privilege.
Merima Džubur Grbić
At the time of the current coronavirus pandemic, for many LGBTIQ people, online space has unfortunately become the only space for security and research. Yet, both in the online space and even on dating apps, LGBTIQ people must be in a constant state of readiness not to be recognized, outed, attacked or trapped.
Online security should not be a privilege.
Holding hands, kissing or talking about a partner in public is impossible for the majority of LGBTIQ persons. Besides the judgmental society, the owners of private and public places (cafes, cinemas, theaters, restaurants) also contribute to this problem. Even if LGBTIQ persons decide to hug or kiss their partner in these places, they get judgmental looks or even get kicked out of them.
Equal treatment is not a privilege but a human right.
For our clearer understanding of life within four walls, we are in constant communication with people who are not necessarily part of the LGBTI community, but are doomed to isolation and inability to function in the way other BiH citizens are accustomed to. In that name, we build solidarity, share their experiences and call for listening and understanding.
We must not build only particular solidarity and understanding!