The Queer History of Belarus in the Second Half of the 20th Century: Presentation in Bremen

When: 18.10.2016, 12:30.
Where: University of Bremen, Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, OEG, Raum 3790.
Who: Uladzimir Valodzin (Minsk).
Format: lunchtalk.

There were little attempts to write Belarusian queer/LGBTI history until recent time. My work balances on the edge between academic history writing and activist research. During the lunch talk I will speak about my attempts to find traces of virtually invisible history.
Soviet homosexuals were existing only as “criminals” (subjects to juridical scrutiny) or “mentally ill” (subjects of study on sexopathology), so both legal and sexopathological discourses will be touched in the talk. Now there are figures available, so we may see how many men were sentenced for “sodomy” (“мужеложство”) in the Soviet Union in general and in Belarusian SSR in particular. Oral history sources are crucial for understanding the everyday life of gays, lesbians and other queers in times of public invisibility, so those
sources will also be mentioned. Finally, queer media of the 1990s are important in reconstructing the history of emerging LGBT rights movement. The talk will culminate with presentation of the brochure on Belarusian queer history.

Poster of the event:

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