IZOLYATSIA foundation and the NGO KyivPride, supported by the Human Rights Fund 2019, are starting a long-term project Coming Out of Isolation 2.0 aimed at the elimination of discrimination, xenophobia and prejudice towards members of the LGBT+ community in Ukraine.
This project seeks to talk critically and without biases about different, including non-binary, gender identities by means of contemporary art with an intention of facilitating the visibility of LGBT+ people and, correspondingly, supporting their full-fledged and equal integration into social life.
When talking about LGBT+ topics, both general media and specialized literature frequently use the term ‘LGBT+ community.’ It was used for the first time in the USA in 1988, born out of an effort to reflect the diversity of the sexual and gender spectrum. However, this term results in generalization and homogeneity of the community which in reality is quite heterogeneous and diverse.
Moreover, this community has certain conceptual differences and it consists of a great number of individuals which often define their gender identity in a very particular way. The important factors for self-identification are social circumstances, i.e. the education, the level of welfare, the region of living, the age of the members of the LGBT+. All these factors have a substantial impact on the level of openness, self-perception and socialization of every separate individuum.
Therefore, IZOLYATSIA foundation and the non-governmental organisation KyivPride deem it important to talk not about the community in general, but about separate subjects of which it consists and about the social circumstances in which they live.
The project have started with a one month residency in IZOLYATSIA foundation for Ukrainian artists and film directors who have already worked or would like to work with the video as a medium, and are enthusiastic to create video works with a mentorship support illustrating different aspects of life for LGBT+ people. All Ukrainian artists, regardless of age, gender identity and regions of living, were invited to apply for the participation. Based on the results of the open call, five artists were chosen for participation in the residency.
As a result of the residency, a public pitching of projects took place in the space of IZONE сreative сommunity, and all the residents received small grants amounting to 50 thousand hryvnias for implementation of their own project — a video work.
In addition, during the residency, workshops and lectures for the residents and a broader public audience were conducted by invited contributors, including artist and film director Oksana Kazmina, art critic and film director Uta Kilter and film director Roman Blazhan. During the residency the artists worked on the own projects with mentorship support provided by artist Alina Kleitman.
For the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia — the 17th of May — IZOLYATSIA foundation in partnership with public TV channel UA: CULTURE and public organization KyivPride have prepared a special media project "Diversity and Equality" to draw attention to the discrimination experienced by people with different different sexual orientations and gender identities.
The video works created by the residents of the Coming Out of Isolation 2.0 will help to expand the audience and draw attention to the highlighted issues in the Ukrainian context. All of the works will be presented to a wide audience in the form of public events, screenings and discussions, and also will be available online.
The residency in IZOLYATSIA foundation took place from 27 January to 28 February 2020, the project pitching — on 9 March, the end of work on final projects — on June.
The mentor of the residency is artist Alina Kleitman.
During summer — autumn 2020 video works are presented on different online and offline platforms in regions of Ukraine, included to Gurtobus and Kyiv PrideWeek (in Ukrainian — PrideTyzhden) programmes.
The project was implemented with the support of the Human Rights Fund of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine.