Tag Archives: transgender

Stepping into the Light: Trans Visibility in Brazilian Art

Evangelina Kranioti’s ethereal documentary ‘Obscuro Barroco’, following the experiences of transgender personality Luana Muniz as she navigates the streets of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival, promises “a story of a calm darkness”. But across the film we follow a movement from night to day, with the closing scenes of the film depicting beams of sunlight stretching across the skyline. The transformation of the city from darkness to light offers a symbolic parallel to the metamorphosis of gender seen in the film, and more generally to the growing visibility of the trans population in this region. Just as the trans protagonist steps into Rio’s dawn, numerous trans artists are emerging onto the Brazilian art scene. Kranioti’s documentary is the first of a number of Brazilian and Latin American films submitted to the Teddy Award 2018, celebrating trans and queer culture. ‘Bixa Travesty’, directed by Kiko Goifman, is a tender biopic of Brazilian transgender singer Linn da Quebrada, and ‘La omisión’, Argentinian filmmaker Sebastián Schjaer’s first full-length fiction film, portrays the struggles of a young transient worker. The increasing representation of trans people on the big screen is matched by developments on the small screen. 2017 saw the production of TV Series, ‘Edge of Desire’, a soap opera chronicling the transition of a transgender man that draws in roughly 50 million viewers per night[1]. Broadcast on Brazilian TV network, Globo, the show is the nation’s first ever soap opera featuring a transgender character. Similarly, transgender singer Pabllo Vittar broke the Brazilian record for YouTube view with their song Sua Cara this year[2], and British transgender playwright Jo Clifford’s show, ‘The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven’, which imagines Jesus as a trans woman, continues to be a sell-out hit at theatres across the country since its arrival in 2016[3]. Brazil is home to a large community of transgender people, added to which are the members of what is known as the country’s “third sex”, travestis (individuals designated male at birth, but who live a feminine gender identity). Its annual Pride parade in Sao Paolo, which attracted an estimated 3 million attendants this year[4], is the largest in the world. The country is also seen as something of a beacon when it comes to the legal rights of LGBT people. The government was one of the first to work with LGBT rights organisations to offer free medical care to HIV/AIDS sufferers, and 2013 saw the legal recognition both of same-sex marriage and of the right to change a person’s name and gender marker on some government-issued identification documents[5]. It is only right, then, that the growing legal realisation of trans identities is mirrored in the realisation of those identities in Brazilian art. But there is a looming shadow over these advancements; with more visibility in the public sphere comes louder and more violent hostility. In the art world that hostility translates to societal censorship, with two Brazilian exhibitions of queer art this year being shut down early thanks to right-wing and conservative Christian protests. In everyday terms the opposition to the trans and queer community takes the form of brutal violence. “Machismo” culture is still very prominent in parts of Latin America: according to the UN, a woman is assaulted every 15 seconds in Sao Paolo[6], and in 2017, 200 LGBT individuals were murdered in Brazil. Trans people are particularly at risk, as was cruelly illustrated earlier this year when a video went viral of trans woman, Dandara dos Santos, being tortured and killed in Fortaleza. It may be many years before trans art can step into a light unpolluted by such prejudice and violence, but for the moment we must recognise the courage of the many film-makers, actors, singers, and theatre-goers that are publically celebrating queer and transgender culture despite such animosity. By Hannah Congdon [1] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/07/world/americas/brazil-transgender-pabllo-vittar.html [2] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/07/world/americas/brazil-transgender-pabllo-vittar.html [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWNQtlsvQiY [4] http://www.rioonwatch.org/?p=37249 [5] http://www.rioonwatch.org/?p=37249 [6] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-33939470  

A Very Fantastic Woman Gets an Oscar

During the celebration of the 90th Academy Award last Sunday, ‘Una Mujer Fantástica’ (‘A Fantastic Woman’), was awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The film, which won the 31st TEDDY AWARD for best feature in 2017, is the work of Chilean director Sebastián Lelio. The Academy Award for a non-English speaking film has been given away since 1956 and ‘A Fantastic Woman’ is a landmark recipient in a number of respects; it’s the first first Chilean film to win the foreign-language Oscar, the first film with a trans themed plot to take home the prize, and lead actor Daniela Vega is the first openly transgender person to present an award on stage at the ceremony. Sebastián Lelio praised Daniela Vega as “the inspiration for this movie”. The story follows Marina (Daniela Vega), a transgender woman working as a waitress, who has a loving relationship with Orlando (Francisco Reyes), a divorced man 30 years her senior. Their affectionate love is brought to an abrupt end on the day of Orlando’s sudden death. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Marina is faced with the hatred of Orlando’s ex-wife and children. She fights simultaneously for her right to mourn her beloved one and against the prejudices and harassment from her late lover’s family. The film not only gives a sensitive portrayal of the universal right to grieve but also tells the intimate story of a trans women in today’s conservative Chile. On a broader level, the film highlights the transphobia and ignorance constituting every-day life for many transgender people around the world. Few would be able to leave the cinema unmoved by this touching story of love and loss. To learn more about the film, have a look at our interview with director Sebastián Lelio and lead actors Daniela Vega and FranciscoReyes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9VQLBKaP9Q

10th XPOSED International Queer Film Festival Berlin 2015

Welcome to the 10th XPOSED International Queer Film Festival Berlin and get ready for our Return to Oz!

To celebrate the release of the Program we are pleased to also share with you this years XPOSED Festival Trailer created by Marion Habringer.


About XPOSED International Queer Film Festival Berlin

Ten years of shaping, forming, breaking, discovering and finding ­ XPOSED is about QUEER FILM in all it’s forms, glory, shame, distaste, trash and beauty. Sometimes it’s all in one and sometimes it’s spread out like Blanche at the Rusty Anchor.
XPOSED was started as a passion project, a passion for Queer Film, for Berlin and the ever expanding possibilities of storytelling within the world of Queer Film ­ and the festival remains to this day a passion project. This festival is made by people who enjoy making festival, who enjoy queer films, filmmakers and queer Berlin, and this is reflected within the programming of the festival.
By not only screening some of the newest films around, XPOSED takes special care to always mix their programs with new and old films, be it in a short film program or a feature screening with a short. XPOSED enjoys creating programs and these programs can only be created by looking at the queer perspective from all corners of the world, perspectives that challenge normative views, propose an alternate way of thinking, and approach life and story telling from another way.
Created in 2006, the XPOSED International Queer Film Festival has built itself with the aim of creating entertaining, odd, left of centre Queer Film Programs that also in turn eXPOSE the Queer Filmmakers out into the international world of Queer Festivals and beyond. You can only be you when you are truly XPOSED. This festival, in the end, is about YOU.

http://www.xposedfilmfestival.com/

Russia’s streets should become safer

In many parts of the world the people think, that especially the women are the worse car drivers. In Russia, they go one step further. In order to reduce the accident statistics, not everybody will be allowed to get a driver’s license in the land of Putin.

giphy_driving_clueless

Mental disorders are listed and can lead to a driving ban. These include also transsexuals and transvestites. It’s new that the sexual orientation decides on the fitness to drive and that minorities are an danger to the traffic.
Besides this obvious discrimination there are more potential troublemakers on the traffic in Russia, according to the interdiction catalogue there are also pedophiles, kleptomaniacs and gambling addicts a danger on the roads. A sexual minority is lumped together with people having mental disorders and criminals.

But Putin even abides by an official list of the WHO. Disorders of adult and behaviour are listed in the ICD-10 under subsection F60 to F69 . Besides a number of mental disorders, transsexualism and transvestism are also listed. Although, the list will be edited in May it gives rise to some questions. Even homosexuality was listed for many years.