Festival of Diversity 2014
The Festival of Diversity is the most important annual event for PINK Embassy / LGBT Pro and takes place every year on May 17th to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.
This event takes places throughout a week, called “Diversity Week” and culminates on the 17th, with the Diversity Fair, Pride March and many other social and entertainment activities such as concerts, movie screenings, exhibitions, conferences, working tables etc.
The main concept of diversity is that, despite differences we are all equal in rights, chances and in front of the law. Promotion of equality in diversity is important firstly because Albanian society is not unfamiliar to diversity and secondly because this is a human rights concept which still needs to be mainstreamed in Albanian society.
Diversity Week is an opportunity to connect with LGBT rights, to become better informed on the topic and to celebrate the fact that society is happier and more emancipated if it can accept people despite their sexual orientation and gender identity.
For the year 2014 the Festival of Diversity took place on 12-17 May and is organized by PINK Embassy / LGBT Pro Albania in collaboration with the Human Rights house of Albania, Open Mind Spectrum Albania and with the participation of many institutions, organizations, international partners and members of the LGBT community.
This event, which takes place for the third time, has served its purpose to strengthen the LGBT community and improve their public image.
The Diversity Week calendar had the following activities:
Monday, 12 May 2014
The first day was the press conference which marked the start of Diversity Week and the launch of the Video-Campaign “Say Yes to Love”.
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Movie Day was dedicated to LGBT themed movies and documentaries.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
On day three, the “City of Colours” exhibition was opened at the Culture House in Durrës.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
The movie “Due volte genitori” (Twice a parent) was screened in Tirana, with the participation of Mrs. Rita de Santis, president of Italian association AGEDO.
Saturday, 17 May 2014
The last day of the Festival started with the traditional Diversity Fair at the “Vëllezërit Frashëri” Square. It culminated with the first Tirana Pride march in downtown Tirana.
If you are interested as an institution, organization, individual etc to join the upcoming Diversity Festival and Tirana Pride events write to us at [email protected]
Diversity Week 12-17 May 2014 – Tirana Pride 2014
PINK Embassy, Human Rights House in Albania and Open Mind Spectrum Albania opened on May 12th the 3rd Festival of Diversity inviting all institutions of the Republic of Albania, media, human rights organizations and citizens of all orientation, faiths and opinions to join the activities which will take place this week, as well as the Pride March on May 17th.
The main message of this festival is “Say Yes to love”. Love is in fact the main drive of human life, activity and existence and in this simple terminology we found inspiration for everything that will happen this week and the materials that will be promoted.
Firstly we want to share with the public the video “Say Yes to love”. Its production, found its resources on messages of hate by individuals and groups who have chosen hate as a way to fight the protection and advancement of LGBT rights.
Free speech is one of the main pillars of a democratic state but it should not be used to insult, offend or even worse promote violence or other negative acts. If the debate against LGBT rights is done by using such positions and opinions then it shows that this is a lost debate and that the convincing arguments are few and not very reliable.
We wanted to use this week as an opportunity to discuss some of the most interesting themes related to LGBT people and their right. During movie day, we will get to know the paths of LGBT people from different parts of the world. Meanwhile the feelings and the love they express is similar, what changes is the way in which society interacts with them. The more constructive and healthy the approach to society is, the bigger the wellbeing and the accompanying dialogue.
Furthermore during this week we will have the pleasure to open the exhibition “Taste of Freedom” which explores the freedom of expression, through democratic means.
The road towards full protection and guarantee of LGBT rights is still long. We invite the Albanian public, in the spirit of tolerance, understanding and culture, to take advantage of this week, and to get to know more closely the needs, problems and concerns of LGBT people.
In order to understand the needs of an individual or community, we should try to see through their eyes and feelings, what is right and what is wrong in our society. A free society is one which fights and despises oppression by protecting and respecting all of its citizens.
PINK Embassy, Human Rights House and Open Mind Spectrum Albania want to thank in particular the Delegation of the European Union to Albania for supporting the Festival of Diversity.
We want to thank all institutions, human rights organizations, national and international institutions, businesses and companies, groups and individuals, academicians, journalists, LGBT community in the country and all other individuals whose contribution and support gave life to a very intense week.