The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) congratulates and supports the two festivals, Anibar and Dokufest, for their focus on the topics of Queer and Transgender issues, as well as their support for LGBTIQ+ individuals. The themes addressed by these festivals this year represent significant strides towards promoting awareness and acceptance of human rights, gender diversity, and the expression of Queer and Transgender identities. What Anibar and Dokufest have brought to Kosovo this year is a cultural and artistic initiative that fosters open dialogue, cultivates an open and equitable society, and raises awareness about the rights and needs of LGBTIQ+ community.
For the first time in Kosovo, Anibar and Dokufest initiated a public dialogue about the rights of Queer and Transgender individuals at the local level. Without a doubt, the theme chosen by these two festivals this year has sparked numerous reactions, to the extent that it even resulted in the removal of the mural of the Anibar Festival in “Kosharka”. Nevertheless, KWN expresses gratitude to and stands by Anibar and Dokufest for their presentation of “Love” and the performance at Dokunight, events that sparked local-level discussions in public spaces, showcasing their determination to challenge patriarchal norms.
In a patriarchal society where, traditional norms are resistant to change, festivals and civil society attempts to bring about change. However, Members of Parliament (MPs) exacerbate this situation by expressing disapproval of the Civil Code and employing hate speech during parliamentary sessions. This kind of language, when utilized in such contexts, becomes normalized and is unfortunately deemed acceptable by the public. This acceptance is evident through the presence of graffiti and other actions expressing hate speech targeting the LGBTIQ+ Community. KWN remains committed to advocating for the revision of the Civil Code as a step towards constructing a society that embodies equality and tolerance.