Dora Não Cansou de Viver… [A film in the making]

[Emanuel Brauna-Lechat is a filmmaker from Maceió. ‘Dora Não Cansou de Viver…’ is a short film about many things, including access to healthcare and the precarity of daily life in Brasil. Manu needs some help finishing the film before April 7th, World Health Day 2020. One simple way to share holiday cheer (and some dough) is by giving to his crowdfunding campaign on Catarse, which supports the final film shoot in late February. xo, Todd]

T: Hi Manu. It’s been so nice getting to see you more lately since the Somos meetings at Tapera Taperá bar. And, I really like the bar, so now I have this ‘instant’ new hang out. Please send me your work hours each week when you get them so that I may follow along:)))

It’s a particularly dark moment in Brazilian history, wouldn’t you say?

E: Brazil is currently going through an, in fact, very worrisome moment for its public policy, in a general sense. In culture, one of the most affected sectors in this current government, we have (quietly) witnessed systematic cuts of rights that had been acquired by society throughout the years. See, for example, the welfare reforms that do not favor workers at all, the veto of the demarcation of indigenous lands, the extinction of the ministry of labor and culture, among other arbitrary determinations. I would say that we are living in a period of total social retrocession. 

O Brasil vive, de fato, um momento bastante preocupante na política pública de um modo geral, sendo a cultura, um dos setores mais afetados pelo atual governo, temos testemunhado( quietos) cortes sistemáticos de direitos adquiridos pela sociedade ao longo dos anos, vide reforma previdenciária, que nada favorece o trabalhador, veto das demarcações das áreas indígenas, extinção dos ministérios do trabalho e cultura, entre outras determinações arbitrárias. Eu diria que estamos vivendo um período de total retrocesso social.

T: Have you seen the film, Bacurau yet? I saw it at Lincoln Center with like a 1000 lefty Brazilians in the audience. Rsrs:)  So this theme of the sertão is coming up now a lot in Brasil and in Brasilian cultural production. I’m doing some writing on this, but for now I wanna bounce a question to you. What is your film about and why is it important now?

E: I watched Bacurau and define it as one of the most important works of national cinema in the last decades, a work that puts us before our role as citizens. We are put in a position of action in a brilliant way, it is impossible to leave the film without being touched and transformed as the social elements that we are.

My film follows a different line of narrative, however, the essence and the goals are the same. DORA NÃO CANSOU DE VIVER… tells the story of the struggle of an elderly lady who is black, a mother, and the widow of a handicapped man who depended on her for everything. With her retirement pension, she has to support herself and still cover the costs of her lung cancer treatment, which evolves tragically. This is the first layer of the film, what one sees with the naked eye. However, the true story is told at its second layer, where we have the presence of an invisible and implacable enemy, THE STATE. On the other hand, it is a film that opens up doors and gives visibility to actors who are black, who have motor disabilities, and who are over 60 years of age. For this reason I consider it socially important.

Vi Bacurau e o defino como uma das obras mais importantes do cinema nacional das últimas décadas, uma obra que nos coloca diante de nosso papel enquanto cidadãos , de forma brilhante somos colocados num lugar de ação, é impossível sair do filme sem sermos tocados e transformados enquanto elementos sociais que somos.O meu filme segue uma linha narrativa diferente, todavia, a essência e os objetivos são os mesmos. DORA NÃO CANSOU DE VIVER… conta a história de luta de uma idosa, negra e mãe viúva de um desabilitado físico que depende dela para tudo, com sua aposentadoria ela tem que se manter e ainda custear o tratamento do câncer de pulmão que evolui tragicamente. Esta é a primeira camada do filme, o que se vê a olho nu, porém, a verdadeira história é contada na segunda camada, onde temos a presença de um vilão invisível e implacável, O ESTADO. Por outro lado é um filme que abre portas e dá visibilidade a atores negros, portadores de desabilidades motoras e com mais de 60 anos, por este motivo o considero socialmente importante.

T: So, you are an artist I take it? What has been your road to filmmaking? And is this your first film?

E: I consider myself a humanitarian artist, committed to social welfare. I have a discreet style of representing conflicts, almost silent, but always with a lot of density, I am an artist of layers.

I started to become professionally interested in cinema in 2010, and from then on I have been through a lot of books, courses and workshops on the theme. During film school I produced some short films and later participated in several friends’ projects, in a variety of roles. As a director, DORA NÃO CANSOU DE VIVER… will be my debut work, and currently, I am also working on the development of my first feature-length film, entitled OCEÂNICO.

Me considero um artista humanitário, comprometido com o bem-estar social. Tenho um estilo discreto de apresentar os conflitos, quase silencioso, mas sempre com muita densidade, sou um artista de camadas. Comecei a me interessar profissionalmente por cinema em 2010, de lá pra cá foram muitos livros, cursos e workshops sobre o tema. Durante a escola de cinema produzi alguns curtas-metragens e posteriormente participei de diversos projetos de amigos nas mais variadas funções. Como diretor, DORA NÃO CANSOU DE VIVER… será meu trabalho de estréia, atualmente, também estou trabalhando no desenvolvimento do meu primeiro longa, entitulado OCEÂNICO.

T: Lastly, is there any way we can help? Like can we see a teaser or contribute to your crowdfunding campaign?

E: I created a CROWDFUNDING to make it possible to fund the movie, and asides from contributing, the supporters will also be able to see a teaser of the film, made exclusively for its promotion.

Criei um CROWDFUNDING para viabilização do projeto, além de contribuir, os apoiadores poderão ver um teaser do filme feito exclusivamente para divulgação.

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See also: Emanuel Brauna-Lechat interviews Momô de Oliveira #LPW2020

New Toolkit by CLAC and MPact for Access to Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

In order to facilitate access to funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the Community Leadership and Action Collaborative (CLAC) created a toolkit for key population-led grassroots organizations, which can be downloaded for free online.

Read more at: https://mpactglobal.org/new-global-fund-toolkit-by-clac-and-mpact-on-increasing-accessing-to-resources/

Download the toolkit here (English)

LUV is an Endorser of the HIV2020 Conference in Mexico City

HIV2020: Community Reclaiming the Global Response
Mexico City, July 6-8, 2020
www.hiv2020.org

—Background—

Human rights conditions in the United States of America (U.S.) have worsened, since the presidential election of Donald Trump. This is especially true for immigrants from Muslim, African, Caribbean and Latin American countries, as well as for people of color, people who use drugs, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and sex workers. Legal travel restrictions imposed by the U.S. on sex workers and people who use drugs, will make it very difficult for our communities to enter the country.

Against the recommendations of community advocates worldwide, including the national networks of people living with HIV in the U.S., the International AIDS Society (IAS) chose the U.S. as the site for its next International AIDS Conference in 2020. Their decision creates a dilemma for many in the global HIV movement and reveals a willingness by mainstream HIV actors to tolerate the discrimination of people from Muslim, African, Caribbean and Latin American countries, people who use drugs, sex workers, transgender people in U.S. immigration and travel policies. The decision also resurfaces questions about the importance and community-relevance of large, multi-million-dollar conferences in the face of shrinking investment in the global HIV response. The costs of medicines and other barriers to HIV prevention, care, and treatment services like stigma, discrimination, violence, and criminalization, continue to plague the HIV response worldwide.

—Response—

An alliance of global key population-led networks, networks of people living with HIV, treatment activists, and our supporters, has formed to organize an alternative international community-led event. Titled, HIV2020: Community Reclaiming the Global Response, the event is scheduled to take place in Mexico City, July 6-8, 2020, and will run concurrently with the first half of the international AIDS conference. The HIV2020 alliance has decided to organize the community-led event to provide a safe alternative for individuals who cannot or will not enter the U.S. in 2020 or who cannot afford to attend AIDS2020. It will also offer new opportunities to reaffirm the leading role communities play in the global HIV response.

HIV2020 will be key population-led, inter-disciplinary, sex positive, and will focus on the following topics: community-led responses to HIV; funding and service disparities; sexual and reproductive health and rights; universal health coverage; decriminalization of HIV transmission, exposure, and non-disclosure, drug use, homosexuality, and sex work; gender equity and trans inclusion; economic and racial justice; eliminating homophobia, transphobia, and whorephobia; ending violence against cis and transgender women, gay men, sex workers, and people who use drugs; and coalition work. Specifically, HIV2020 aims to:

1. Build safe and friendly space for the equitable exchange of information, knowledge, experiences and expertise by ensuring diverse voices are heard and reflected;
2. Promote community-led solutions and good practice in sexual health and human rights;
3. Amplify community voices in calling out the inequities experienced across key populations and specific legal restrictions on some key populations’ right to freedom of movement;
4. Demonstrate the importance of meaningful involvement of communities in health and human rights responses;
5. Reaffirm community commitments and priorities to global health and human rights responses (inclusive of HIV);
6. Model an innovative approach for deliberating new research, tools, and strategies and their real-life implications, with communities as equal partners.

—Call to Action—

We are calling for advocates, community-based organizations, healthcare and services providers, researchers, public health officials, and funders to stand in solidarity with HIV2020. Collectively, we must insist on the meaningful engagement of people living with and disproportionately affected by HIV in the global response. And we must stand together against the discrimination of people from Muslim, African, Caribbean and Latin American countries, people who use drugs, sex workers, and transgender people.

—Become an Endorser—

We are seeking organizations to sign onto the above statement, as well as to issue their own statements of solidarity and to commit to disseminating information about HIV2020 as it becomes available.

Individuals are invited to participate with conversations online with the hashtag #ReclaimTheResponse

To become an endorser, sign up here.

Pour La Libération Immédiate de Malak El-Kashif!

Lundi 1er juillet, à l’initiative de l’ Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), ANKH (Arab Network for Knowledge about Human rights), Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) et avec le soutien d’EuroMed Rights, la Fédération Internationale des ligues des Droits de L’Homme, et la Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, s’est tenue une conférence de presse au siège de la LDH pour réclamer la libération immédiate de l’activiste transsexuelle égyptienne Malak El-Kashif.

La conférence s’est tenue en présence de Chloé Rassemont Villain, militante trans-idenditaire et ancienne détenue, Dalia Alfaghal, militante LGBT égyptienne, Leslie Piquemal, responsable du plaidoyer du Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies à Bruxelles et sous la modération de Michel Lubiana, Président d’honneur de la LDH.

Les différents intervenants sont revenus sur la situation de Malak Al-Kashif, activiste égyptienne transsexuelle de 19 ans arrêtée pour avoir critiqué le régime sur Facebook. Depuis le 6 mars, elle a été emprisonnée, torturée et discriminée à la fois pour son identité de genre et ses opinions politiques. 

Chloé Rassemont Villain est revenue sur son parcours en tant que première personne à se déclarer trans-identitaire en prison et à demander l’opération, à obtenir derrière les murs un traitement hormonal, à changer de prénom, à obtenir d’entrer dans le protocole pluridisciplinaire, et à être unie devant le maire a un garçon. Elle a détaillé les différents abus et vexations qu’elle a subis pendant ses 16 ans de détention de la part de l’administration pénitentiaire, en arrivant notamment à devoir s’opérer elle-même. Suite à ces expériences traumatiques, sa situation a entraîné la mobilisation du Procureur Général des Lieux de Privation de Liberté et du Comité contre la torture des Nations-Unies. Ce dernier a d’ailleurs adressé un message à la France indiquant que le traitement subi par Cholé Rassemont Villain en détention s’apparente à de la torture. Depuis sa sortie en 2014 et malgré plusieurs interventions auprès de différents parlementaires, la France ne s’est jamais excusé pour la manière dont Chloé Rassemont Villain a été traitée.

Après ce témoignage, Dalia Elgarghal a apporté des précisions sur le cas de Malak El-Kashif. Cette militante transexuelle et défenseure des droits humains est détenue en cellule d’isolement dans une prison pour hommes depuis plus de 120 jours. Elle est accusée de « soutenir une organisation terroriste » et « mauvais usage des réseaux sociaux afin de commettre un crime », pour avoir créé un événement sur Facebook réclamant que le gouvernement égyptien soit tenu responsable du mauvais état des infrastructures et de la mauvaise gestion d’un accident de train ayant entraîné la mort de 25 personnes. Dalia Elfarghal est revenue sur les conditions de détention de Malak El-Kashif, qui a subi des examens anaux forcés, est privée d’accès à ses traitements médicaux dans le cadre de sa transition et même pour son diabète. Elle a commis une tentative de suicide en raison de ses conditions de détention. Dalia Elfarghal a insisté sur le fait que Malak El-Kashif subit une double peine, l’une pour avoir exprimé pacifiquement son opinion, l’autre pour être ouvertement une femme transsexuelle.

Leslie Piquemal, quant à elle, a replacé le cas de Malak El-Kashif dans une perspective plus globale de répression généralisée du régime égyptien contre les défenseurs des droits humains. Elle a relaté que les violations contre les défenseurs des droits humains – ainsi que les journalistes et dissidents politiques pacifiques – se sont fortement aggravées ces 3 dernières années, et ciblent particulièrement les défenseurs et organisant travaillant sur les cas de torture et de disparitions forcées. Dans ce type de cas, les personnes sont fréquemment d’abord victimes de disparition forcée avant de réapparaitre plus tard en détention préventive, accusées de crimes graves. La disparition forcée dans ces cas, est presque toujours associée à l’usage de la torture ou au minimum de la violence physique et psychologique.

Selon Leslie Piquemal, le cas de Malak El-Kashif est révélateur de l’usage systématique de la torture par le régime égyptien tel que dénoncé par le rapport annuel 2017 du Comité contre la Torture de l’ONU. Selon Human Rights Watch, ces pratiques pourraient même constituer des crimes contre l’humanité. 

Pour terminer, Leslie Piquemal a souligné que le cas de Malak El-Kashif reflète les conditions dramatiques de détention dans les prisons égyptiennes. La mise en isolement prolongé s’apparente à une torture psychologique selon Amnesty International, et de nombreuses personnes sont récemment décédées dans les prisons égyptiennes suite au manque d’accès aux soins. L’exemple le plus emblématique est le cas de l’ancien président Mohamed Morsi.

En clôture de la conférence, Michel Tubiana a insisté sur le fait que l’Egypte est aujourd’hui l’un des pays les plus sinistrés de la région en matière de défense des droits de l’homme, sous couvert de lutte contre le terrorisme notamment. Cette situation doit nous interpeller en France à double titre : nous sommes l’un des principaux fournisseurs d’armes de l’Egypte depuis longtemps, notamment d’armes qui servent à réprimer des manifestations. Nous avons également un devoir de soutien envers les militants égyptiens qui viennent demander l’asile en France, dans des conditions difficiles, et l’ensemble du mouvement de défense des droits humains français se met à disposition des militants égyptiens pour soutenir leur action.

Tous les intervenants se joignent ainsi à la campagne internationale pour obtenir la libération de Malak El-Kashif, et exigent des autorités françaises qu’elles fassent pression sur le régime égyptien à cet effet. De plus, tous les intervenants s’accordent à dire que la défense des droits humains devait être placée en priorité dans le cadre des relations bilatérales entre la France et l’Egypte.

En outre, la lettre ouverte signée par une trentaine d’organisations internationales et adressée à de nombreux Parlementaires Européens, Parlementaires de plusieurs pays européens et Rapporteurs spéciaux de l’ONU, afin de faire pression sur les autorités égyptiennes pour obtenir la libération de Malak El-Kashif, a été distribuée aux personnes présentes à la conférence de presse. 

Lien vers la lettre ouverte : https://www.ankhfrance.org/malak 


Lien vers la vidéo de la conférence : https://www.facebook.com/ankhfr/videos/2259782150939495/

Pouvez juste rajouter les contacts presse suivants:

Association ANKH, Nicolas Gilles: n.gilles@ankhfrance.org, 0624003899

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Leslie Piquemal: leslie@cihrs.org

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A press release by Ankh association that can be found here: https://www.ankhfrance.org/conference-de-press

For information in English, click here.

Interview With Ankh Association

TL: A mutual friend and queer activist in Cairo was helping me find a place to stay in Paris only a few days before my trip. I somehow end up sleeping on your couch in the suburbs of Paris.

You two make the Ankh Association that supports LGBTQQI and HIV+ folks in the Middle East through an arts advocacy campaign. Can I ask, how you got here? Back in Paris and making Ankh?

ANKH: First things first, Nicolas is a French activist who has been involved for many years in various collectives defending minorities’ rights in France (LGBTIQ, women, migrants, etc.) while working in cultural cooperation between France and the Middle-East. Taha is Egyptian and has also actively been involved in the Human Rights field in his country, both as an activist and on a professional level. We met a few years ago in Egypt, where we were both involved in the local LGBTIQ community. By the end of 2016, due to different circumstances, we also began to be more involved with the HIV+ community, witnessing the numerous challenges and difficulties that one might have in Egypt in order to access testing, treatment, and especially dealing with religious and social stigmatization. For instance, we realized that there was almost no center where one can go to get tested, and the few existing places are being closed by the government. Now the only places where you can get tested are in government-run facilities, which are already in a very small number. Regarding the treatment, you also need to go to the government to be allowed to have access to it, which usually takes months, you never get to know the results of your test, sometimes the medicine is not available for weeks, or they change it without telling you… Of course not mentioning the way that HIV+ people are being treated by doctors and nurses, which most of the time results in them avoiding going to hospitals or doctors at all.

So when we came to France in early 2018, we started thinking about how to help change the situation there, so we decided to make an NGO that will be able to both support HIV+ and LGBTIQ people in Egypt, as well as to advocate and educate on matters related to sexual health, sexual orientation and gender identity, human rights, etc. This is why we established the ANKH association, and the first thing that we worked on was a sexual health campaign called ‘Know More’.

TL: The Know More campaign is online, and the byproduct is a traveling show called Points of Life for which you already have shows in Lyon and Grenoble lined up and 10 participating artists. How does it work? And, what is your goal … what will the viewing public understand after attending one of your events. Is there something you want them to know (or do) about HIV conditions in the region?

ANKH: We started the Know More campaign as an online Facebook page in Arabic, French and English, aiming to raise awareness in the Arab-speaking communities about sexual health issues, and HIV was, of course, a very big part of it.

In order to reach a different audience in Europe and to make more people aware of the challenges that HIV+ people in the Middle-East are facing, we decided to make an art exhibition based on testimonies by people living with HIV in Egypt that will be showed in various European cities.

So we had an open call out for 2 months asking people who are living with HIV in Egypt to send us artworks expressing their personal experiences, either through a small video, voice recording, photo, or text… We ended up receiving up to 8 pieces, from people of different ages, locations, and genders, each depicting how these people manage to live with HIV in their country.

We thought that setting up an art exhibition as a part of an advocacy campaign is a really effective way to reach people, as it is based on direct testimonies, thus creating a direct connection with the audience, through very simple art forms like mobile videos, photos, or recordings that are accessible to anyone.

TL: OK, then what if another city wants to have the Points of Life exhibition. Would you take it anywhere or do you prefer that it be received in a specific way (locations) whereby your overall strategy is advanced?

ANKH: We will be more than happy to see Points of Life being exhibited in various cities around the world! The whole point of the project is about encounters and sharing experiences, especially with different kinds of audiences. One thing that we are focusing on is for the exhibition to be shown in very different types of places, sometimes LGBTIQ centres, or art spaces, community centres, etc… Our technical requirements are really basic so it’s really easy to make it travel from one place to another. Also, the exhibition is usually introduced with a small speech about the situation of people living with HIV in Egypt, but we also like to have it linked with a more entertaining event like a movie screening, food, concert, party… Everything is possible, depending on the place where it is organized!

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To learn more:

Know More Campaign: https://www.facebook.com/know.more.campaign
Ankh Association: https://www.ankhfrance.org/