When we say Pride, we bring to mind glamourous parades with pumping dance music, exuberant crowds and endless parties. Amid all these festivities we tend to forget how the Pride celebrations once started. The Stonewall Riots showed pure activism and our true identity. Today most political parties are eager to join us and although we may take these basic human rights for granted, we should never forget what a fight it was and what a battle it still is for many LGBTQI’s around the globe.
Antwerp Pride wants to explore on this side of the Pride and has co-organized with the LGTB umbrella organization ‘Het Roze Huis’ the ‘Human Rights Friday’. It will stand clear from boring lifeless lectures and will entertain us with free culturally artistic events, powered by the Queer Arts Festival. It is open to a wide range of crowds and has every intention to inspire all people.
You can stroll through the many rooms of ‘De Studio’ and enjoy installations relating to Riot, in one way or another. Scholar and performer Neal Leemput alongside partner in crime Danny de Jong bring you “Me, Myself and Marsha”. A performance/lecture/happening that celebrates “everything queer”. It’s like a practical guide to a #freakingfagrevolution, but more inclusive and slightly different (but not really). Author, activist and artist Fleur Pierets will do a lecture titled “About the joy of living outside the blueprint and the power of positive activism.”
London’s a cappella LGBT+ choir, ‘The Fourth Choir’ is delighted to be returning to Antwerp to perform at the Queer Arts Festival and will spoil us with a free preview at De Studio. ‘Love is Love’ is a program of words and music by LGBT+ artists to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots by celebrating the Warriors throughout history who fought for the right to love. From Hildegarde von Bingen in the 12th century to jazz legend Billy Strayhorn in the 20th, music by composers such as Poulenc, Tchaikovsky and Rufus Wainwright bring to life hidden histories: the woman put on trial in 18th century Germany for marrying another woman; history’s most extraordinary bisexual love triangle; the famous composer who liked to wear drag; and the Stonewall Warriors themselves. It didn’t all just start in 1969…
Human Rights Friday will also present Lieven Debrauwer, producer of theater play ‘Fierce’, which will premiere in September. Lieven has thoroughly researched the Stonewall theme and he is more than eager to share all his findings with the public and explain it’s 2019 relevance.
LGBTQ issues in the workplace will get its deserved attention as well and David Pollard from Workplace Pride has been invited to share his thoughts and experiences with us. We have also invited Arnout Van Kimpen who is committed to address LGBTQ human rights issues in a creative and fashionable way. As many countries have yet to decriminalize homosexuality we embrace the project ‘Rainbow-dress’ and we are proud to announce that the dress will be exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp MUKHA during the pride festivities.
Human Rights Friday takes place on Friday 9th August in the arts center De Studio, Mechelseplein (Maarschalk Gerardstraat 4)