“LGBT Pride Photo Award’’ is the name of the exhibition opened on the 1st of November at the Zeta gallery in Tirana. This exhibition is part of an annual international contest which encompasses more than 3.600 photos on gender and sexual diversity from 70 countries around the world.
The Albanian Committee of Helsinki and the Embassy of Netherlands supported the opening of the exhibition which will be opened for the Albanian public until 17 November.
‘’ People who will visit the exhibition will learn and think. They will encounter real life stories and will understand that there is nothing to worry about’’, stated for Historia Ime the manager of the project ‘’Pride Photo Award’’, Erik de Kruijf.
‘’Manila’s Golden Gays’’- is a center for elderly LGBT people in Philippines, androgynous people in Ukraine which do not comply or conform with the feminine or masculine stereotypes, gay activists in Uganda or relationships between women in closed institutions in Russia, are some of the stories depicted through photos in the ‘’Pride photo award’’ exhibition.
“In some countries around the world we could have been arrested for just being here, for example in Russia this exhibition would be perceived as a promotion of homosexual behaviour. Therefore the fact that we are here in Tirana and peacefully enjoying this exhibition is an amazing fact’’ said during his opening speech Boris Dittrich, Advocacy Director for LGBT Program at ‘’Human Rights Watch’’.
Diitrich added that in a time when homosexual behavior is criminalized in 76 states around the world, exhibitions like this one, where the LGBT community is visible, are an important step because visibility means being present in the society too, this leads to discussions and positive things with it.
Founded in 2010, the “Pride Photo Award” foundation based in Amsterdam contributes to a fairer and more inclusive world by razing visibility and awareness on sexual and gender diversity.
“This exhibition does not mean to please, and it does not aim to offend either, it’s just here to present the reality of sexual and gender minorities”, said Erik de Kruijf during his speech.
‘’The LGBT community is one of the most impressive and active communities in Albania and I really respect this a lot. I just wanted to add to that we will be here for you for the other part of the journey’’, said Dewi Van de Weerd, Ambassador of the Netherlands in ALbania during her speech at the exhibition.
This exhibition was shown before in San Francisco(USA), Jakarta (Indonesia), Hanoi (Vietnam), Italy and Amsterdam. Erik de Kruijf highlighted that due to the cooperation with the embassies the exhibition will soon go to Pristina and Skopje.
“We hope that in the near future we will be able to show this exhibition in more countries around the world’’ said Erik de Kruijf for “Historia Ime”.