Archive for June, 2011

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Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) Presents: an evening of political dialogue, performance and dancing

June 15, 2011

Wed June 22 Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen St W

Legendary dyke activist Sarah Schulman will give a public talk followed by conversation with Trish Salah, spoken word performance by Areen, and a preview of Mike Hoolboom‘s film-in-progress, Lacan Palestine

8-10pm (pwyc)

live performances by SoliRose, Wolf J, Light Fires, and Lady Gefilte & Miss Fluffy Souffle, followed by a night of dancing to the sounds of Casey Mecija (DJ Masarap/ of Ohbijou) and Anni Spadafora (DJ Mama Knows/of GET IT| GOT IT | GOOD) and an interactive projection installation from mixMotion.com

10-2am ($10 suggested)

ASL Interpretation available upon request. Please contact quaia.toronto@gmail.com by Thursday June 16.

This Event is Wheelchair Accessible

Bios:

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, playwright, journalist and activist. A co-founder of the Lesbian Avengers, which organized the first Dyke March, and of MIX New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, she was a member of ACT UP and a principal historian of the AIDS movement. In 2010, at the request of Palestinian and Israeli academics, Sarah joined the “Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions” campaign and declined an invitation by Tel Aviv University. Instead, she went on a solidarity visit to Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Haifa, and later arranged a US tour for Palestinian queer activists. Sarah is Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at City University of New York, College of Staten Island

Trish Salah is a Toronto-based writer and activist, and a research fellow at Concordia University’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute. She has been active in organizing around a range of issues, including Palestinian solidarity, sex workers’ rights, anti-racism and anti-capitalism, employment security and healthcare for transsexual and transgender people. Her first book of poetry, Wanting in Arabic, was published by TSAR Books in 2002. Her new manuscript, “Lyric Sexology,” is near completion.

Mike Hoolboom’s experimental films and videos have appeared in over 400 international festivals and have garnered 30 awards. His films Frank’s Cock and Letters from Home, based on Vito Russo’s AIDS manifesto, both won best short film at the Toronto International Film Festival. He is the author of The Plague Years and The Steve Machine, and has edited several books on Canadian media art.

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LEARNING TACTICS AND STRATEGIES WITH ACT UP!

June 15, 2011

An Evening with acclaimed lesbian novelist, playwright, and activist Sarah Schulman in conversation with Now Magazine’s Books and Entertainment Editor, Susan G. Cole.

Sarah Schulman, is co-founder of the Lesbian Avengers, the organizers of the first Dyke March, and of MIX NYC, New York’s Queer Experimental Film Festival. A member of ACT UP and a principal historian of the AIDS movement, she is also an acclaimed novelist playwright and activist.

Susan G. Cole, writes for Now Magazine in Toronto, and is also a playwright and author. Together they will engage in a conversation about Schulman’s writing and activism in the Queer community over the last thirty years.

The conversation will focus on how ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) was effective in forcing governments and societies to change their views and responses to AIDS, and what contemporary activists can learn from this experience about how to be effective and build movements today.

As Co-director of the ACT UP ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Schulman will also show a short sneak preview of Jim Hubbard’s new feature film, UNITED IN ANGER:A History of ACT UP which will have its world premiere Winter 2012.

Where: Bell Lightbox Theatre, 350 King Street West

When: Thursday June 23, 2011, 9:00 pm

Cost: Pay what you can
Co-sponsors: AIDS ACTION NOW!, Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange, Hot Docs: Canadian International Documentary Film Festival, Inside Out LGBT Film and Video Festival, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, Toronto People With AIDS Foundation

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IGLYO abandons Arab queer youth, signs up for Israel’s pinkwashing campaign

June 11, 2011

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (Toronto) joins with those expressing disappointment in the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization. To accept Israeli government money to hold its General Assembly in Israel despite the international call for boycott until Israel complies with international law is a betrayal of the IGLYO mandate. This is especially disturbing given that the decision was made after appeals by Palestinian queer organizations to respect the boycott. They have made it clear that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is a major barrier to their work. The IGLYO has not only chosen a site inaccessible to them, but it has sent a message to queers throughout the Arab world that they are not part of our movement. In doing so, IGLYO increases their vulnerability, undermines their work and isolates them from the wider queer solidarity movement.

It is disingenuous to claim that the choice of Tel Aviv is a sign of neutrality in this conflict. IGLYO is in fact making itself complicit in Israel’s pinkwashing strategy: a PR campaign that uses Israel’s legal tolerance of queers to justify the violent apartheid system it forces Palestinians to live under. There are dozens of suitable locations around the world where IGLYO can hold its General Assembly. Until Israel respects international law and dismantles its apartheid system, Tel Aviv is not one of them.

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Israel lobby continues to attack queer institutions

June 11, 2011

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) wishes to express its concern about attacks on queer institutions by the Israel lobby—most recently the LGBT Community Services Center in New York.

For the last two years, Toronto’s Israel lobby has been attempting to defund Pride Toronto and drive the organization into bankruptcy because of the presence of “anti-Israel messaging” in Toronto’s annual Pride parade. The Israel lobby has joined with homophobic city politicians to deny Pride Toronto public funding, and has pressured corporate sponsors to withdraw their support.

Now under the leadership of gay porn entrepreneur Michael Lucas, New York’s Israel lobby has succeeded in bullying the LGBT Community Services Centre using the same tactics. In response to threats against its funding, the Center recently announced an “indefinite moratorium” banning groups within the community that “organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Pro-Palestinian groups are the only target of this “moratorium.”

In forcing the Center to abandon its mandate to provide space for diverse LGBT community organizing, the Israel lobby has demonstrated its contempt for democracy and its unwillingness to engage in dialogue. The same lobbyists who claim to defend Israel because it is democratic and pro-gay are attempting to destroy queer institutions and stifle free speech. This is an irony that should not be lost on anyone in our communities.

QuAIA wishes to express its solidarity with groups banned from the LGBT Center in NY. We urge the Center to reverse its decision and to once again support free speech and a diversity of opinion in the community.

(For more information on the unaffiliated QuAIA NYC, see the group’s facebook page.)

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