Connections, Possibilities and Joy: Reflections from the Healing Circles (2020)
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“Collective healing spaces are hard for me to do on my own. Sometimes you need collective motivation. This really helps me work on my well being” – Saleha. [A quote from the Healing Circles, hosted …

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ODOS 2016: Holding State Actors to Account in Indonesia – GAYa NUSANTARA screens CALALAI: In-Betweenness

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For One Day One Struggle 2016, GAYa NUSANTARA is hosting a film screening and discussion on the documentary CALALAI: In-Betweenness. The documentary was produced by the Ardhanary Institute in 2015, and explores historical and contemporary experiences of gender amongst the Bugis in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The screening and discussion are a much needed intervention into the highly politicized and charged current conversation about diversity in sexual orientations and gender identities in Indonesia.

In January 2016, there began an unprecedented spate of hateful and ignorant comments and actions from diverse members of the Indonesian government, claiming LGBTIQ people are a threat to Indonesian society. Despite national and international civil society’s calls for President Joko Widodo to denounce the discrimination, violence and irresponsible actions of members of his cabinet, it took over 9 months before he finally responded and called for adherence to rule of law and Indonesia’s own constitutional guarantees of equality and non-discrimination. While his comments were long overdue and welcomed, as a Coalition we remain deeply concerned that President Joko Widodo’s call for the rule of law was qualified by the statement that “in Indonesia, beliefs [generally] do not allow [LGBT], Islam does not allow it.

As religious scholars around the world have repeatedly demonstrated, ‘Islam’ is not a monolithic entity, nor does ‘Islam’ have a position on ‘LGBT’. Such inflammatory and baseless rhetoric continues to stigmatize LGBTIQ Muslims not only in Indonesia but around the world. It further erases the rich diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities that have existed across the Indonesian archipelago, and the world, throughout history.

The ODOS screening of CALALAI: In-Betweenness aims to raise awareness, visibility and critical understanding on these issues and open discussion on ways to continue holding President Joko Widodo and state actors to account and stop the backlash against LGBT people in Indonesia.


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