A roundtable discussion between Olgerta Kharitonova and Sabine Hoffmann (joint editors of Ostrov, the oldest Russian lesbian magazine), Olya Kurachyova (journalist and representative of Side by Side) and Dr Vikki Turbine (University of Glasgow) and chaired by Dr Francesca Stella (University of Glasgow) raised many interesting points and insights into the LGBT Situation in Russia.
Particularly the current law that children (under 18) must not be exposed to neutral or positive portrayal of same sex relations so not to impede their natural development. This law is broader in scope than Section 28 was in the UK as it is not confined to education, but includes the media. The possibility of new more restrictive laws was a concern once the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics was finished. There was particular worries that the custody of children with same sex parents could be affected.
This was followed by short documentaries and social advertising in the form of public information films. Side by Side is the only LGBT film festival in Russia.
There are events on the 22nd and 23rd of February. Tickets for Documentary Double-Bill – They Hate Me in Vain: LGBT Christians in Today’s Russia + Not With Us are available at Summerhall. More information at Edinburgh Film Guild website.