The first public event of the festival was the meeting with Boris Dittrich, the advocacy director of LGBT program for the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch, called "Personal and Professional".
In his characteristic style — simple, engaging, and witty - talked about his path to becoming a human rights defender, his process of self-acceptance as a gay man, his work in the Parliament of the Netherlands, and later the Human Rights Watch. After his presentation, Dittrich was swamped with many questions, ranging from whether the Netherlands ever experienced a similar situation as Russia today, to his opinion about probability of same-sex marriages in Russia, to whether he feels that the world is split between two opposing trends: "for" LGBT, and "against" LGBT rights.
Boris' full presentation can be seen and heard here.
The second day of QueerFest already met with challenges that are becoming too familiar. Two hours before the event, the owners of the art space "KvARTira", the venue of the previous day's successful opening, canceled their contract with QueerFest. According to the organizers' information, the venue was visited and pressured by the police.
Foto - Svetlana Kolosova.