Film Screening & Discussion. "Transgender Life in Slovenia"

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Harriman Institute Atrium, 12th floor International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a screening of the 2016 documentary film Transgender Life in Slovenia, directed by Michelle Emson. After the screening Professor Tanya Domi (SIPA/Harriman Institute) will host a Q&A with Olena Semenovathe film's technical producer and co-chair of the Ukrainian LGBT organization LIGA.

Transgender Life in Slovenia, which won the Audience Award for Best Film at the 2016 Ljubljana International LGBT Film Festival, provides insight into the challenges that face transgender citizens of the Republic of Slovenia and offers a touching and engaging view into their daily lives and struggles.

Slovenia is a central European country of just 2.06 million inhabitants. International estimates suggest that 0.3% of any given population will identify as transgender, hence, Slovenia has an estimated transgender population of over 6,000 people. The vast majority of this population remains closeted, hidden from a society where they feel incredible pressure to conform with conservative standards of gender and live in fear of abandonment. However, a significant proportion are able to be their true authentic selves, identify and express their gender freely, and live productive and integrated lives within their communities. Meet those who live openly and fight for their right to be themselves: the trans and gender-non-normative activists and citizens of Slovenia. This film raises awareness of transgender lives in Slovenia, increases visibility of transgender people throughout the country, and inspires others to live their lives freely.

Transgender Life in Slovenia was created by the Canadian documentary filmmaker Michelle Emson (Sanctuary Studios) together with the "Zavod TransAkcija", the only non-profit transgender organisation in Slovenia.

Olena Semenova is the co-chair of the Ukrainian LGBT organization LIGA, which seeks to promote the interests of LGBTQ individuals, promote healthy lifestyles and diversity, and develop partnerships with state and civil bodies. One of LIGA-Ukraine’s biggest achievements has been the creation of the Resource Center, designed to be a hub for young LGBT groups and organizations. Another core focus of LIGA-Ukraine is LGBTQ health, which includes HIV prevention programs for LGB, lesbian health programs, transgender health issues, and a network of friendly doctors. LIGA created the Public Centre on Monitoring of Human Rights Observation in Mykolaiv for monitoring crimes based on LGBTI-phobia. Olena is a specialist in Public Relations from Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts and a general practitioner from National Medical University in Kyiv. She is also a participant in the 2017 Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) at Columbia University.