A new LGBTQ+ cultural festival, organised by Estonian NGO Q-Space, will take place at the Narva Art Residency on 17-18 February 2024.
The LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other sexual and gender identity and self-expression) festival will feature seven themed films, discussion groups, meetings with directors and a workshop for participants.
“This year, the Marriage Equality Act [allowing same-sex marriages] came into force in Estonia. Public queer-themed events have taken place in Tallinn and other Estonian towns, but not in Narva, and we believe that the Q-Space festival is a good opportunity to open this topic for discussion in Narva as well,” the festival’s organisers, Gulya Sultanova and Manny de Guerre, said in a statement.
“It is important that both people belonging to the queer community and their loved ones can come together and discuss life issues such as coming out, gender and society’s attitude towards LGBTQ+ people. Q-Space sees the cultural festival as a good platform to start these conversations,” the organisers added.
The main event of the festival will be the screening of the film “Blue Jean” (2022). The movie, which has won numerous awards at international festivals, including the Venice Film Festival, tells the story of a lesbian teacher in Thatcher-era England, which had passed a law banning the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools.
The film will be followed by a discussion on LGBTQ+ issues in Estonian schools. Eduard Odinets, an Estonian MP and one of the advocates of the Marriage Equality Act in the country’s parliament, will take part in the discussion.
The festival will also screen the Belgian film “Lola and the Sea”, which tells the story of a transgender daughter and a father who cannot accept her identity.
There will be an open microphone workshop on the needs of queer people and their loved ones in Narva, and a presentation of the comic collection “So many queer jobs”.
All films will be subtitled in Estonian, English and Russian, and discussion groups will be held in English and Russian.
Q-Space NGO was founded in Estonia in 2022. The aim of the organisation is to create a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community and to promote openness and discussion in society.
Narva is located in the Ida-Viru County, at the eastern extreme point of Estonia, on the west bank of the Narva river which forms the Estonia–Russia international border. With 54,000 inhabitants, Narva is Estonia’s third largest town after capital Tallinn and Tartu.