Submitted by Viachaslau Bortnik, Volunteers without Borders

The Equality Festival, celebrating the lives of minorities in Belarus, will take place in the
capital Minsk from May 14 to 17. The festival has been organised by the human rights organisation IDAHO-Belarus and will bring together the voices of all minority groups across the country to make their voices heard.

“Being a member of a minority group in Belarus is extremely difficult and isolating, so the Equality Festival will bring these lone voices together in solidarity and send a clear message to the government that equality should be for everyone,” IDAHO-Belarus Deputy Chairman Sergey Yenin said.

The festival will take place over four days, opening with the Equality Conference where there will be a special presentation of the Australian-Russian documentary, East Bloc Love, directed by Logan Mucha and co-produced with GayRussia. This will be followed by discussions on the state of minorities in Belarus. On May 15, there will be the opening of the Walk With Pride IDAHO Exhibition by American photographer, Charles Meacham. He will be showing a selection of his works from his 2010 project Walk With Pride, where he spent a year photographing pride events from across the globe. Afterwards there will be a vigil to commemorate the lives of people living with HIV in celebration of the 28th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day.

The festival will conclude May 17 with the March for Equality coinciding with The International Day Against Homophobia, however the march will be for all minorities in Belarus. I

DAHO-Belarus is currently in the process of applying to the Minsk Executive Committee for permission and a location to hold the march. Similar events in the past are usually banned,
however IDAHO-Belarus hopes to gain permission by overloading the Committee with over 200 event applications, leaving them with no choice but to agree to at least one location. The Equality Festival’s schedule, including times and locations will be released closer to the event on IDAHO-Belarus’ website.



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