Queer rights activism under political uncertainty

Date/Time: 9 March 2022, 09:00-10:30
Venue: HF Library (UiB) and Zoom. Breakfast will be served at the library.

Which strategies do queer rights activists adopt in hostile contexts in which they are subject to criminalisation or lack of legal recognition?

This is the theme of this hybrid seminar.

Siri Gloppen (UiB) will moderate the conversation with queer rights activists from Kenya – Sonia Audi (Queerhive), Yvee Oduor (Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya) – and Nigeria – Ayo Sogunro (University of Pretoria) – as well as researchers on the project Rights Activism under Political Uncertainty (RightAct) – Matthew Gichohi (CMI), Lise Rakner (UiB-CMI), Liv Tønnessen (CMI) .

The event is open to the public and invites persons with any background to engage in the debate on strategic responses of rights activists, queer rights organisations’ strategies, and receptivity from policymakers and the general public.


About the Queer Lawfare Seminar Series

To mark the celebration of 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in Norway, LawTransform (the Chr. Michelsen Institute/CMI – University of Bergen/UiB Centre on Law & Social Transformation) will run, throughout 2022, a seminar series focused on queer rights activism in different contexts. While fighting for the recognition of rights, activists have to develop strategies and adapt to complex political landscapes and sometimes even face persecution and repression.

This 50th anniversary is a great and important opportunity not only to remember and commemorate what has already been achieved but also to increase awareness about the challenges the queer community continues to face in Norway and beyond. LGBTQ rights have become increasingly politicised, and queer persons continue living under threat because of their sexual and gender identity. There are still countries that criminalise homosexuality and even more societies that, even without criminalisation, are marked by homotransphobia and do not recognise rights such as marriage, adoption, change of name and gender marks for trans people, and ban of reversion therapies. And activists that fight for these rights face harassment, arrest, and persecution.

With the Queer Lawfare seminar series, we aim to engage audiences inside and outside academia in debates around queer struggles for equality and rights. We will highlight research carried out in Norway and beyond in discussions with policymakers, civil society organisations, and artists working on LGBTQ rights in national contexts as well as transnationally.