The Forbidden Library

Date/Time: 20 June 2022, 12:00-13:30 (we will serve food at the venue)
Venue: Kulturhuset and Zoom

In recent years, a global anti-gender movement has developed aiming to transform issues linked to gender and sexuality diversity into forbidden speech and knowledge. To name a few examples: in Hungary, the government removed funding and accreditation from gender studies; in Poland, there are over 100 “LGBT-free zones”; in Brazil, the government wants to free the schools from the so-called “gender ideology”; in many African countries, American evangelical movements are lobbying to remove Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) from schools; in South Africa, there is fierce opposition against CSE, and many of the local anti-CSE-groups are getting funding and training for conservative US based organizations and think-tanks.
In this context, SAIH and the CMI-UiB Centre on Law & Social Transformation reunite Keval Harie (GALA Queer Archive South Africa), Tone Hellesund (UiB), Siv Mar Taule (Skeivt Arkiv) and a Pål Louis Rasmussen (Skeiv Verden Vest) for an exciting panel discussion moderated by Liv Tønnessen (CMI). By that means, we aim to debate the importance of preserving queer knowledge – and the challenges for achieving this – counting on the experience of scholars, civil society organizations, and archives that document, preserve and disseminate queer history and culture.

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.