EuroPride 2022: Belgrade
Pride is protest
With the support of Brussels.International, Forbidden Colours was able to provide financial and content support for the EuroPride in Belgrade. The following events were organised during the week of the EuroPride.
The parade is always the highlight of any Pride festival; no Pride is conceivable without it. But apart from the finale, the EuroPride week in Belgrade consisted of more than 130 events – the International Human Rights Conference, art exhibitions, theatre performances, performances, film screenings, concerts and informal gatherings.
Next to supporting the Pride financially, the Brussels Capital Region visited Belgrade with a big delegation from the Brussels queer civil society.
International Human Rights Conference
Along with the parade, the international human rights conference became one of the main events of Pride Week. The four-day event was organised by Civil Rights Defenders and brought together more than 1,000 participants from all parts of the world. Among them were members of the European Parliament, officials from EU countries and ambassadors. The conference was also attended by Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality; Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights; Gordana Čomić, Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue in Serbia, and Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia. The conference provided space to learn, discuss, exchange experiences and plan for a better future.
On Friday, 16 September, Brussels State Secretary for International Cooperation Pascal Smet was invited to give a keynote at the International Human Rights Conference.
On Tuesday 13 September, Forbidden Colours’ executive director Rémy Bonny moderated a plenary debate on what the rest of Europe can learn from Belgium on the fight for more equality for LGBTIQ+ communities. Participating in this debate were Belgian Senate President Stephanie D’Hose and Special Advisor on Human Rights to the United Nations General Assembly Alexander Stutzmann.
The biggest and most important parade in Belgrade so far
Even a day before the planned parade, EuroPride organisers were not confident that it would go ahead, due to the ban previously imposed by the police. But thanks to the tireless work of the organisers, numerous appeals and the search for solutions, a new route of the walk was approved.
On Saturday, September 17, participants gathered in the streets of Belgrade with rainbow umbrellas, flags and signs. The heavy rain did not stop people from taking to the streets, protecting human rights and standing up for love and equality.
Unfortunately, several incidents took place after the parade as EuroPride participants walked back to their hotels. Several activists were attacked. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.
This year’s EuroPride in Belgrade showed a struggle that many organisations, activists and LGBTIQ+ individuals go through. But it also demonstrated the importance of support and solidarity. The event was an important step for LGBTIQ+ rights in the Balkans and beyond.