This year LA VIE EN ROSE is helping La Colectiva Lohana Berkins (Buenos Aires – Argentina)
La Colectiva Lohana Berkins
La Colectiva was born just after the death of travesti activist Lohana Berkins who, in her final hours, passed on the mantle of the political struggle to Marlene Wayar. Wayar, along with other trans/travesti activists (Violeta Alegre, Susy Shock, Duen Sacchi) decided to create a political front in response to the new right-wing government’s threat to many of the rights and freedoms won since democracy’s return to Argentina in the 1980s. In particular, they noted a rise in police violence and repression, restrictions on transgender children’s rights to officially change their registered gender, precarious living conditions for anyone of dissident sexuality, along with healthcare cuts making it difficult for those living with HIV to gain access to antiretroviral drugs.
What is it about?
La Colectiva in its own words:
From these beginnings, La Colectiva evolved and became more specifically geared towards artistic endeavour and critical thinking as regards the heterosexual hegemony (i.e. a violent and disciplinary system that opposes differences). It aims to produce cultural content that chimes with the specific agenda of trans, travesti, dykes, fags and fairies (as we choose to call ourselves), rather than the institutionalised GLBTI agenda. In practice, we aim to create and disseminate in a variety of languages a trans/travesti theory bringing together the voices of the Sudaca* world in a call for reparation. We also want to create an independent space for stimulating fresh debate and creating new tools for cultural resistance.
The collective’s political, artistic and activist vocation includes:
– A cycle of meetings. ‘The parrots (Cotorras) – sudaca dialogues from the disaster”: monthly public meetings and debates between trans/travesti activists from all backgrounds in order to update the hetero-winca*-patriarchy disaster on themes ranging from the aesthetics of poetry, non-binary education, transgender children, etc.
– Production of audiovisual content and a project for an independent and autonomous TV programme.
– Participation in dissident meetings, workshops and festivals in all countries and strengthening of networks and relationships between trans/travesti artists and activists from different areas to raise the profile of their thinking and work.
– Coordination with other organisations to demand justice for murdered comrades, as seen in the murder trial of Diana Sacayán, and demand the institutional recognition of transvesticide.
– Publication of books, e.g. Marlene Wayar’s work on Latin American trans/travesti theory.
The main demands of the Collective are justice for the transvesticide of Diana Sacayán and all hate crimes. An end to attacks and transvesticide. Reparation for the travesti and transgender community and introduction of quotas for employment in public office.
**Travesti and trava are identities broadly used in the trans community in Argentina without being specific to those practising cross-dressing. It is an example of an insult being turned on its head, which then makes it possible to use the term.
Sudaca: initially a pejorative term used mainly in Spain to refer to those from South America. It has now been reclaimed as a strategy of defusing the insult.
Winca or Huinca: initially how the Mapuches designated white people, particularly the conquistadors. Can now be used to refer to western culture and lifestyles, particularly with respect to north-south domination.
What will the money collected be used for?
The funds raised will be used to finance the actions mentioned above with the purchase of audio-visual material, transport tickets for artists, accommodation and food during their travels and the printing of magazines, leaflets books and posters. They will also be used to assist trans people experiencing great hardship and help them purchase medication. In a difficult economic context in Argentina, your help will be very appreciated.
Trans/Travesti population in Argentine
(source INADI/INDEC 2012)
How can you help?
There are several ways to help La Colectiva:
- A box will be set up during the festival in the Salle Colonne.
- You can also send us a check payable to TAFI: TAFI, 84 Victor Hugo Avenue, 94100 Saint-Maur-des-Fossés. France.
- You can make a bank transfer:
Account name: TAFI
Account number: 00918045518
Bank name: BRED
Bank / IBAN / BIC / Swift Code:
FR76 1010 70022600 9180 4551 826
Any contribution will be welcome! THANK YOU