Talk where you can´t talk | Den norske Helsingforskomité

Talk where you can´t talk

Talk where you can´t talk

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is arranging the open seminar "Talk where you can´t talk" at Cinemateket, Lillebil 15 September 17:00-19:00. The seminar is a part of the Oslo Fusion International Film Festival, and is organized in cooperation with LLH, the Norwegian LGBT organisation. Read more about the program below.

Film and culture in the fight for human rights:

Talk where you can’t talk

Date: 15 September 2015 17:00-19:00

Venue: Lillebil, Cinemateket

Where any positive mentioning of non-traditional sexual relationships can be prosecuted; where hate groups can set fire to a movie theatre during a queer film screening; where pride parades are dispersed by tear gas and rubber bullets: how come film and cultural events promoting equality for sexual and gender minorities (LGBTIQ) thrives in countries like Russia, Ukraine and Turkey?

Based on their own experiences with governmental prosecution, attacks by hate groups and facing a homo- and transphobic public, LGBTIQ activists and organizers of film festivals will discuss what it is that makes film and culture such an important part in their fight for human rights. And as a bonus; the world premiere of the film Turkmenistan: Outlawed Homosexuality.

Welcome by Lene Wetteland

Head of the Russia department in The Norwegian Helsinki Committee 

Olga Larina “Side by Side – the invincible LGBT film festival?”

Side by Side International Film Festival St. Petersburg

Olena Shevchenko “Queer activism and culture in the middle of Ukraine’s crisis”

Head of the LGBTIQ NGO “Insight” and organizer and jury member of Ukrainian and international festivals

Bilge Taş “Creating a queer/cultural space in Turkey””

Director of the Turkish LGBT film festival “Pink Life QueerFest”

Augustas  Čičelis "Prides, EuroPrides and need for Queer culture in the Baltics"

Manager of “Vilnius LGBTI festival Kréives” and the LGBT association “In Corpore”


Moderated discussion by Jon Martin Larsen (Board member, LLH)


World premiere of the film Turkmenistan: Outlawed Homosexuality

Introduced by the Turkmen human rights activist and journalist Ruslan Myatiev

An independent film festival is nothing but a dream scenario in Turkmenistan, and we are particularly proud to be able to screen Turkmenistan: Outlawed Homosexuality. This film features the story of a young man that was imprisoned because of his sexual orientation. It also shows unique video shots from a police station in Ashgabat, clippings that reveal the regime’s real attitude toward LGBTIQ people. The film is supported by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.


About the event

“Talk where you can’t talk”:

Oslo/Fusion International Film Festival series

This event is organized as a cooperation between Oslo/Fusion, NHC and the Norwegian LGBT Organization, where “Talk where you can’t talk” is part of a diverse program on human rights activism. Through films, discussions and guest appearances will a Norwegian audience get to know more about how LGBTIQ activists fight human rights abuses in countries such as Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Turkmenistan and Lithuania.

Among the festivals guests are some of NHCs long term colleagues and friends, and we are glad that they will have this opportunity to present their work and provide recommendations on how the international community can offer support.

Olya Kurachyova, who is featured in the documentary Olya’s Love, visited Oslo in October last year. Then she described a Russia moving fast forward in the wrong direction; the space for LGBTIQ people decreasing while their vulnerability is on increase. She warned about the increasingly difficult situation for LGBTIQ families, as well as for queer youth in the process of coming to terms with their identity and orientation. Telling stories about loving relationships, coming out and defending your fundamental human rights will be considered propaganda in today’s Russia, so where are these groups to turn to? These are all questions featured in Olya’s Love, and the screenings will be an opportunity to revisit her concerns.

The film will be screened at Cinemateket at Oslo Kulturnatt, 11 September 21:00.

During her visit the film she will present the film and her story to more than 60 high school students.

Olena Shevchenko, head of our partner organization Insight in Ukraine, is also here for the second time. During Oslo EuroPride2014 she talked about the lesser known side of the political crisis in Ukraine; how the concerns of the LGBTIQ community have gradually lost terrain on the agenda of international negotiation. Yet another tumultuous year has passed and still there are few major victories. However, few victories do not mean few attempts by the activists themselves, and we look forward to be hearing what can be anticipated in the time to come.

World premiere
The human rights situation in Turkmenistan cannot be described as anything but dreadful. Homosexuality being a criminal offence is just a small indication of how the situation can be for LGBTIQ persons. We are glad to be able to hear Ruslan Myatiev present some of the world’s first accounts from the inside of the regime in the film Turkmenistan: Outlawed Homosexuality, and proud that we have provided financial support for its production. Ruslan is a journalist from Turkmenistan, editor of the Alternative Turkmenistan News project ( based in the Netherlands. We know Ruslan not only from working with this film, but also through his work for labor rights and the rights of detainees and prisoners.


Films in the series:

OLYA’S LOVE, Tuesday 11 September, 21:00

JULIA, Wednesday 16 September, 20:00

THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE Friday 18 September, 18:00


All screenings will be held at Cinemateket

You can find more information about the panels, films and our guests at