AthensLive
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AthensLive

AMOQA SPREADS HOMOSEXUALITY” ATHENS CITY COURT — MANDATE NUMBER 323/2016.

“Spreading homosexuality” is not allowed by the District Court in Athens

The Athens Museum of Queer Arts’ (AMOQA) application to become a legal association was rejected.

Video: Manon De Sutter
Interviews:
Luna Svarrer & Anastasia P. Vaitsopoulou

The District Court argued that they suspect AMOQA is “spreading homosexuality”. It’s a clear violation of human rights, the vice-mayor of Athens, Lefteris Papagiannakis, concludes.

“I was shocked to hear it,” Andrianni Simati says, referring to the rejection. “I thought it was just basic paperwork,” she continues. She is one of the organizers of AMOQA, who, since April last year, have arranged more than 40 small exhibitions relating to LGBTQI issues.

The decision was made by the District Court of Athens, and according to the letter from the court, the application was rejected with the suspicion that AMOQA is “spreading homosexuality”.

Vice-mayor of Athens, Lefteris Papagiannakis sees the rejection as a “clear violation of human rights.”

“Unfortunately it is not the first time the court has made these kind of decisions, so I’m not shocked,” he told AthensLive over the phone. “We have to find a way to change the political power of the courts,” he replies, when asked if he is going to do something about the rejection. “I’m not trying to change the decision; what needs to be changed is the legal framework, so the court doesn’t take these political decisions that belong in the parliament,” he continues. “What we see is that the court takes very conservative decisions and I don’t think it’s representative of Greece right now, but on the other hand I have to be honest and say that Greece is not the most progressive country either.”

They clearly stated that their main purpose is to promote LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) as well as feminist history and cultural production.

Vice-mayor of Athens, Lefteris Papagiannakis

Andrianni Simati, who was among those who wrote the application, now worries that the application was too straight-forward and maybe it should have been moderated to a more ‘conservative mind’.

“But we are not going to change the application,” she says, “we are going to apply again with the same application, and hopefully we will have a different result.”

The decision is made by only one person and therefore the decision seems highly random in Andrianni Simati’s mind, “we just hope our new application will end up with another judge, who is not so conservative,” she says.

Each application costs 300 euro, and while the rejection also means that AMOQA will have a harder time fundraising, the rejection is not only a punch in the stomach morally, but also financially.

The rejection letter was issued in October, but AMOQA first published the announcement last week. In the meantime they have been discussing different solutions with their lawyers, and found that appealing the decision would be to expensive.

Andrianni Simati stresses that the future procedure for AMOQA is not a 100 percent sure.

FACTS

AMOQA started with the financial help from a five-month German scholarship in March 2016. Since then, they have hosted more than 40 open and accessible events such as performances, films screenings on body politics, art exhibitions, art workshops, and lectures on gender issues.

They host events in a space in Kato Petralona and other public places such as the Greek Film Archive Foundation, Documenta14 — Parko Eleftherias, Green Park — (non) performance as method, Ethnographic Museum of Stockholm.

AMOQA also serves as an open platform where various activist feminist LGBTQI+ collectives find a safe place for meetings and events.

The decision by the District Court of Athens in Greek

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