Cuvaj Se was in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina back in October 2016 doing LGBTQ Poetry workshops in coordination with American Corner Bih and The Tuzla Open Centre, an organization that partners with the Sarajevo Open Centre, supporting LGBTI students in BiH. Much of Bosnia-Herzegovina remains a traditional culture resistant to LGBTI rights, but there are pockets of support and advocacy like these open centers doing their best to foster tolerance and equal rights. The U.S. Embassy has been working in recent years on strengthening LGBT rights in BiH and you can read some more about that work at a fact sheet here at USAID.
A dozen or so students showed up at the American Corner located in the Tuzla University library. I brought poems from a wide range of Bosnian and American poets, many of them LGBT or allies and we had a focus in our session on trans rights in particular. Students were really interested and well-informed and we had a great discussion about both trans rights and poetry. The students wrote their own work and we shared and encouraged each other in poetry and in support for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.
If you would like to know more about the work of Cuvaj se, supporting writers in post-conflict BiH and the rights of LGBTI folks in the region contact Heather Derr-Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or Heatherderrsmith@cuvajse.org