Pride Conference focuses on human rights in Central and Eastern Europe.
Pride Conference is part of the Prague Pride festival and focuses on human rights in regions of Central and Eastern Europe. We welcome LGBT+ activists, collectives and allies from the CEE region and beyond to share experience and discuss topical issues. We hope to create a safe space where we can learn from one another. Registration required.
See the full programme (2 days) below. Find the introduction of the guests/panelist at the bottom of the page.
Thursday, August 11, 2022
15:00–15:05 | Welcome
Bohdana Rambousková, host
15:05–15:15 | Welcome from Prague Pride
Tom Bílý, Director of Prague Pride Festival
15:15–15:30 | Keynote
Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková, Government Commissioner for Human Rights
15:30–16:30 | Opening Panel Discussion: Is Europe Still a Safe Space for LGBT+ People?
How is life for LGBT+ people in the different countries of Central and Eastern Europe? Is it just full of challenges or are there any positive changes in European societies? How is the worsening political situation with conservative and right-wing political parties gaining more power influencing that? Is Europe still a safe space for us where we can live full happy lives?
- Michal Pitoňák, Chair of Queer Geography, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at National Institute of Mental Health
- Lucia Plaváková, Lawyer, Human Rights Activist, Chancellor and Deputy Chairwoman of Progressive Slovakia
- Julia Maciocha, Chairwoman of the Equality Parade (Warsaw Pride)
- Luca Dudits, Executive Board Member, Communications Officer, Háttér Society
Host: Bohdana Rambousková, PR and Communications Expert
16:30–17:00 | Coffee Break
17:00–18:30 | LGBT+ People Seeking Asylum in Europe (Experience of Germany and the Czech Republic)
(1. of 2 parallel programmes)
We have been witnessing constant mobility of migrants from different regions to Europe in the last 10 years. Very often they headed to Germany since it is one of the richest, diverse and most-welcoming countries of Europe. What strategies Germany has with integration of thousands of new citizens, and how specific is it for LGBT+ people? And how are LGBT+ migrants treated in less-welcoming countries as is the Czech Republic?
- Alfonso Pantisano, LSVD (Lesben und Schwulenverband), Germany
- Zuzana Pavelková, Senior Lawyer, Organization for Aid to Refugees (OPU)
- Daniyar Sabitov, LGBT+ activist from Kazakhstan
Host: Tereza Brunerová, Student of Gender Studies with focus on migration
17:00–18:30 | How to Start a Pride Event in Your Town?
(2. of 2 parallel programmes)
Would you like to organize Pride in your town or village? Come and join us at an intensive workshop where you can learn from LGBT+ Pride organizers who will share their best and worst practices.
- Klára Stolinská, Ostrava Pride
- Sára Vašíčková, Slavex Pride
Friday, August 12, 2022
10:30–12:00 | Effective Interventions in the Educational and Sports Environment (Inspiration from the Netherlands)
(1. of 2 parallel programmes)
What mechanisms can be used to change the social norm in teams or groups for the better? How can you effectively develop empathy or open attitudes towards LGBTI+ people on the individual level? And, how can we mitigate the risk that interventions might backfire? The training opens up conversations about effective interventions and strategies that can be used in the classroom and in the sports environment.
- Aleš Rumpel, Queer activist with expertise in LGBT+ inclusion in business
- Thijs de Greeff, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, COC Amsterdam
10:30–12:00 | Intersectionality Between LGBT+ and Women* Rights (Reality of Civil Society in Poland and Ukraine)
We live in the time where basic human rights are being taken away from us, as is the case with abortion ban in Poland or USA. What can we do as LGBT+ community to support women? What other current global issues are you involved in, are you involved in fighting the environmental crisis, or helping refugees that flee war in Ukraine? Come and share with us, how can we be stronger, more effective and powerful in our everyday struggles.
- Elżbieta Podleśna, Lawyer, Human Rights Activist
- Eva Ptašková, Ciocia Czesia
- Anna Pochtarenko, queer and feminist activist and creative expert
- Yana Dzyga, queer and feminist activist, creative consultant and journalist
- Maryna Usmanova, director of the foundation Isha (Other)
- Hana Kulhánková, involved in many queer organizations and an film expert
12:00–12:30 | Coffee Break
12:30–13:15 | Presentation of Outcomes from Conference Debates and Workshops and Open Discussion
13:15–13:30 | Closing Remarks
Aleš Rumpel is a queer activist, formerly long-time director of the Mezipatra queer film festival and co-founder of the Platform for Equality, Recognition and Diversity, z.s. (PROUD) with a background in cultural management and education. Aleš traveled across the Czech Republic with the Mezipatra programme in schools to talk to thousands of teenagers about LGBT+ topics. He currently designs and facilitates workshops for major employers that wish to build or enhance their LGBT+ inclusion. His interests include culture and history.
Alfonso Pantisano is a moderator of international events. He also works as a communications manager and coach. He is politically engaged in many ways, he worked for the integration project DeutschPlus, was co-founder of Germany’s largest LGBTI initiative “Enough is Enough!”. Today, he is the Berlin regional chair of the queer working group of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPDqueer Berlin) and the federal board of the Lesbian and Gay Association of Germany (LSVD).
Anna Pochtarenko is a queer and feminist activist and creative expert. Anna is from Kyiv, Ukraine.
Bohdana Rambousková has been responsible for the communications of Prague Pride for eight years and is currently assisting as an external editor of publications and press releases. She has also worked on LGBT+ issues for the HateFree Culture campaign and LUI magazine. She focuses on projects in the non-profit sector.
Daniyar Sabitov is an LGBTQ activist from Kazakhstan, who has lived in Prague since 2017. He was an editor and co-founder of the only one Kazakhstani LGBT+ media called kok.team. His current activist interest is a problem of socialisation of queer foreigners in Prague.
Elżbieta Podleśna is a feminist, anti-fascist, equality activist. Professionally, Elżbieta is a psychotherapist with experience also in music, theater, advertising and management of cultural institutions. In the democratic opposition since 2016, initially associated with the Warsaw Women’s Strike, whose most important actions she helped to organize. She has been working on her own account since 2018. Systematically and regularly harassed by the state apparatus, she is put on trial on average once a month. Two of her cases, which concerned protests against the destruction of the judiciary and against the manipulation of state television, were successfully decided by the Supreme Court. The widely commented case: the accusation of insulting religious feelings by the rainbow collage Our Lady will also soon come to the end at the Supreme Court.
Elżbieta Podleśna cooperates continuously with organizations working for human rights and civil liberties, including Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Front Line Defenders and Freemuse. She is co-founder of the nationwide network of therapists for LGBT+, which was designed in connection with the persecution of non-heteronormative people. She created and co-leads the psychological emergency (“Psychopogotowie”), a combination of a helpline and psychotherapeutic help for people with experience of police violence and activist burnout.
Currently she is primarily involved in providing psychological support to refugee activists on the Polish-Belarusian border.
She is a laureate of several important awards given to human rights defenders.
Hana Kulhankova has been involved with many queer organizations and events. Currently, she works at the Institute of Documentary Film as a coordinator of IDF Industry Sessions. Hana has been a pre-selector for Karlovy Vary FF, One World FF and Dok. Incubator and serves as an independent expert for the Czech Film Fund and Czech Ministry of Culture. Hana was a director of Prague Pride Festival, Mezipatra Queer Film Festival and a director of One World International Human Rights Documentary FF. She graduated from the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University in Brno with a degree in English and American studies and studied at Film and Television Department at Ruhr-Universitat-Bochum in Germany. Hana worked for Czech TV and is a co-editor of a textbook Setting Up a Human Rights Film Festival, vol. 2. Hana strongly believes in gender equality in the film industry and beyond.
Julia Maciocha is a Chairwoman of the Equality Parade (Warsaw Pride), LGBTQIA+ activist, feminist, animal scientist. She is also a European Leader of the Barack Obama Foundation 2022.
Klára Stolinská is a 21-year-old activist from Ostrava and a student of psychology. At the age of 17 she started visiting the Autonomous Social Centre Klinika, where she became a member of the Alt*Pride collective. A year later, following their anti-capitalist and intersectional model, she helped found Ostravský PRAJD, which is now her main focus. In Ostrava she also participated in the activities of the local groups Food not bombs and Trans*parent Ostrava.
Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková
On May 11th in 2022, Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková was appointed by the Government of the Czech Republic to the position of Government Commissioner for Human Rights.
Before her appointment to the position, she worked as the chairwoman of the Committee for Children’s Rights, a member of the Government Council for Human Rights and a member of the Committee for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Violence against Women at the Government Council for Gender Equality. She founded and led the Czech Expert Society for Inclusive Education. She also worked as the manager of the children’s mental health agenda in the Department of Mental Health Care System Reform at the Ministry of Health. She is the recipient of an award from the Committee of Good Will – Olga Havlova Foundation for promoting the quality and openness of educational systems and activities in the area of transformation of the care system for vulnerable children. She was awarded a medal by the Psychiatric Society of the Czech Medical Society for support for changes in the child mental health care system. In the past, she collaborated with the Office of the Public Defender of Rights and was a member of the advisory body of the Expert Group on Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion of the EU in the European Commission.
Luca Dudits is the executive board member of Háttér Society, the largest LGBTQI organisation in Hungary. She is in charge of communications and has led several successful campaigns, the latest invalidating the government’s anti-LGBTQI referendum. Luca obtained her History, Politics and Economics degree at UCL, where her main research topic was the socioeconomic status of Eastern European minorities.
Lucia Plaváková is a lawyer and human rights activist. In 2014, Lucia obtained a PhD. degree in international law. In her dissertation she focused on the topic of the rights of LGBTI persons as evolved in the decisions of ECHR. For more than 10 years she has provided pro bono legal services to LGBTI persons. She focuses on reaching the gender equality and equality of LGBTI people in Slovakia and the fight against intolerance and hate speech. She is a vice-chairwoman and secretary general of Progressive Slovakia.
Maryna Usmanova is a director of the charitable foundation Insha (Other), a Ukrainian LGBTI and women’s rights organization. Over the past five years, the organization implemented advocacy projects to promote fundamental rights, gender equality, tolerance, and social inclusion. Insha was also part of the coalition ‘Kherson without violence’, which initiated a crisis centre for victims of domestic violence in Kherson city in southern Ukraine.
Michal Pitoňák works at the boundary of several disciplines that lock together via his intersecting research interest in understanding the workings of societal heteronormativity. His background is in human geography, which drives his motivations to study various links between the structural-individual scales that penetrate the barriers between diverse disciplinary thought. He widely employs queer and feminist thought to inform his transdisciplinary work about non-heterosexuals quality of life, spatiotemporal negotiation of non-heterosexual identities, and the effects of heteronormative stigma and minority stress on mental health in non-heterosexuals and gender-diverse people. Michal currently works as a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health (Klecany, Czechia), where he leads two research projects – one focusing on a better understanding of minority stress and its effects on the Czech non-heterosexual population and the second focusing on data collection and reporting of discrimination of LBGTQ+ people. He continues to publish and conduct research within the field of geographies of sexualities based on being an independent scholar. To promote the fields of geographies of sexualities and LGBTQ+ psychology, he founded an NGO, Queer Geography, in 2017, which in September 2019 organized V. European Geographies of Sexualities Conference in Prague.
Sára Vašičková is a film student, photographer and writer in her free time. In 2019, she founded the rainbow event Slavex Pride as a response to homophobic comments directed towards her hometown. She is also a member of the group Q-prostor Zlín, which organizes queer events in the Zlín region.
Tereza Brunerová is currently finishing her master’s degree at FHS UK, Department of Gender Studies. Her focus is on gender in migration, i.e. on the topic of women in the process of migration and integration. Tereza works in an organization called Association for Integration and Migration that helps newcomers in Czech Republic.
Thijs de Greeff
Thijs de Greeff is a professional field hockey player. During his career he played for the Dutch National team, The Hague and Bangalore. Thijs is the first “out” national hockey player in the Netherlands. He uses his personal experiences in various training programs aimed at creating an inclusive culture in the sports environment. With his consultancy practice, SPINCK, various national sporting bodies, commercial organizations and municipalities are assisted in the development and implementation of their diversity and inclusion policies. Recently, among other things, SPINCK developed a new guidance on gender-and-sex-diverse-individuals for the Dutch Olympic Committee.
Thijs is also an educator and volunteer for the COC Amsterdam. The COC has been advocating the rights of LGBTI+ individuals in Amsterdam from 1946 on. With a group of approximately 40 volunteers they provide lessons in gender, sex and sexual diversity in schools in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. But it also organizes activities and support for LGBTI+ immigrants, asylum seekers, individuals with Autism, senior citizens and individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Tom Bílý is the director of the Prague Pride festival and the LGBT+ Community Centre. He has been working in the civic sector since 2005, initially in the areas of fair trade, development cooperation and global education, but in recent years Tom has focused on LGBT+ activism. Tom is a native of Prague, he lives with his husband in Vinohrady, he takes a break from work mainly with sports and loves to travel.
Yana Dzyga is an independent queer and feminist activist, co-organizer of several feminist 8 March marches. She is also a creative consultant and radio journalist. Yana is from Kyiv, Ukraine
Zuzana Pavelková is a senior lawyer with the Organization for Aid to Refugees (OPU). For the past four years, she has been accompanying individuals in the asylum procedure, as well as litigating rights of migrants deprived of liberty in immigration detentions. In her case work, she focuses on early vulnerability assessment and access to protection for specifically vulnerable groups, including LGBT+ refugees. She believes nobody should be forced to stay in a country where they cannot be truly free.
Organizer: Prague Pride z. s.
The conference is supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, InterPride and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.