Lesbians are at all times developing strategies to exist within societal norms and models that are in their nature oppressive and exclusionary of our communities. As lesbians and as feminists, in times of war – inherently patriarchal and unfeminist, we find ourselves trapped by borders and conflicts that are not ours. In this system dominated by men and their patterns of aggression, domination, militarization and destruction, underpinned by predatory capitalist drives for more land, more resources, more power, more subjection, we can only rely on ourselves to devise alternative ways to ensure the survival of our own. From the very first days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, EL*C was at the borders with Ukraine, stepping out of its usual mission and improvising emergency solutions. There, we got to witness first-hand the outburst of grassroots solidarity, but also the abysmal absence of the traditional international humanitarian actors and their deaftone and inadequate response to the crisis. During this panel discussion, we will hear from lesbians affected by conflicts, past and present, their journeys of resilience and of solidarity, be it in Ukraine, in the Balkans or across Europe.
Through their stories, let’s unravel the very lesbian kind of genius that makes us step up and transform into a self-reliant, determined and powerful support system for the community, when no one else will.