Providing a safe space for Lublin’s queer community
Challenge team: Bibioteka Azyl and Independant Queer students
Summary: The local library Biblioteka Azyl is working together with the LGBTQ+ community in Lublin, Poland to help young queer people find a safe space to express themselves and organise events.
Against the backdrop of shrinking spaces for civil society in Poland, the LGBTQ+ community in Lublin desperately needs safe places where they can come together and find books and other resources that are relevant to their lives.
The library Biblioteka Azyl has been providing a home for meetings with LGBTQ+ authors, a queer book club, open discussions and workshops. But the library and local community want to find new ways to encourage young queer people to find their voice – providing tools that will help them learn how to organise cultural events and reach out to other communities facing oppression across Europe.
The core idea of the Queering Lublin challenge team is to provide funds and other support to help bring local queer thoughts and ideas into action. Motivated by the lack of spaces providing support and visibility for LGBTQ+ people in Lublin, the challenge team wants to share local experiences, both personal and collective – providing a safe platform for the local queer community.
The challenge team has been connecting with the community through live events and social media platforms. They are collecting ideas for events, which they will then evaluate together with the community before deciding which ideas to bring to life.
“The most important part of the process for us is to create relationships between Biblioteka Azyl and the local community that will flourish and expand beyond the Europe Challenge timelines,” the challenge team said. “Our dream is to continue creating opportunities for our community members, to feel like their various social and political predicaments are valued.”
The challenge team would like to scale up in future by partnering with other initiatives – potentially co-creating and repeating the Queering Lublin initiative to connect libraries and communities across Europe.
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