The Queer Archive is creating a global conversation about LGBT culture

Paola Revenioti is standing in the middle of London’s George and Dragon pub in tears. Paola is a trans prostitute and activist who first went into the streets of Athens in the 1980s. She used earnings from her nighttime business transactions to fund the pioneering trans-anarchist fanzine Kraximo (Greek for ‘gaybashing’) and the very first gay pride events in Athens in the early ’90s. No-one has done more to promote LGBT culture in Greece, but her contributions went largely unrecognised – even in her home country – for decades. Seeing her work appreciated here and being taken seriously as both an artist and activist by an international audience, she’s overcome with emotion.

Moments like these are exactly what filmmaker Konstantinos Menelaou had in mind when he … Read the rest

The Palestinian director who earned a fatwa for her first film

When Maysaloun Hamoud first heard about her fatwa, she was shaken. The religious ruling – widely seen as a formalised “death sentence” – seemed like an extreme reaction for a woman who’d just released a Palestinian comedy. “It was pathetic,” the director says, remembering the moment she heard the news. “I wasn’t afraid, but I felt a kind of sorrow.”

The film at the centre of the furore was In Between. Hamoud’s first ever feature, it follows the story of three Israeli-Palestinian women as they attempt to share an apartment in Tel Aviv. It’s a raw and real portrayal of everyday womanhood, with each character struggling to navigate between family constraints, Islamic tradition, and cosmopolitan liberalism.

While it’s true that women’s stories are rarely – … Read the rest