Hivos celebrates sexual and gender diversity through art in South America

Sexual diversity calendar 2013 - January
Sexual diversity calendar 2013 - January - by Antonio Suárez

Photographers and writers from six Latin American countries have used their talent to celebrate the freedom of men and women to live according to the sexual orientation and gender identity of their choice. Their efforts resulted in the "2013 Calendar of Sexual and Gender Diversity" (Calendario 2013 de las Diversidades Sexuales y de Género), a reflection on respect for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups (LGBT). You can download it in pdf at the bottom of the page.

This calendar is the fruit of a call made to photographers and writers by the Hivos regional office in South America, based in La Paz Bolivia. The aim was to disseminate Hivos’ values ​​regarding the defence of individual rights through images and words.

Nearly thirty visual artists responded to the call, from whose submissions thirteen photographs were chosen to illustrate the calendar. In addition, seven other images were selected to be part of the travelling exhibit, “Sexual and Gender Diversities”, which officially launched the calendar in December 2012. 20 billboards more than two meters high were installed at the bus terminals in La Paz and Santa Cruz. The exhibit can be seen in Cochabamba this month and will be shown in Peru and Ecuador later in 2013.

Hivos representative Javier Badani explained that the calendar is an initiative of the Hivos ‘Rights & Citizenship’ programme that invests in civil society initiatives for democratic change, LGBT rights, women’s rights and HIV/AIDS. The photographers’ images pinpoint values ​​in defence of individual rights, accompanied by some 20 texts that celebrate sexual pluralism.

Among the visual artists who joined this project are Tony Suarez, Wara Vargas, Sol Mateo, Alejandra Alarcón, Eric Bauer and Mauricio Salazar. The texts were written by Bolivian writers Ramon Rocha Monroy, Liliana Colanzi, Sebastian Antezana, Giovanna Rivero and Wilmer Urrelo, among others.

Hivos has been supporting efforts to counter movements in different parts of the world that threaten LGBT groups and their struggle for the acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. Hivos is one of the most active donors in the fight for LGBT rights in developing countries. In November 2012, Hivos organised a meeting in La Paz of LGBT movement representatives from Peru, Ecuador, Honduras and Bolivia.

You can follow the project at its website (Spanish only):  Calendario de las Diversidades - Hivos 2013