Berlin: KHWAT Benefit Party /w Godmother, Mikey Woodbridge, Dubais & more @ Salon Zur Wilden Renate

Artwork Credit: Stefan Fähler

Artwork Credit: Stefan Fähler

 

After Salon Zur Wilden Renate was holding an event last year for the crimes being committed against the LGBT community in Chechnya, Russia they decided to highlight the growing fear the Egyptian LGBT are living in this year. Therefor they are hosting a benefit party called KHWAT / خوات (it is a sort of wordplay in the Arabic words for “crazy”, “gay” and “brothers”) on Saturday January 27th, 2018. Besides live performances of acts which include Godmother, Mikey Woodbridge, Dubais & Handjerks there will be DJ sets by Colin Self, Kali, Laura Clock, La Fraicheur, Ady Toledano, Auco and Wahid Paradis. Here are a few words from the organisers: 

Why are we doing this?

Egypt: The most populous country in the Middle East and more often than not, the benchmark for the Arab world. In ancient times, same-sex marriages were commonplace, and we find tombs dedicated to same-sex couples who spent a lifetime of peace together. Fast-forward to the modern age: Egypt – a country where a T-shirt and jeans or a jalabiya (men’s dress) are equally customary – has been ripped apart by western and eastern ideologies. Mass media, pop culture and general neoliberalism allow for the concept of homosexuality; however, they are odds with the other influences: religion, poverty and education, which are all prevalent.

Starting in 2014, the Federal Criminal Police Office in Berlin provided special training to Egyptian police under the pretense of keeping terrorists and “illegal immigrants” from reaching German borders. Human rights groups cried foul as the LGBTQ using online surveillance.

In September 2017, Lebanese rock band Mashrou ‘Leila had a very crowded concert in a Cairo suburb (fronted by an openly gay vocalist).The concert went on in peace with great music, good vibes and people.Photos and videos where shared, uploaded and sent. The backlash was fierce, with many people calling for arrests to be made, and at the end of western ideologies. Again, the neo-Egyptian identity crisis came into play and within two days, people were rounded up and arrested.

This is the apparent spark of both international outcry and Egypt’s crackdown on homosexuality: Amnesty International reports on arrears in the fall, including many grindr users. LGTBQ Egypt, the Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigations has just ended its training program, but Egyptian lawmakers want to enact even harsher penalties: up to ten years in prison for engaging in or simply promoting same-sex relations.

Last summer, some queens Berliners got together to raise money to help victims of the “gay purge” in Chechnya to escape and relocate. Now, it’s time to come together and support our queer siblings in Egypt. All proceeds (from entry, T-shirt sales and the silent auction of artwork) wants to go directly to those affected, for legal costs in particular. 

All proceeds go toward the Egyptian LGBT Network to assist at risk individuals.