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The Study Session

Kirill in front of the European Parliament     From January 26 to February 1, 2009 in Strasbourg took place a Study Session "Loosening the grip of heteronormativity: How students can make a change" organised by Association of Nordic LGBTQ Student Organizations (ANSO) supported by Directorate of Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe. Participants represented many Council of Europe member states: Albania, Armenia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and also Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon. The Study Session called attention not only of LGBTQ, but of representatives of civil equality organisations and student unions. Equally broad was the programme: from exploring the limitations of heterosexual standards (heteronormativity) to student policy making, from designing a queer survival kit to the visit of the Council of Europe. Besides exercises and discussions held by ANSO trainers, interesting presentations were given by Educational Advisor of Directorate of Youth and Sport (CoE) and guest speakers from the European Youth Forum and SFS (Swedish National Union of Students).
     And of course participants won't forget hospitality of the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg and unprecedented cohesion they experienced during the week. Networking took place and will continue to develop long after participants left their meeting place at the border of France and Germany.

     Russia was represented at the event by Kirill, the creator of this site, Head of "FtM Phoenix" Group:

− In Strasbourg everything is set closely: the European Youth Centre, the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe... And I was attracted by a "strange" non-European word on the Parliament's building − "Sakharov". Because I knew how to "unravel" its meaning.
     In general, this Study Session was overwhelmed with inspiration: youth intelligent collective, common ideas, common values, different cultures and different sweeties which we brought for coffee breaks.... What else is needed to have a good time and to learn a lot?
     I am often asked, what for all those trips are needed? First of all, because at home, in Russia, events of such level don't take place yet. To do so, you need to solve a whole complex of questions "Who? Where? How?". Who will hold an event? Where to hold it? How to inform the audience? And this is not a complete list still. But we want to believe in the best. Thus, we work, rejoice the certificate that the ANSO and the Council of Europe handed to us in the end of Study Session and viewing the photographs.

1There is a wise inscription in the refectory of the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg.

2Also in refectory there is a wall where you can write. We started from a simple word in different languages: "Welcome!".

3Our programme for 6 days we need to have time to do everything: to share realities, to tell about our organisations, to study heteronormativity and its consequences in higher education, to learn to develop student policy, to go deep into details of protection of interests and lobbying...

4It is possible to apply the received knowledge immediately, during the visit to the Council of Europe. The view from the stairs of which, by the way, is not bad. You can even remember from the Russian school programme: "All flags will be our guests".

5We need to discuss results of the visit, to think about the strategy, our demands and perspectives...

6We don't forget about exercises: "Real" men and "real" women at a glance". The team of "real men" put all the stereotypes together, and as it seems it turned out to be something funny.

7A man and a woman how different is their fate? Play the board game and you will find out! This is a tool for the "outlook broadening" that one of our groups has invented.

8In many things we can have hands, foot, and most importantly − hearts! Participants are sharing their resources.

9That's all, friends. Write letters!

Designed by Kirill Sabir on The 15th of September, 2009
Last update: 16/03/10 12:03

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