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Retrospective of the Gender Equality Festival® 2022

Between October 27 and 29, the XVII edition of the Gender Equality Festival® took place, an edition that set out and succeeded in bringing together young Romanians and refugees from Sibiu under the sign of hope for a life free of violence in which the rights and their chances are respected. The program included ten events, from theater performances and concerts to creative workshops and debates.

The most beloved activity was the forum theater show from the Teatrul pentru Copii și Tineret Gong entitled “War changes lives”, based on a scenario designed and staged by high school students from Sibiu, under the coordination of Doriana Tăut, lecturer at the Faculty of Letters and Arts – Department of Theater within ULBS.The play brings to the fore a moment of balance in the lives of young people from Ukraine, who, with the outbreak of the war, found themselves in the situation of making one of the hardest choices: their relationship or their safety. The performance was also attended by members of the Ukrainian community who benefited from simultaneous translation and intervened in the forum with proposals for changing the outcome. “The young people very realistically captured the inner conflicts that many of us have faced,” remarked one of the participants visibly moved at the end. “It was impressive for us as Ukrainians to see so much interest and understanding of our problems and we thank you,” added another Ukrainian viewer. The atmosphere was relaxed at the end of the show with a street dance number offered by the Iron Kids and Baby Bones dance groups coordinated by Alexandru Svaricek.

The life stories of women and men from Ukraine, Bessarabia and Syria, who reinvented themselves and built a new “home” in Sibiu, were also in the foreground at The Living library, a workshop hosted by Flow – Refugiu urban. In the event the books were people who shared their own or their family’s experiences. Migrants and refugees, trauma and rights were also discussed during a debate at Biblioteca Județeană ASTRA attended by Fauzia Rehejeh, founder of the Arab Cultural Center in Sibiu and Irina Costache, director of the Romanian office of the American humanitarian aid organization CORE – Community Organized Relief Effort, a foundation chaired by actor Sean Penn.

Also at Biblioteca Județeană ASTRA, the young people from Generation Z discussed how inequalities and power imbalances manifest in their communities, highlighting phenomena such as revenge porn (the distribution of sexually explicit images online, without the consent of the person concerned, usually as revenge), body shaming (making humiliating comments about someone’s physical appearance) and how it affects girls as well as boys. A workshop on the topic of healthy relationships to which Silvia Guță from In a relationship was invited also addressed the topic of preventing gender-based violence among teenagers. European funding opportunities for projects that promote European Union values and human rights were the subject of a presentation by the Contact Point within the Ministry of Culture for the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Program (CEDV).

The messages of the young participants in this edition of the festival can still be seen by the people of Sibiu at Ziarul Orizontal near the Teatrul Național Radu Stanca, at the invitation of the artist Dan Perjovschi. Details about the festival and the activity of A.L.E.G. we invite you to access www.aleg-romania.eu and the Facebook page of the Gender Equality Festival.

The Gender Equality Festival® is an annual campaign that brings closer to the community a positive alternative to the unequal power relations that produce injustice, abuse and discrimination, organized by the A.L.E.G. Association. (www.aleg-romania.eu). This year’s edition is supported by Global Fund for Children and Fondation de France.