Queer Muslim experience took center stage at the third session of the AklaTamBayan living library series of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin held on 21 October 2019, with a screening of the short documentary Lupah Sug, about LGBTQ+ Muslims in Mindanao. The activity was part of the Embassy’s Gender and Development (GAD) program.
Filipino Muslim activist filmmaker Rhadem Morados was present to talk about his film, along with three Berlin-based queer advocates and scholars. Tugay Sarac is the coordinator of the LGBT*IQ Center of the Ibn Rashd-Goethe Mosque in Berlin, which opens its doors to LGBTQ+ Muslims from various strands of Islam. Chris Hiller is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Geography at the University of Potsdam on “Safe Spaces for LGBT – The Power of a Postcolonial Concept” and teaches at the Department of Didactics of Geography for the project seminar Teaching Gender, Sexualities and Space. Ferdi Thajib is a Phd Candidate at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin and is part of the team of the Institute for Queer Theory.
In a message delivered on her behalf by the Embassy’s GAD Focal Point Cathy Torres, who moderated the event, Ambassador Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega congratulated the filmmaker on Lupah Sug and noted how “his advocacies, from peace-building to inclusiveness and LGBTQ+ rights, continue to resonate with greater force and focus.”
Prior to the Berlin screening, Lupah Sug was shown at the International Queer Film Festival (Die Lesbisch Schwulen Filmtage Hamburg) that took place in Hamburg from 15-20 October 2019. In Hamburg, Rhadem Morados also gave a talk on “Bangsamoro, Human Rights, and the Socio-Political Landscape in Mindanao” at the Asian-African Institute of the University of Hamburg.
Rhadem Morados won Best Director at the Monaco Charity Film Festival for an earlier documentary film, HUGO: A Hidden Past Revealed. Aside from making films, he was also the Festival Director of various film events like Short+Sweet Film Festival and PINKShorts Film Festival. He is a council member of the Mindanao PRIDE organization, and has been actively organizing human rights and LGBTQ+ events in Mindanao for many years. (END)