Osteuropaexpress: The lives of LGBTQ people

Reading from the book "Osteuropaexpress: Erzählungen über Freiheit, Liebe, Sexualität und Ausgrenzung" and discussion

with author Marianne Zückler, Carsten Schmidt (editor) and Richard Mole (University College London)
Chair: Regina Elsner (ZOiS)

The life threads of eight protagonists are woven into a large carpet that intertwines exclusion and intimidation but also love and freedom. They allow us glimpses into a world in which many people are persecuted for their sexual identity and struggle against hostility and discrimination at work, in their families, and in the church.

Osteuropaexpress is highly topical and goes to the heart of an issue that has not only social and political urgency but also an absorbing human dimension. The author presents realistic impressions of everyday life from Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, and Latvia. The stories are based on research and interviews and bound together as documentary narratives.

The reading will be followed by a panel discussion on the lives of LGBTQ people in Eastern Europe.

Marianne Zückler studied German, educational science, and theatre pedagogy. Since 1994 she has worked as a freelance author and lecturer on documentary and biographical theatre, and her audio drama has been frequently lauded. She is especially interested in the entanglement of spaces of experience and memory as well as the cross-generational transfer of the trauma of war and violence.

Carsten Schmidt studied German, English, and history. He works as a freelance editor, translator, and author.

Richard Mole is a political scientist at University College London. His main research interest is the relationship between identity and power, especially in relation to nationalism, sexuality, migration, diaspora, and asylum. His current project focuses on Polish, Russian, and Brazilian LGBTQ migrants in London and Berlin.

Regina Elsner is a religious scientist and a research associate at ZOiS. She researches the Russian Orthodox Church as well as questions of sexuality, gender, and identity.