Monday 17 May 2010

Communication & the International Day Against Homophobia - updated

Every day is a day for or against something, and today is the International Day Against Homophobia.

There is no doubt that there is still a lot to do when it comes to fair and equal rights for people with a different sexual orientation all across Europe; the recent problems with the gay pride parade in Vilnius/Lithuania are just one example among many.

So today is the day when everybody is supposed to talk about the topic, including European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek.

A press release on the EP president's website says that there is a video of him addressing the public, but it is not there (there is just an ftp-link for broadcasters). So Buzek releases a video but it is not there when it should be, neither on his website nor on the website of the European Parliament. Great communication work, Mr. President!

Speaking of "great" communication work:

Passing by the main Commission building ('Berlaymont') here in Brussels I also came across the people from ILGA Europe who were campaigning for equal rights in front of a little tent with rather loud techno music between the Council and the Commission [will add a photo later on].

Why should I stop there and talk to anybody when there is music like at a garden party?

They handed me two leaflets - a map of the legal situation of gays, lesbians and bisexual people in Europe (rather well-done) and a flyer titled "BE BOTHERED" that is designed in so ugly colours that I didn't even bother to read it (it hurts the eyes!!). But apart from that they didn't try to catch my attention. I got a friendly "Bonjour" and that's it.

Later on they plan to let balloons fly in the air, but that's just buzz for the press - woooooo, balloons! They should rather stand on the central market of Brussels and convince the tourists from all over the world of equal rights and not waste time standing between big institution buildings.

This is another stone in the wall of my conviction that international/European Days and Years of/against Something are bureaucratic communication monsters regarding important topics but without any interest for the public.

Update: Via @soerenlandmann I just saw that the LGBT intergroup of the EP has uploaded the video with Buzek's speech to Vimeo (but there is still no link on the EP or the President's website):

President of the European Parliament on the International Day Against Homophobia from LGBT Intergroup on Vimeo.

Picture: © danielgreene/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Kirsten said...

Thanks for the post! I completely agree with you that the central market of Brussels would be a better place to raise awareness... but this means that there is a potential for “International/European-days-of-whatever” being of interest for the public –but that depends on how the institutions and organizations deal with it!