19 May, 2014 – 30 May, 2014
At mobile audio booths located across Cyprus
Funded by The Cyprus Center for Intercultural Studies, “The Booth Project: Hear Me OUT” aims to enrich and reinforce efforts to address homophobia in school settings and beyond, in the context of Cyprus, through the collection of personal narratives of SGLBTQI (Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, and Intersexed). The project is dedicated to collecting, preserving and promoting an active knowledge and deep understanding of people’s experiences relevant to sexually diverse identities.
Project participants will share their past, present and (why not) future stories in relation to their love lives. Collectively, these stories will provide a sense of the infinite ways one can, love and be loved, and will essentially articulate the complex and fluid nature of gender and sexuality through a narrative account of lived-experiences. Concurrently, these stories will shed light on the experiences the participants have had, the joys they have lived, the difficulties they had to overcome, the borders they had to cross, and the bridges they had to build, as members of multiple communities and sub-communities.
How can you share your story?
You can share your story in English, Greek, Turkish, Russian or Bengali, either audio-recorded, video-recorded, or in writing, through email in the period of 4 weeks (May 1-31) at the following email: [email protected] and on the following Facebook Group Page: The booth project: hear me OUT.
Throughout this period we will be publishing short excerpts of the stories collected on this Facebook Page for the purpose of illuminating the diverse and most colorful details of individuals’ lived stories: pleasant, fun, emotional, inspiring, painful, heart-breaking.
The actual booths—that will be located at the University of Nicosia and other places in different cities on specific dates/times that will be announced soon—are designed to collect and share real time voices. The booths are mobile, handicap accessible and can accommodate one person at a time. There will be two booths: one of the booths will serve as a space where you can share/record your story and the other one will serve as a space where you can listen to others’ stories.
You can choose to share your name or use a pseudonym, you can identify as a man, a woman, or defy a gender label. It will be useful to identify as straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersexed, in order to help us examine common (or not so common) characteristics and themes among the shared stories. This is significant given our efforts to better understand the extent and nature of homophobia, both in school but also in out of-school settings.
After completion of the project, we will go through the stories, and select specific excerpts in order to create one or more podcasts, that could be used for educational purposes. The podcasts can serve as an input for the design of inclusive curriculum materials that explore GLBTQI issues, and essentially serve as potent bullying prevention tools. The podcasts can be shared alongside suggested instructional activities with any interested individuals, parties or organizations.
Every word counts, and every story is valued. Live and love and make a story. But, share your story. As we share our stories we begin to build a culture of compassion, acceptance, empathy, and celebration of diversity. Spread the word(s).
The project is part of the network Someone Has To Do This: www.someonehastodothis.net
- Dr. Lucy Avraamidou, [email protected], Associate Professor of Education, University of Nicosia
- Dr. Marilena Zackheos, [email protected], Director of the Cyprus Center for Intercultural Studies, University of Nicosia
- Georgia Charalambous, [email protected], PhD candidate, University of Nicosia