DOTYK

(bel. touch) – noncommercial cultural and educational organization that in its work deals mostly with matters of identity and self-determination, raises the problems of homophobia, transphobia, sexism and other forms of xenophobia in the Belarusian society.

DOTYK opens a discussion using not the language of academia, but the language of art – the universal human language. We believe that art shows us real stories and doesn’t reduce them to mere statistical data. It reflects the complexity and diversity of the world and the variability that exists everywhere.

History

DOTYK appeared at the beginning of 2015 on the initiative of To Be Queer, a spontaneous and flexible association of initiatives that during the time of its existence served as a place for negotiations and consolidation of activists and followers who weren’t indifferent to the problems of discrimination. In the middle of 2015 To Be Queer seized to exist, and DOTYK became independent.

DOTYK was originally planned to become a film festival with the accompanying events that would be held once a year and would help to comprehend what the discriminated groups go through. The first film festival was held in Minsk in the February of 2015. The festival program included screenings of fiction films, documentaries and animated films, exhibitions, workshops, lectures and discussions with our guests from different countries. But after a few months the team realized they don’t want to stop there. That’s when DOTYK grew into a queer culture festival, which combines various formats and locations, it also reached cities outside Minsk. The DOTYK team works to hold cultural and educational events in Minsk and regional centers regularly. Apart from that, we also eagerly cooperate with creative people regardless of their fame and experience, create art projects relevant to the current Belarusian social and cultural context.

Mission

We aspire to overcome the manifestations of discrimination, support and promote the principles of equality regardless of the sexual and gender identity by the means of education and art in the Belarusian context.

Activities

DOTYK started as a film festival but quickly extended its boundaries. Today our team realizes various art and cultural projects, organizes the queer culture festival DOTYK and many exhibition projects, systematically engages in educational activities. At the end of 2016 we opened a community center, meant to render assistance to the victims of discrimination on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation and the victims’ relatives.

Our activities are aimed at the Belarusian offline space, that’s why one of our priorities is to create safe spaces for meetings, discussions and exchange of opinions. We would like to unite the people who have similar experience of not being accepted by our society, who feel lonely and invisible in the cultural, social and political spheres, fill in the gaps created by the exclusion of LGBT people and other discriminated groups from the world art and history.

Principles and values

The values of the DOTYK team are based on the principle of nondiscrimination in a broader sense. We try to spread the knowledge that the marginalization of any group in inhuman in its essence and that our differences don’t prevent us from the possibility to coexist in the atmosphere of mutual respect and acceptance. DOTYK opposes xenophobia, chauvinism, racism, sexism, homo- and trans- and biphobia, militarism, colonialism and other forms of social devaluation.

Our partners