Body art for LGBT rights

August 12, 2013

In Bolivia, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people are discriminated against across the board. The LGBT movement has been active for several decades to defend their rights and make Bolivian society and politicians aware of the marginalization that LGBT people face. Despite the progress made at the political level in recent years (since 2009 Constitution prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation), there is still much work to be done
The position of lesbian and bisexual women is doubly complicated. Not only are they women, whose position is undermined by unwritten religious rules and deep-seated patriarchal attitudes, they also represent a “deviant” sexual orientation. They form a group that is virtually invisible in society and politics, and few projects in Bolivia have targeted them. Until now.
The artistic project, Your body decides, feels and expresses (Tu cuerpo decide, Siente y ExPrEsA) focuses solely on lesbian and bisexual women and has a dual purpose. First, it aims to contribute to the personal and emotional development of this group of women, and secondly, it hopes to raise awareness in Bolivian society that will lead to an open and free society that recognizes and respects. sexual diversity
Your body decides, feels and expresses consists of a traveling photo exhibit of body painting by bisexual and lesbian women of the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia. In total, thirty lesbian and bisexual women participated in the project, and the bodies of some of them served as canvases on which to paint artworks with the aim of contributing to the empowerment of lesbian and bisexual women. The exhibit focuses on the positive: we are all human, we all have a body, we are all different and unique, and we all have the same rights.
The exhibit started on the 29th of April in the Casona Santibañez in Cochabamba and was displayed in various other locations in Cochabamba. You can view the photos in the first link under ‘See also’.
This initiative of the IMPACTO Foundation and the Red LB Cochabamba was supported by Hivos in order to build a more inclusive society that respects and recognizes diversity for lesbian and bisexual women.
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Rights has been part of Hivos’ Rights and Citizenship program since the 1990s and consists of financial support, knowledge exchanges and policy advocacy for LGBT rights. Hivos backs the acceptance of sexual minorities, the fight against homophobia, mobilization for political change and worldwide coalition building. 
In all, Hivos supports over 50 LGBT organizations and more than 20 HIV/AIDS projects with a focus on LGBT people, and invests over three million euros annually in the advancement of LGBT rights.

Some more artworks from the body painting exhibition: