The Sarajevo Open Center’s LGBTI exhibition ‘Out of the Closet’ is running until Saturday at the Museum of Literature and Theater Arts in Sarajevo, showcasing a collection of stories and artefacts from the LGBTI community in Bosnia on their experiences of coming out.
Opened on Sunday October 11, a date celebrated in many countries as National Coming Out Day, the LGBTI exhibition aims to encourage alliance and empathic connection.
“When we were thinking about how to mark Coming Out Day, we agreed that we wanted the event to be something personal and from the LGBTI community to the LGBTI community,” said Sarajevo Open Center’s coordinator Amina Imamović.
“I hope that everyone from this exhibition will bring a sense of solidarity and understanding for their LGBTI fellow citizens,” she added.
The ‘Out of the Closet’ exhibition, which closes on Saturday October 17, allows attendees the opportunity to read the personal stories of members of the Bosnian LGBTI community, and view objects that act as permanent reminders of when individuals came out to family, work colleagues and friends.
“For LGBTI people, coming out is not easy and never ends,” the Sarajevo Open Centre wrote on their website.
“We found inspiration for the exhibition in our lives, experiences and identities that do not fit the expectations of the society in which we live.”
For people in Bosnia, the coming out experience is particularly difficult, the Sarajevo Open Centre stated.
“In a society unaware of the existence of LGBTI people, they have to out themselves with each new acquaintance, change of environment.
“Every coming out is an emotional experience, which involves a lot of energy, strength and risk that the relationship with the people you love will end, or that your life, safety or loved ones will be endangered, and therefore, every coming out carries its own story that remains in the memory of LGBTI people.
“We want to support all lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, intersex and queer people in the process of coming out of the closet,” they wrote on their own website.
The ‘Out of the Closet’ exhibition is open from 9 am to 7 pm and features a variety of works to share the lived experiences of LGBTI people in Bosnia.
Written by Miya Yamanouchi for the Sarajevo Times