This summer the IIRE had two very successful international activities. From 6 to 10 of August, we organized the sixth LGBTIQ strategy seminar. These seminars are spaces for radical left LGBTIQ liberation activists to develop theory and strategy. This year's seminar was especially focused on issues of pink-washing and homo-nationalism, the use of (rhetorical) support for LGBTIQ rights to whitewash imperialism and nationalism. We had participants from Lebanon, Britain Palestine, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands.
Shortly after the seminar, we had our yearly Youth School from August 17 to August 28. This course is intended for younger left-wing activists to give an intensive introduction to socialist politics and theory. In earlier years, the school was more focused on Europe but in recent years, we have more and more non-European participants. This year, we had 26 participants from Brazil, Mexico, France, Belgium, Mozambique, Morocco, Denmark, Germany, Lebanon, Sweden, Tunisia, Britain, and Spain. This was also the first youth school with a majority participation of women.
The participants evaluations of both activities were very positive. The LGBTIQ seminar was a step forwards in developing a common understanding of such concepts as homonationalism and to think about the difficulties of sexual liberation in times when 'LGBT rights' are so often abused as justifications for war, occupation and for claims of 'cultural superiority'. The seminar is expected to lead to published articles and deepened links, especially with activists in the Arab region.
Participants in the Youth School especially appreciated the international character of the 10 days course, saying it gave them new perspectives and enabled them to learn things they would not be able learn at home.
Both activities are organized on tight budgets. Interpretation is done by volunteers and participants take care of tasks such as cooking and cleaning the building while they are here. This allows us to keep participation fees to a minimum to make participation easier for everyone. Another essential source of income for us are donations, either ones that are earmarked for a specific activity, such as a school or seminar, or general ones that help us pay the daily costs of our maintaining our facilities.
We especially want to thank our supporters for their support to our work.