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Gay Couple Attacked By Neo-Nazi Gang In Madrid

Temple of Debod

A gay couple were attacked by a group of ten neo-Nazis in Madrid, Spain on Friday, reports TheLocal.es.

The couple - aged 17 and 23 - were attacked by nine men and one woman dressed in black neo-Nazi attire. The attackers also reportedly asked if the two men were "fags" or "fascists". The 17-year-old was hospitalized with bruising to the back of the neck.

The couple were in Madrid's Temple of Debod district with a friend when the attack occurred.

The two men wish to remain anonymous because they are afraid to speak openly about the attack.

Last week, around 100 protesters staged a kiss-in at a Madrid Burger King after a gay couple was told to leave the restaurant.


Millions Hit Streets of Madrid for LGBT Pride, Including Conchita Wurst: VIDEO

Madrid

More than a million people took to the streets of Madrid, Spain yesterday for one of Europe's largest LGBT Pride celebrations, Expatica reports:

ConchitaTens of thousands crammed one of the Spanish capital's broad central avenues, the Paseo del Prado, in the early evening to the din of drums and whistles in a parade scheduled to last seven hours.

Organisers expected more than a million people at the evening parade, the main event in five days of festivities by defenders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

The festival kicked off on Wednesday night with an open air appearance by Conchita Wurst, the bearded Austrian transvestite who won the Eurovision song contest in May. That was followed on Thursday by an annual highlight of the festival: men in high heels and dresses raced on foot through Madrid's gay district, Chueca, cheered on by crowds.

Wurst sang on Friday evening alongside various Spanish stars at a concert in the Vicente Calderon stadium, home to Atletico Madrid football club.

Watch highights from Madrid's Pride parade and part of Conchita's appearance in which she sings "And I'm Telling You", AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Millions Hit Streets of Madrid for LGBT Pride, Including Conchita Wurst: VIDEO" »


‘Brokeback Mountain’ Opera to Open This Week in Madrid

Brokeback mountain

A modern opera adaption of Brokeback Mountain is set to open in Madrid later this week, AFP reports:

The Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch [right] as the hesitant Ennis and American tenor Tom Randle [left] as his devoted Jack play out their tale of secret love in homophobic 1960s Wyoming against a photographic backdrop of brooding mountains

At a dress rehearsal ahead of Tuesday night's world premiere, their voices soared over New York composer Charles Wuorinen's score, the orchestra sounding ominous and frenetic by turns as the doomed romance moved to its climax.

"The whole opera is about a typical kind of impossible situation, a tragic situation," said Wuorinen, who called on the writer Annie Proulx, author of the novella on which the film was based, to write the libretto.

"In this case, it's two people who in some way want to have a relationship which in their time is forbidden by society," Wuorinen told AFP.

"That's a very traditional operatic problem to deal with."

The English-language production will be premiering at Madrid’s Teatro Real.


Looking: Art Installation In Madrid Calls Attention To Issues Of Surveillance

Ispycameras

A street artist in Madrid has taken over one narrow block in an effort to raise awareness about surveillance and the technology used to perform it. The artist, named SpY, who incidentally began his career as a graffiti artist, has installed over 100 CCTV cameras on a wall overlooking the tiny street. The cameras are all aimed in the same direction and at the same angle, giving the overwhelming impression that anyone on the receiving end of their gaze is being closely watched and scrutinized. Though they are not in fact recording passers by, their mere presence gives off an air of suspicion and danger.

The Verge reports:

"The piece invites reflection about our present and daily interaction with technology and who is behind [it]," SpY writes in an email to The Verge. "The cameras are a symbol that represents it, however it is clear that we are surrounded by devices that act as tools of surveillance."

...SpY says that he's seen a variety of reactions; some people wonder whether the cameras are on, while others assume that they are and interact with them as though they're being recorded.

"I like to generate some type of reaction with my work," SpY says. "I try to awake and create a more lucid conscience with my interventions. Irony and humor are a way to make the receiver an accomplice, create a dialog, and make one think that the work communicates something with which one identifies."

..."As a side note regarding its location, all the cameras point to the house of a well-known drug dealer," SpY says. "Well known even by local police."

Check out more beautiful photos of the art installation at The Verge.


Organizers: City Trying to Kill Gay Pride in Madrid

Madrid

Organizers of Madrid's Gay Pride festivalsay the city is trying to financially "strangle" the event by imposing excessive fines that will shut it down if they continue, the Guardian reports:

"You can't levy such barbaric fines on an event that's so important to the city," said Boti Rodrigo, president of the Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales. "These fines put the survival of Madrid Pride in serious jeopardy."

This is the fourth successive year the festival has been fined for noise violations. Past fines ranged from €35,000-€50,000, against which organisers successfully appealed and had reduced or waived. The courts have so far reduced one of the fines to €600, but have yet to rule on the other two. This year's edition of Madrid Pride, held in July, earned 15 fines totalling €159,809. Organisers have appealed against the fines, but said it could take more than a year before they find out if their appeal is successful.

"We've never seen city hall so short-sighted, with such little political will towards us," said Rodrigo. The celebration of gay pride, started in 1979, attracts an estimated 1.5 million people each year and offers the city a chance to "show that Madrid is an open, multicultural and tolerant city".

The root of the problem appears to be in Madrid's mayor Ana Botella:

"She's putting up permanent barriers to our success," said Rodrigo. "What's clear is that the ideology of a person, when that person is the mayor of Madrid, shouldn't interfere at all in her political responsibilities."

In 2011, when Botella was Madrid's councillor for the environment, she introduced stringent noise limits in residential areas. The restrictions forced Madrid Pride to resort to silent concerts, where participants danced to music streaming through their headphones.


Facebook Removes Gay Kiss Photo, Ironically an Advertisement for a Cultural Project Against Homophobia

Hidalgo

An image of two men kissing by well-known Spanish photographer Juan Hidalgo, utilized by Madrid-based Visible Culture group for its 'Gay Art Looks For A Home' initiative and documentary, was removed by Facebook for breaching a decency code barring images of a "political, sexual or other sensitive" nature. The project has put in its place a "censored" version of the image, above.

Facebook is investigating why the photo was removed.

"The documentary, shot in Madrid, brings together a thousand works of gay and lesbian donated by over four hundred artists from thirty countries," according to El Pais.

Said the director of the program Pablo Peinado: "The documentary aims to build a dialogue about rights and the fight against homophobia through the culture and identity of the gay community. However, the ultimate goal of this documentary is to find a place to exhibit the work and build a museum of gay culture."

UPDATE: A Facebook spokesman contacted Towleroad and said that the photo has been put back.

"Upon investigation, we concluded the advertisement does not violate our guidelines and was removed in error. The ad is now running and we apologize for the inconvenience."


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