Mirza – Sarajevo

“I’m not powerless.”

“It’s so exhilarating and unusual to walk down a road named after a woman!” says Mirza, as he strolls proudly down the narrow street named after the Bosnian writer Nafija Sarajlić in Sarajevo. “There are so few streets, squares, and memorials dedicated to women in BiH. That is a symptom of our current social and political atmosphere.” Mirza is an activist correspondent from Priluk who has found both home and inspiration in Sarajevo’s small streets. “Growing up as a gay person in a village can be quite challenging because opportunities are limited. However, my time there helped me understand how small homogeneous local communities function and what social opportunities LGBTQA people can expect in such places.” Mirza is a member of the Organizing Committee of BiH Pride March, and, among other things, strives to maintain the continuity of writing and telling stories about the lives of LGBTQA people. “We need solidarity the most at this moment. To achieve that, we need people to be able to share about their experiences.” Mirza has recently contributed, along with other acclaimed authors, to the book One Su Naše Danas which portrays the life stories of different women in local history. Together with his mother, he also engages with the parents of LGBTQA individuals with the aim of sharing experiences and overcoming the challenges that parents face. ”It wasn’t easy for my mom either, but she took the journey with me. I like to believe that activism has actually brought us closer. She, my sister and I are three fighters.” Through his work, Mirza pays honor to the women in his life, the women of these streets, and the women and men ready to take action for the future. “I don’t want to live in a society where people just wait for change to come from politicians and authorities. I’m not powerless. Like Nafija says in one of her poems, “Get up, woman! … And fight for the freedom of the human race!””

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