Scenes of change

How can you fight discrimination against LGBTI people? In Zambia, the Umotto Centre of Culture decided to share stories. Their multimedia project Scenes of Change put exclusion and violations of human rights on the agenda.

Umotto is a community-based artistic and youth-led organization that focuses on sexual orientation and gender identity. Jellar 'Gigie' Phiri works at the center and talks about Scenes of Change. "The project aims to promote equality. We want to expose the kind of discrimination that goes on in our country." Umotto then uses that exposure to change policies. "Policymakers need evidence," Jellar explains in a video Hivos produced, "You can’t just go there and say, ‘people are discriminated.’ They need proof. We believe that documenting stories will work as evidence in bringing about policy change.”

The Hivos program R.O.O.M. supported Scenes of Change, which led to a series of videos, documentaries and podcast-style interviews. With Hivos' grant, the team was able to provide media training to staff and volunteers who helped with the productions. The grant also allowed the center to organize a workshop on human rights for LGBTI youth.

I am Maudi

One of the Scenes of Change features Maudi, who shares her impressive journey. “I am Maudi, I am courageous, I am brave and beautiful. I am proud to be a transgender woman.” In the video, Maudi recounts the darkest day of her life. Watch her story below.

About R.O.O.M.

Hivos’ Resource of Open Minds Program (R.O.O.M.) supports the creative work of a new generation of artists, makers, musicians and critical content producers around the world who strive for openness and lead the resistance to shrinking civic space. R.O.O.M. provides financial support for the production of work and safe online and offline environments where they can create alternative narratives, question the status quo and imagine new realities through their practice.