WE ALL HAVE “HUMAN SOUL”
In a world where seeing the differences between people can come all too easily, its good to be reminded that when you really think about it, we all have more in common than that which divides us. HUMAN SOUL, a UNDP (United Nations Development Program) sponsored multi-media exhibit on Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender (TG) Filipinas, does just that.
Designed to raise awareness for the rights of transsexuals and trans genders, the exhibit uses a combination of photography and audio interviews to give a glimpse into the lives of those who are often caught living between worlds, between everything. Although the terms transgender and transsexual are often used as synonymns, there are slight differences- transsexuals have started changing their body (hormones, surgery…), whereas transgender are more likely to be cross-dressing.
HUMAN SOUL profiles 9 different individuals –7 transsexuals, one gay man and one HIV positive person and gives them a chance to share their experiences, insights, hopes, fears, and in many cases, stories of discrimination and harassment. Although transgender Filipinas have often been stereotyped as dancers and entertainers, they are also businesswomen, human rights activists and political candidates. This exhibit shows what lies beyond their pretty faces- and quite simply, reminds us that they are people too.
The exhibit was created by French journalist Sebastian Farcis and photographer Romain Rivierre and was inspired by an article Farcis wrote for Paris Match
Recently on display for a week at Philippine Congress, HUMAN SOUL also attempted to lobby support for the Anti- Discrimination Bill filed in Congress. The exhibit will be traveling around the Philippines and will be at Cebu City Hall (June 6-10, the Alliance Francaise de Cebu (June 13-17), the University of the Philippines Dilliman (June 27-July 8), and to Davao City Hall (August 8-12).
Exhibits such as HUMAN SOUL, which attempt to pass a message, are refreshing because as so many of us have lives with lots of noise and activity, its important to stop every once in awhile and listen to the things you can’t hear. Everyone needs a voice – transexuals and transgenders have one, but its just harder to hear, and harder to understand.