Dance for Russian LGBTQ to empower

$6,830 of $17,000 goal

Raised by 131 people in 8 months
Created August 31, 2018
Who We Are: Telaboratoria Program

Telaboratoria  is a free of charge social and creative dance and theatre improvisation program for the Russian LGBTQ+ communities to heal and empower. We are mainly based in St. Petersburg, Russia but offer classes and workshops in the regions of Russia as well. 

Telaboratoria (te-la-bo-ra-to-ria), or Body Laboratory, is formed from two Russian words "telo" which means body and "laboratoria" - laboratory.

Telaboratoria makes space for collective empowerment, collaboration, empathy and visibility.  It strives to support Russian LGBTQ+ adults in finding the connection to their bodies, community building and becoming more actively involved citizens. After the federal enforcement of the infamous 'anti-gay' law  in 2013 it is even harder for trans and queer Russians to feel safe and welcomed in their own country.

The program provides space for the LGBTQ+ communities to become engaged physically, emotionally and socially in a harsh transphobic and homophobic environment of Russia.

To learn more about Telaboratoria in English, please, scroll down. 
Телаборатория - это бесплатная программа танцевальной и театральной импровизации для ЛГБТК+ 18+ людей в России. Мы базируемся в Петербурге, но также проводим занятия в регионах России. 

Мы стремимся помочь найти связь со своим телом и развить телесную эмпатию, создать интерес и обеспечить доступ к телесно-ориентированным практикам для ЛГБТК+ и, особенно для транс* сообществ, построить пространство для солидаризации и поддержки.  

Видео о Телаборатории на русском:

Спасибо за Вашу помощь! Платформа Gofundme принимает российские карты. Когда вы вносите пожертвование, пожалуйста, полностью укажите свой адрес, включая индекс (billing address), только так оплата сможет пройти. Если у вас возникли проблемы с переводом, пожалуйста, напишите нам на почту telaboratoria@gmail.com и мы поможем вам.

32582470_1535691637431567_r.jpeg(photo by Katya Poloz)

Who organizes Telaboratoria

Dasha Che  (they/them) is Russian-born genderqueer person, an activist, a performer and a dance educator.

Natasha Kim  (s_he/her) is a nonbinary person, activist, artist, administrator and student of Telaboratoria project. Natasha combines activism and administrative work with being an artist.

What Have We Done So Far

- Provided 350+ hours of workshops, classes and seminars to more than 200+ LGBTQ individuals in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Kiev, Ukraine and beyond.

- Helped to build a strong network of support for the project’s participants

- Assisted queer and trans communities in developing acceptance of and connection to their bodies and finding their voices

- Invited local and international dance and theater guest teachers into the project turning them into important allies of the Russian LGBTQ movement

- Made a biweekly safe and welcoming space for trans and queer folks in St. Petersburg, Russia

- Collaborated with more than ten Russian and international LGBTQ, feminist and community art initiatives and organizations, including providing advocacy sessions for non-LGBTQ+ identified arts organizations.

32582470_1535692119585450_r.jpeg(photo by Katya Poloz)

Why Donate: 

...because your support will help us:

 - To bring Telaboratoria to at least ten more regional LGBTQ+ community centers in Russia

- To maintain ongoing classes for the LGBTQ+ community of St. Petersburg

- To engage LGBTQ+ Russians with disabilities and elderly LGBTQ+ individuals

 - To create a dialogue between Russian dance institutions and the LGBTQ+ communities by bringing the two together and educating Russian dance pedagogues on the LGBTQ+ inclusivity issues

- To make an educational documentary about Telaboratoria for the LGBTQ+ communities in Russia as a unique program that empowers and cultivates empathy

- To empower more individuals and communities through helping them to find a connection to their bodies and each other.

32582470_1535692204304320_r.jpeg(photo by Katya Poloz)

What do Telaboratoria participants say?

“When I am in the safe space [like that], I can connect to my body, actually remember that I have it and enjoy having it.”

“I never thought I could dance till I started attending the classes. Last week I danced in front of other people and didn’t care that they looked at me; I felt like I inspired others too.”

 “I look forward to every week of it, it is like I forget about my anxiety and troubles. I am learning how to bring this [practice] into my other parts of life and share with others”

 “This project is so needed for our community, so we can all support and care about each other a little more”

 “Sometimes I feel that my body itself, a trans person body, is already activism. Being comfortable in my body, communicating with it is crucial in order not to be afraid to help others.”

“Practice like this gives self-confidence and understanding of yourself. You need this integrity to be an activist.”

What do we need funding for:  

Monthly we need help to:

- pay rent for our dance spaces --   350 dollars

- pay salary to the administrator and the manager – 800 dollars

- salaries to Telaboratoria teachers – 600 dollars

- provide therapeutic supervision to Telaboratoria teachers – 350 dollars

- provide snacks, learning materials – 100 dollars

2200 per month/13200 per six months

In addition, in 2019 we need funding to:

- organize trainings for local activists – 400 dollars

- online presence – 150 dollars

- travel to and teach at the regional LGBTQ centers – 1400 dollars

- design and print programs logos and relics – 200 dollars

- make a documentary about Telaboratoria – 1500 dollars

 3650 per 6 months

 Total: 16850


Video is by Marina Sycheva <3
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Today is a International Coming Out day that celebrates all the important work that has been done by transwomen, by queers of color, by women who loved women, by intersex people, by Two Spirit people, by people who didn't call themselves anything, and by many other powerful and amazing folx in this vast LGBTQI+ community so that many of us, especially those living in the US, can safely come out now.

While still living in the town of Izhevsk in Russia I tried to come out at the age of 15 and was taken to a psychiatrist to "treat me" from my "confusion." There were simply no queers around me, nothing had a name, no one could say that my identities were a variety of a norm. It took me ten years, six of it living in the USA to overcome my internal and societal homophobia and six more to overcome my inner transphobia and come out.

Today, every time when I return to the Bay Area, California from Russia, I feel safe as a gender-nonbinary queer person, but many of us in my country of birth don't. Trans* and queer people in Russia undergo constant societal and political threat of being harassed, attacked, being denied of basic rights and services. People live with an ongoing trauma and coming out is both a heroic and dangerous endeavor.

Please, come out today as a supporter of Telaboratoria on Coming Out Day to ensure that this beautiful and important program continues on. Share our video and the campaign with others, talk about the project and stay strong and brave!

We got support from almost a hundred people and are running our campaign till November to make sure we have enough funding for the program that starts in December again. <3
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Hello dear ones! Thank you so much for supporting Telaboratoria. It feels great to have such a strong and caring international community backing this important project.

We are still running our campaign, please, share if widely with those who can get inspired from it!

Meanwhile I want to share an article that queer rad POC-led Oakland-based platform Art For Ourselves wrote about us.

+ Read More
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$6,830 of $17,000 goal

Raised by 131 people in 8 months
Created August 31, 2018
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