We, the international LGBTIQ+ communities and allies, are moved by the war in Ukraine. We want to take action and support a trusted initiative based in Lublin, Poland, that seeks to help Ukrainian LGBTIQ+ refugees. Biblioteka Azyl (The Refugee Library) is an LGBTIQ+ centre founded by Roehampton University graduate and dance artist Filip Kijowski together with performance artist and former director of Galeria Labirynt Waldemar Tatarczuk.
Message from Biblioteka Azyl:
"In order to aid LGBTIQ+ refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, Biblioteka Azyl in Lublin - the largest Polish city near the Ukrainian border - has founded a Support Centre. It's crucial for us to make LGBTIQ+ persons feel safe and for each individual’s new start in Lublin to be as comfortable as possible. For those wanting to travel further, we will support the search for long-term accommodation and employment, as well as facilitate any other specific needs to the best of our abilities. We will make connections and introduce them to queer communities. We are building a group of trusted allies in Poland and beyond. So far, we have people helping in all of Poland’s major cities, as well as in Berlin and London, and our networks continue to grow.
Biblioteka Azyl, based in the city centre, provides a welcoming environment. It's a space where you can rest, with free WiFi and computer access. On-site, we also provide warm food, clothing, washrooms, first aid items, and hygiene products.
We will organise:
- Transport from the border to Lublin and other cities in Poland and abroad.
- An LGBTIQ+ safe house in Lublin, open for long-term stay (Up to 2 months).
- A network of LGBTIQ+-friendly accommodations.
- Personalised consultations regarding next steps.
- Help in getting to know the city of Lublin.
- Access to hormones.
- Psychological support & Legal aid.
We are fund-raising so that our activities can respond to the current needs of refugees in the most efficient way. We focus especially on LGBTIQ + people because we want them to feel safe. We would be most grateful if you can donate funds. If you feel you can support us in any other way, please contact us via Instagram, Biblioteka Azyl.
You can read more about our work in Calvert Journal
and Blok Magazine.