What does freedom mean to film producer Parvez Sharma, who is both Muslim and homosexual, and who receives death threats because of his work? Is it possible to reconcile freedom of religion with freedom of sexual orientation, or will there always be a tension between the two?
In this Freedom Lecture, we will talk to Parvez in Het Nutshuis and hear about his ground-breaking work, his personal motivations and his definition of freedom.
About the speaker
Parvez Sharma is a New York-based film producer and LGBT activist. As a practising Muslim from India, he is all too familiar with the enormous taboo on LGBT rights in the Islamic world – and with the dangers faced by those who do stand up for these rights. For his recent film ‘A Sinner in Mecca’, he recorded his trip to Mecca, even though homosexuality is punishable by death and filming the Hajj is forbidden. Before that, he produced the documentary ‘A Jihad for Love’ (2007), which explores the complex relationship between homosexuality and Islam in different parts of the world.
About the Freedom Lecture
Now in its fourth year, the Freedom Lecture series is organised by De Balie in cooperation with Amnesty International. This year, two Freedom Lectures take place in The Hague thanks to Humanity House and Het Nutshuis. The story of a free thinker is always central to the Freedom Lecture. There is also a side programme that draws connections between the lecture, the activist and Dutch experts and artists. Former speakers include political activist Andrei Sannikov from Belarus, online activist Esra’a al Shefei from Bahrain and Turkish author Ece Temelkuran.
Watch the trailer of ‘A Sinner in Mecca’ here: