Situated Voices 25
The Crime of Existing. The Situation of LGTBIQ+ Refugees in Spain
People who are persecuted in some way over their sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual characteristics can request asylum as refugees. Many of these people look to countries like Spain, yet after their forced displacement comes alienation and vulnerability and arriving in their country of integration marks the start of a complex bureaucratic maze with myriad forms of discrimination and exclusion, exacerbating an already difficult situation.
The experience of those who have embarked upon this forced migration forms the starting point of El delito de existir (The Crime of Existing, 2022), a documentary made by Fabiola Barranco and Olmo Calvo inside the framework of The Right to Exist project, started in 2021, and which denounces the human rights violations suffered by the LGBTIQ+ community in many countries and underscores the precarious situation refugees and asylum seekers face in Spain.
This latest edition of Situated Voices features the screening of the aforementioned documentary, followed by a conversation on the protagonists’ experience after arriving in Spain. These participants include: Fabiola Barranco (a journalist specialised in migration and human rights), Cristina Bermejo (director of ONG Rescate) and three LGTBIQ+ refugees living in Spain: Alex, one of the documentary’s protagonists, Fabu and Ramtin Zigorat, the session’s moderator.
Alex is 20 years old and arrived in Spain from Cameroon in 2018, applying for asylum through his LGTBIQ+ identity. He is currently a student and participates in the project The Right to Exist.
Fabiola Barranco is a freelance journalist specialised in migration and human rights. She is part of the Medfeminiswiya collective of feminist women journalists from the Mediterranean, and is a regular contributor with elDiario.es and works with the Médicos del Mundo España NGO. Moreover, in 2021 with ONG Rescate she started the audiovisual project The Right to Exist, which spotlights the lives of LGTBIQ+ refugees in Spain, earning a Desalambre Award.
Cristina Bermejo is the director of ONG Rescate, where she has worked since 2001 and where she previously held the position of coordinator of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid. Her career also includes experience as an aid worker in Palestinian and Syrian territories.
Fabu is 33 years old and arrived in Spain in 2021 from Peru. Belonging to the trans collective has led to situations of discrimination in both Fabu’s country of origin and in Spain.
Ramtin Zigorat is 33 years old and has been a political refugee in Spain since September 2019, working as an architect, social researcher in Erasmus + projects and an intercultural mediator with ONG Rescate. Ramtin is a non-binary person.