Bart Staszewski – LGBTI+ activist
I am Bart Staszewski and I grow up in Lublin, in East Poland. I am Polish LGBTI+ activist and documentary film director. In 2017, I produced a documentary film – Article 18. It is the most important documentary to date on the LGBT struggle for equality in Poland.
I am one of the organizers of the Equality March in Lublin, which every year meet with riots and protest from right-wing hooligans. I am also member of association „Love Does not Exclude” and one of funders of “Lublin Equality March Association“.
My work for the LGBT community has been recognized internationally. In 2019, I was awarded the European Tolerantia Award.
I was fighting in courts in several court-trials with Polish homophobic right-wing politicians and media. My up to date most important project is photo project called „Zones” where I travel to „LGBT-free zones” and make photos of those with my sign that is outcome of homophobic resolutions – I also invite to project LGBT-people living there. By this project I become an enemy of Polish government. I was target of SLAPP (strategic lawsuits to silence activists) and got few lawsuits from cities represented by alt-right wing NGO that called me for enemy of Poland and Polish people.
In 2020 I was selected to be an Obama Leader. Obama Leaders are emerging leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the common good. Leaders tackle a diversity of issues, but they have a lot in common—they have all driven positive change for their communities, are guided by core values, and share the Obama’s Foundation’s vision of leadership rooted in service to others.
I was also among Bloomberg Businessweek „Ones to Watch” 2020 List, list associated with „the Bloomberg 50.”