Hollywood legend Sharon Stone has thrown her weight behind a campaign to support the Polish LGBTQ+ community. London’s Zebra One Gallery and artist/activist Lapinus Morgan will launch the Love is Not an Ideology (LINAI) exhibition on 5 October, raising vital funds for the Polish charity Federacja Znaki Równości.
The show features works by artists including David Hockney and Andy Warhol as well as pieces by a host of contemporary artists, standing together in support of Poland’s LGBTQ+ community, including Pure Evil, Mason Storm and Rich Simmons.
The images will be sold via the Hampstead gallery’s website with all money raised going to the charity, which provides psychological and legal help, arranges support groups, cultural events and works to integrate the LGBTQ+ community in Poland.
Basic Instinct star Sharon Stone has offered her support to the LINAI campaign, saying: “Love is real. It’s not important who you love, but that you love.”
Nearly 70% of the LGBTQ+ community in Poland has been subjected to physical, sexual or verbal violence and less than 4% of these people felt safe enough to report such incidents to police, with 70% of teenagers within that community grappling with suicidal thoughts.
Half of Poland’s municipalities have declared themselves “LGBT-Free Zones” and violence towards these communities has dramatically increased.
The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, pledged in his recent campaign to “fight LGBT ideology” in Poland, referring to the LGBT community as a “Rainbow Plague.”
The Polish Minister of Education and Science, Przemyslaw Czarnek has compared LGBT people to Nazis, saying: “There’s no doubt that LGBT+ ideology grew out of… the same root as Germany’s Hitlerian National Socialism, which was responsible for all the evil of World War II.”
The activist behind this LINAI project, Lapinus Morgan, says, “Love is not an ideology. People are not an ideology.
“I was born in Poland, and was subjected to homophobia, but I was lucky enough to start a new life in London, where I was welcomed and shown that being gay is nothing to be ashamed of.
“Realising that I could do something from London, I decided to work with Zebra One Gallery on a charity art show – since funding is not existent from the state – to raise vital funds for the charity and awareness of what is happening in Poland.
“The overwhelming response from diverse artists to this project shows the LGBTQ+ community in Poland that they are not alone. We are starting a movement to fight for the human right to love without fear.”
Zebra One Gallery owner, Gabrielle Du Plooy explains: “This show will celebrate love in all of its forms and all of the money raised from it will allow that love to continue, without shame, terror or persecution.”