scene from Pinkwashing, the film

Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back! (2016)

Monday, September 26, 2016, 6:45 p.m.
The Little Theatre, #5
240 East Ave Rochester, NY 14604

Filmmaker: Dean Spade
Film Type: Documentary
Length & Language: 56 min., English

In 2012, the Seattle LGBT Commission – a body which advises the city’s mayor and council on lesbian, gay, and transgender issues- announced that it would be hosting a public meeting featuring a delegation of LGBT speakers from Israel. The meeting was to be co-sponsored by StandWithUs, a lobby group that links to the Israeli government.  This film tells the story of how a group of Seattle activists confronted the commission and what happened after their historic success in having the meeting canceled.

The film sheds light on what Pinkwashing* is, and how local activists are fighting back, and the resulting community backlash.

* Pinkwashing – The practice of presenting something, particularly a state, as gay-friendly in order to soften or downplay aspects of its reputation considered negative.

Source: Sarah Irving


Sa’ed Atshan
Sa’ed Atshan

Sa’ed Atshan is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. He previously served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Studies at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He holds a PhD (2013) and an MA (2010) in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. He also received an MPP (2008) from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA (2006) from Swarthmore College. Atshan has served as a Lecturer in Peace and Justice Studies for more than five years at Tufts University. He has been awarded multiple graduate fellowships, including from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. He is also the recipient of a Soros Fellowship and a Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace. He has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the UN High Commission on Refugees, Human Rights Watch, Seeds of Peace, the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department, and the Government of Dubai. He grew up in Palestine and is also an LGBT rights activist.

Sa’ed will join us via Skype.

Isabelle Bartter
Isabelle Bartter

Isabelle Bartter is a member of the International Socialist Organization and long time Palestine liberation activist based in Rochester, NY. She is a member of the LGBTI+ community and is committed to shining a light on Israel’s Pinkwashing campaign, which attempts to cynically use the hard fought political victories of the Israeli queer community to cover apartheid injustices with a rainbow flag.

Isabelle will join us in the theater.