It's been a month since the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) was observed around the world but I just became aware a certain exhibition that was held in Milan, Italy on May 17th.
TÊTU magazine reports that the exhibit featured large posters of some of the most homophobic personalities in history and included Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Italy's Benito Mussolini, Cuba's Fidel Castro, China's Mao Zedong, Germany's Adolph Hitler and the USSR's Joseph Stalin.
Commissioned by an Italian LGBT rights organization called Milano Contro l'Omofobia, each image is made up by an arrangement of the letters in the Italian word for homophobia, 'omofobia'.
Organizers of the exhibit said they wanted to make the general public aware of the scourge of homophobia in past and current history and throughout the world. For each of the chosen 'personalities', campaign designers added an explanation why the person was chosen.
Under the image for Cuba's Fidel Castro, the legend reads:
"A deviation of this nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant Communist should be." - The Military Units to Aid Production or UMAP forced labor camps were created in Cuba in 1965 by Ernesto "Ché" Guevara and remained active until 1968. During the years 1961 of 1962, homosexuals were imprisoned at the Diego Perez Cape, accused of being effeminate and of loitering. During large-scale political actions, thousands of young people were arrested in their own homes and forcefully taken by trains, trucks and buses to deportation camps in the province of Camagüey. From there, they were transferred to agricultural areas for forced work cutting hollow bamboo [sugar] canes. Housed in in an unhealthy environment, they were placed in camps surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by the Revolutionary Armed Forces. Gays were treated inhumanly. An approximate 4,000 homosexuals were persecuted.The exhibit has drawn additional attention as of late because the design team for the posters, Studio FM, also just won the 2010 Gold Medal for Poster Series awarded by the European Design Awards. Click through the full set of posters at this link [click on the image to see a larger size and, once there, on the 'Get originally uploaded photo' on the bottom left to get the full size].