Presentation of the book “Propaganda” in Vilnius

One rainy summer evening, exactly on the 11th of July,  the presentation of a comics book by a former volunteer of LGL, Joana Estrela, took place in a cozy book-store called “Mint Vinetu”. The book is called “Propaganda”, which is a word that gives the creeps probably to every LGBT rights activist, but exactly for this reason it attracted my attention and made me change my Friday plans.

So here I am, nervously finishing my cigarette and being fashionably late (and therefore attracting everybody’s attention),

19:01 I loudly enter the book-store and start looking for a place where I could sit. “Mint Vinetu” was full, there were some empty chairs only in the first row, but those places are always taken only by brave snobs and there are usually not many of them. The public was diverse: there were the usual visitors of the book-store, human-rights activists and, of course, friends of the author.

Joana waited for some minutes and then she started her presentation by telling the story of the creation of the book. Joana, who is a designer, said that when she was still studying she used to draw simple short comics on the events in her life in the margins of her note-books. Later, in October 2012, she came to Vilnius to volunteer at the LGL office for a year. She still had her drawing hobby, so while volunteering she started drawing different stories: things that happened in the office, conversations with friends and people she knew, moments from the LGBT community parties or fancy events at the embassies’ residencies. All these personal memories in form of a diary finally turned into “Propaganda”, a sincere and very personal comics book with stories that make the reader laugh and sometimes even wipe a tear.

The author read the stories, answered questions from the public and signed a lot of copies of the book. The evening was warm and cozy, everybody was looking over the black and white pages of the book, looking at the stickers made by Joana and clinging the colorful buttons she drew herself. It seems that nobody even noticed the sombre rain behind the window…

The article written by Sandra, the volunteer of LGL