Faris Cuchi Gezahegn

Faris Cuchi Gezahegn is a black non-binary performance artist and intersectional LGBTIQA* activist from Ethiopia, based in Vienna, Austria. Their unique sense of style and firebrand political activism brought them to the fronts of grassroots LGBTQIA+ activism in Ethiopia as the Executive Director of DANA, the first self-organized LGBTQIA+ grass-root organization aiming to improve health access and to advocate visibility for the Ethiopian queer community. Faris is a fellow at the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum and an active member of Afro Rainbow Austria, the first organization established by and for African LGBTQIA+ persons living in Austria. They also co-founded and is currently working with House of Guramayle, an intersectional platform by and for LGBTQIA+ Ethiopians both in Ethiopia and around the globe. Faris has been invited to share their work at venues and institutes across Europe, such as Salzburg Global LGBT Forum (Session 578, theme “Home: Safety, Wellness and Belongingness”) and Uppsala University, Sweden (Department of African Studies, a lecture on activism work in overcoming health service barriers). They have also co-organized and moderated two “Donnerstag Demos” in Vienna, which called out the current right-wing government's oppressive legislature against marginalized groups. As a dancer, Faris has also participated in the performative piece “Songs of Whales,” which centers on decolonizing the pelvis area and bringing back its ancestral healing value.