No Soy Tu Chiste. I Am Not A Joke. Favorite 



Oct 1 2013



Daniel Arzola, a digital artist and activist originally from Maracay, Venezuela, began his series, 'No Soy Tu Chiste' ('I Am Not A Joke') in 2013 intent on combating the stereotypes and cruelty so often facing LGBT identifiers; youth in particular. The project went viral in 2014, around the same time it teamed up with the It Gets Better Project based in the United States. Venezuela, like many countries, has legalized homosexuality but gay marriages remain unrecognized. Arzola recounts many stories of discrimination and violence facing LGBTIQ Venezuelans in his youth. In an interview with IGBP, Arzola said that "In Venezuela, there exist two kinds of human rights activists. There are those that work with the government of Venezuela but do not speak out against it or are critical of it. But if you are the other type of human rights activist, if you have the idea to be critical of the government, then they attack you." Arzola now resides in Chile, where he studies human rights activism and continues his work. It is his view that the prevalence of stereotypes and mockery facing queer identifiers is one of the primary causes slowing gay rights momentum; a problem his work tries to correct. To him, one of the great appeals of creating works digitally is that they cannot be tampered or destroyed by human rights opponents. For every copy reproduced onto shirts, mugs, phone covers, stationary, etc. and purchased on the Society6 website, $2 goes toward funding the campaign movement to defend the LGBTIQ community. In terms of raising awareness on social media the project has been successful. Today, No Soy Tu Chiste has more than 26,000 likes on Facebook, an impressive Tumblr following, and Arzola himself has thousands of followers on Twitter. His art is aesthetic and the story is moving. Time will tell if the actual funding can be put to practical use fighting homophobia disguised as a humor.

Posted by cah615 on

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