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Elevate Opening Ceremony hosted by Denice Bourbon

with Oleksandra Matviichuk, Alexander van der Bellen and many more

Wednesday, 28 Feb 2024

19:00 - 21:30Orpheum

The 20th anniversary edition of the Elevate Festival will kick off in the grand theater hall of the Orpheum in Graz with a speech by Ukrainian human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk, as well as an address from the Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen.

Adding a healthy dose of fun to the evening is Denice Bourbon, a lesbian/queer feminist performance artist, stand-up comedian, and "Comedy Mother" of the Queer Comedy Club PCCC*. She will take on the role of host and guide for the evening.

Transformation psychologist and discourse curator Irina Nalis and Bernhard Steirer, one of the Elevate founders, will give a glimpse into the festival program.

This year's opening speaker, Oleksandra Matviichuk is a human rights lawyer and the head of the human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties in Kyiv, with which she has been dedicated to protecting human rights and building democracy in Ukraine and the OSCE region for over 15 years. In 2022, she was recognized by the Financial Times as one of the 25 most influential women in the world. In the same year, the Center for Civil Liberties was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In addition to the address by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, there will also be words of greeting from the political world from Vice-Chancellor of Austria Werner Kogler, Landeshauptmann Christopher Drexler, Mayor Elke Kahr and Graz City Councillor for Econonmy and Culture Günter Riegler.

The evening will be musically accompanied by Czech singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Petra Hermanova, as well as the Japanese drummer and producer Manisdron.

Doors open at 7:00 PM! The event begins at 8:00 PM.