Tuesday, April 18, 2023

April 14, 2023


Stockholm -- After several years delay, the 2020 Tupilak/ILGCN "Orfeo Iris" award diploma -- for outstanding information work about Nazi and Neo Nazi persecution of LGBT people -- was finally presented via Zoom to Barbara Ludmilla Fröhlich and her colleagues of the antifacist committee of HOSI-Wien -- the LGBT organization of the Austrian capital of Vienna.

The event too place at the Goethe Institute in Stockholm, where director Jutta Gehrig  spoke of the long and crucial  struggle for LGBT rights and identity in Austria and elsewhere, and where the Austrian Ambassador, Doris Danier, praised the work of the Austrian award winners and others who have shared the Orfeo Iris awards.
Via Zoom, Barbara Fröhlich expressed thanks for the award, as did the committee colleague, Peter Sunk: "We are very honoured to receive this award on behalf of the Antifaschistische Komitee der HOSI Wien -- and we want to do this in memorial of Erich Zavadil, the founder of the Antifaschitische Komitee. We consider it very important to, remember, not to forget". Since the beginning of our association, antifacist activism was among others, an important part of our work.

"Each year we participate in the memorial of Mauthausen Concentration Camp. In 1984 the memorial stone for the homosexual victims Mauthausen was inaugurated. This only could happen because HOSI Wien activists didn’t relent campaigning."  
Last Year's Ofeo Iris Winners Participating via Zoom

Participating in the event via Zoom were last year's Orfeo Iris winners, Swedish film director, Magnus Gerteen and Danish producer, Ove Rishoj Jensen of the documentary "Nelly & Nadine" a powerful documentary of two women who found each other in the Ravensbrüch concentration camp.   They expressed their pride in winning the Orfeo Iris award as well as a number of other film festival awards.  And they they are pleased to have been invited for a film screenings in a number of film festivals -
including at the courageous LGBT film festival in Beijing.

The trailer of the film was screened at the Goethe Institute event, with plans of screening the whole film in October during the 8th Nordic Rainbow History & Film Month in Stockholm.

 2023 Orfeo Iris Award to Austrian

The event ended with the presentation of the 2023 Orfeo Iris award -- in the honour of the late Austrian survivor of the concentration camps, Heinz Heger, author of his powerful documentary of his survival in the concentration camps, "The Men with the Pink Triangle." 

The award was presented to Claudia Barrett of the Austrian Embassy in Stockholm, for presenting "The Men with the Pink Triangle" at Sweden's major book fair, in the west coast city of Gothenburg.

Comments from Claudia

Firstly and foremost, I want to say Thank you!!! for the fine and dignified award ceremony for Barbara Fröhlich, for making her feel so special, and for giving validity and visibility to her work which undoubtedly was achieved in a much more difficult environment than what we have in Sweden today. Knowing Austria, it was only after a lot of hard work and persistence that Barbara achieved the official recognition of the situation of Lesbian and Gay people in Austrian Concentration camps...

And secondly, thank you for – the complete surprise of - awarding me and the Austrian Embassy the 2023 Orfeo Iris Award!!!

I really hope that we will show ourselves worthy to have received this prize.  I am really glad to have brought Heinz Heger to your attention, and it will be a fine gesture, as you were suggesting, to dedicate the award to him or to mention his name in connection with it."

Tupilak's chair, Sarah Guarino Werner, provided the Zoom link and Tupilak's  Peter Fröberg was in charge of the events technical questions of sounds and film screening.

Bill Schiller of Tupilak/ILGCN pointed out that Orfeo Iris award winners come from Poland, Germany, Austria, UK, Czech Republic, USA, Sweden and Denmark.

"The award is named after the ancient Greek musician, Orpheus, whose music cold charm even the demons of the underworld and who was proud of his male lovers, including Calais -- a fellow sailor on the ship, the Argo.  And "Iris"- the ancient Greek personification of the rainbow -- a messenger of the gods.

Barbara Ludmilla Froehlich - Austria

Goethe Institute ABC

Heinz Heger 333 Pink Triangle

Nelly & Nadine

Orpheus and Calais


Photos/logos: Daphne of GI,  Peter, Bill, Claudia, Doris, Jutta, Barbara, "Nelly & Nadine," "Men" of Heinz Heger, Goethe Instiute logo, Orpeus, rainbow.

Sunday, October 23, 2022


Stockholm -- The days in the Swedish capital of the 7th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month-- arranged by Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (International rainbow culture network) -- are over -- following the Estonian LGBT FestHeart Film Festival in the first days of the month and before the MIX LGBT Film Festival in Copenhagen in the last days of October.
Discussions in Stockholm centered around the power of LGBT history and the power of rainbow culture, LGBT culture focus on the eldery, LGBT Trans culture, Nordic support for colleagues in Eastern Europe, LGBT culture for the differently abled, LGBT journalists and their risks, promoting LGBT monuments in the Nordic region, encouraging more LGBT Nordic exchange and Bear culture..
"Wings" Honoring Fighting Teacher
The last awards of the Stockholm stage were 'Wings' -- given via Zoom to American teacher Rodney Wilson and film director Dan Steadman -- (who also received a donated crystal set of wings!) for their documentary film ('Taboo Teaching') about a teacher coming out to his school class and facing homophobic administrators) ,
Earlier ("Journalists on the Rainbow Barricades") awards went to Andrus K. of Minsk and his colleagues both in Belarus and in exile on this the 10th anniversary of Belarus Journalists for Tolerance. Rita Paqvalén and SETA-Finland received their "Arco Nordica" for their years-long support of LGBT history and culture in Finland, and Kjell Rindar, a long-time veteran of the Swedish LGBT movement, receiving the history award, "Clio & her Silver Cup."
Honoring Polish LGBT Library, Swedish Theater
Other award winners in Stockholm included Filip Kijowski (Poland) (receiving the "Sappho in Paradise" award from ILGCN and the Paradise Press in London (for his launching an LGBT library and community center in Lublin), Petter Wallenberg (Sweden) receiving the "Orpheo and Thalia" (theater, performances) (for this nation-wide performance for youngsters, "Drags and Dragons.") and Lars Gårdfeldt (Sweden) (a minister working for LGBT rights and identity both inside and outside of the church.)
Some of the guest speakers: Rita Paqvalén (Finland) (on Finnish LGBT history & culture), Andrus K. (on LGBT Belarus journalists, years-long LGBT Nordic-Belarus co-operation), Peter Roth (Sweden) (on HIV and survival) and Swedish author, Emil Åkerö (on Swedish and Finnish LGBT artists) and Bill Schiller (Sweden) (on the Nordic campaign to set up LGBT monuments in the Nordic zone/ the campaign to raise Nordic flags at Nordic LGBT events and increase Nordic rainbow exchange and co-operation)
Films from USA, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Brazil, Canada
Some of the films screened: 'Taboo Teaching' (USA), 'I Wish I Could Tell' (Finland), 'Harry Meets Santa' (Norway).
'Blue Painter'(Sweden), 'Hallalujua'(Canada) 'LGBT Monuments - world wide' (Sweden), 'Amore Strani' (Brazil), "Both Sides Now" (Sweden)
Art/Photography from the Tupilak and ILGCN international travelling collection (with works from some 80 nations.)
(Two awards which could not be handed out and will wait for the next Tupilak/ILGCN event: "Rainbows in Chariots" (differently
abled activists) Sahar Mosley (Sweden) and "Journalists on the Rainbow Barricades" - Nemat Sedat (first openly gay journalist of his nation) (Afghanistan)
NEXT & LAST STAGE: MIX LGBT FILM FESTIVAL (21.10-30.10) in Copenhagen. ILGCN's "Wings" award to MIX, ILGCN's "Orfeos Iris" (research into Nazi & neo Nazi persecution) for documentary film, 'Nelly & Nadine' to director Magnus Gertten (Sweden) and producer, Ove Rishioj Jensen (Denmark).
Rodney, Peter Roth, Andrus, Kjell, Rita, Bill, Filip, Petter, Lars, MIX, "Nelly & Nadine" Magnus, Ove, Tupilak logo, ILGCN logo

Andrus of Minsk

Dan with "Wings"

Emil Åkero

Rita, Bill, Filip, Petter, Lars

Hallelujah faces

Harry Meets Santa film

Kjell Rindar

LGBT Monument - Frankfurt wounded angel

Magnus Gertten

Nelly & Nadine

Ove Rishoj Jensen of DK

Peter Roth

Renato Russo

Rita Paxvalen

Rodney Wilson with school Auschwitaz diagram

Taboo Teaching ad

Bill Schiller in Auschwitz at wall of execution

Friday, July 29, 2022


Jerevan -- The Swedish Embassy in the Armenian capital assisted in handing out the ILGCN's (interntional rainbow culture network) "Wings" award to the LGBT organization, Pink Armenia for their outstanding documentary films-- especially the "History of IDAHOBIT" describing thier week-long celebration -- not just the usual day-long honoring of the May 17 IDAHOT Day -- the international day against homophobia and transphobia.
At the embassy ceremony, the award diploma was handed over by Swedish Ambassador Patrick Swenson to Lilit Avetisyan of Pink Armenia. The LGBT organization has a very impressive facebook page relecting numerous, ambitious activities. The "History..." film is to be screened at a coming Stockholm Pride seminar and during the 7th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month - October, 2022 in Stockholm and other Nordic cities.
The award is named after the Swedish film, "Vingarne" -- the world's first gay film from 1916 by homosexal director, Mauice Stiller. It portrays an elderly sculptor falling in love with his young, male model posing as the ancient Greek youth, Ganymedes -- attracting the passion of Zeus in the form of an eagle, swooping down to Earth to take the youth up to the heavens. Thus, the "wings."
A status of the naked Ganymedes and the love-struck eagle stands at the edge of Stockholm harbor today. Those not knowing their Greek legends sometimes think it is a frightening attack on the youth by a vicious bird -- instead of one of human history's first homosexual love story.
Stockholm -- A July 30th Tupilak/ILGCN ceremony "Focus on Britain" will take place in the Swedish capital, with the presence of both Sue Louise Sanders, the initiator of the UK LGBT History Month/Schools Out receiving a "Golden Tupilak" award and UK author, Matt Cain for his book about an elderly gay searching for his lover of his youth -- receiving a Tupilak "Elli's Rainbow" award honoring culture about the LGBT elderly. (Elli was the Viking goddess of Age.)
Also, via Zoom, the ILGCN award for outstanding theater/performance work -- the "Orpehus & Thalia" * -- to Britain's Peter Scott-Presland (information about his work and his ongoing fund-raising campaign below).
Also on Zoom, another British award winner -- David Shenton, cartoonist receiving the "Ofeo Imago 2022" for outstanding art work.
Another Zoom connection will be made to Missouri, USA with Rodney Wilson -- creator of American LGBT History Month and the International Committee for LGBT History Months -- of which Sue Louise Sanders is a member.
The British element of the event" will also include the ILGCN award-winning director, Stephen Hornby -- honored for his film, "Unchechen" about the persecution and murder of gays in the Russian province of Chechnya which we have screened at a number of Tupilak/ILGCN presentations at Prides and other events.
Tupilak's 30-years History
Another film to be screened -- from Tupilak's Willi Reichhold and Alaa Haziem -- will describe some of Tupilak's the activities and events over the last 30 years -- narrated by Sarah Guarino Werner (Tupilak chair), Jan Hammarlund, Zafira Vrba, Tomas Woodski, Christine Zawall and Bill Schiller.
Poems will be provided by Tupilak's "house poet," Tomas Åberg and songs by Tupilak's Peter Fröberg.
The latest works from the Tupilak & ILGCN Art & Photography International Exhibtion (from over 70 nations) will include works from the UK, Equador, Brazil, Poland, Sweden, etc..
*P.S. Orpheus was the ancient Greek musician whose magical music could calm even the demons of the underworld and whose male love was Calais -- a fellow traveller on the famous ship, the Argo. Thalia was the ancient Greek muse of epic poetry.",
Information on Peter Scott-Presland, UK:
Peter Scott-Presland, formerly Eric Presland, has been an out gay performer, playwright, singer/songwriter and director for
fifty years. For the last 35 he has been director of Homo Promos, Britain's oldest Queer Theatre company.
He directed the first play in the world about AIDS in 1983 - AntiBody, by Louse Parker Kelley. During the Covid pandemic he organised 68 weeks of Zoom performances, featuring the whole back catalogue of Homo Promos and its predecessors, a total of over 50 plays. Many of these are on YouTube [Peter Scott-Presland - YouTube].
For the last five years he and composer Robert Ely have been working on the 17-part epic cycle of queer chamber operas,
'A Gay Century'; the first part to get a complete performance will be "1936: Fishing", in September. This is about Lord Alfred Douglas in old age, and the way Queer inheritance is passed on down the ages.
Homo Promos has been the victim of a scam which has stolen £7,500 from the funding 'pot' for the show, but is now Crowdfunding to make sure the show happens. [Exciting new music theatre project - 1936: Fishing - a Music crowdfunding project in London by Homo Promos Theatre (crowdfunder.co.uk)] All help greatly appreciated.
For full details of Homo Promos' work, visit www.homopromos.org.
Photos/logos for the July 30th event: British Pride, Peter, David, Stephen, Rodney
More information on the July 30th event: bill@tupilak.org

David Shenton

Archive Photo

London Pride

Peter Scott

Rodney Wilson photo with school Auschwitaz diagram

Stephen Hornby

Thursday, June 23, 2022


Gothenburg -- Tupilak and the ILGCN held 2 seminars at the West Pride-Gothenburg in June on LGBT culture, history and co-operation with colleagues in Eastern Europe.
Stockholm -- A July 30th ceremony "Focus on Britain" will take place in Stockholm, honoring Sue Sanders, the initiator of the UK LGBT History Month/Schools Out with a "Golden Tupilak" award and UK author, Matt Cain for his book about an elderly gay searching for his lover of his youth -- winning a "Elli's Rainbow" award forcusing on the elderly. (Elli was the Viking goddess of Age.)
The "British event" will include the award-winning film, "Unchechen," made by Britain's Stephen Hornby, about the persecution and murder of gays in the Russian province of Chechnya.
Stockholm Events with Sue, Sarah and Saga Becker
Participation in Stockholm Pride includes 3 seminars -- the first on August 1 with Sue Sanders and Tupilak chair Sarah Guardino Werner discusssing LGBT history months. The August 4 seminars will cover LGBT culture and history and co-operation with Eastern Europe -- and including an award ceremony to Sweden's Saga Becker -- receving her "Loke" award -- honoring outstanding contribution to trans culture.
International Day of Rainbow Culture with Estonian Touch
The August 9th celebration in Stockholm will once again salute the International Day of Rainbow Culture -- chosen as the birthday of Finnish/Swedish painter and "Mumintrol" author, Tove Jansson ( was a member of Tupilak!). Guest singer/performer will be Erkki Otsman of Tallinn, who receives the "2022 Orpheos Musica" award. (Orpheus was the ancient Greek musician who also travelled with his male lover, Calais on the mythological ship, the Argo.)
August Celebration in Copenhagen with Greenland Focus
Copenhagen -- An August 13 Greenlandic-Swedish ceremony and cultural event will take place at the Greenland House in the Danish capital prior to Copenhagen Pride (August 15-21), where Nuka Carmen Bisgaard of Greenland will receive her "Loke's Rainbow" award at an event with music from Swedish singer Peter Fröberg and poetry.

Erkki Otsman

Matt Cain

Nuka Carmen Disgaard

Peter Fröberg

Saga Becker

Sarah Flóren

Sue Sanders

Tove Jansson photo

Unchechen son and father

Friday, May 27, 2022


Stockholm -- The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia -- May 17 -- was honored in the Swedish capital by Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat-Stockholm with awards, salutes, music and poetry.
The ILGCN's award for journalism publishing and archives -- "Sappho in Paradise 2022" -- was given to the two chief editors of the Swedish publication, "Ottar" of the RFSU (Swedish Association for Sexuality Education).
"We are honored to receive the awards," say Carolina Hemlin and Ida Måwe, "and are pleased with the motivation mentioning that Ottar is celebrating its 40th anniversary and has often included coverage of the rights and identity of LGBT people." (The award is named after the ancient Greek poetess and the LGBT publishing house, Paradise Press in London helping to choose prize winners.)
The ILGCN's diploma for outstanding rainbow art, "Orfeo Imago 2022" was handed out to Swedish resident/Frenchman Alex Colard: "Thank you Tupilak for the Award, it warms my heart to be part of the artistic LGBTQ+ community. I am thrilled to give hope to many people from all walks of life and to let them know that with hard work and determination, living the dream is possible."
The award is named after the ancient Greek musician, Orpheus, whose male lover was Calais - a fellow traveller on the mythological ship, the Argo.

Tupilak Salutes to Belarus, Sweden, International LGBT History Committee, Founder of IDAHO Day
The event included a Tupilak "skål"to Max Denison, Belarus member of Tupilak's steering committee, who successfully concluded Swedish Institute program of LGBT Belarus journalists and Swedish culture workers. Another "skål" went to Anna Giertz for concluding a program of Rosa Brus gathering LGBT sounds, voices and music. Another to Tupilak finance secretary, Peter Fröberg for helping with the financial transations for both projects -- and for donating his fee from Rosa Brus to Tupilak.
Another "skål" went to Tupilak chair, Sarah Guarino Werner, for being the first Swede to be welcomed into the International LGBT History Month Committee -- based in the U.S. and recently adding members from Italy and Cuba. The Tupilak & ILGCN Nordic LGBT History Month will take place for the 7th time in October as usual.

Golden Tupilak 2005, Argentine and Swedish Music, Poetry
Another tribute was given to the founder of the IDAHO day concept, Frenchman Louis-Georges Tin -- who received the "Golden Tupilak" at a Stockholm ceremony back in 2005. He chose the day marking the World Health Organization's removal of homosexuality as a sickness on May 17.
An IDAHO greeting and music and song for the event was provided via internet by the winners of the "2002 Orphes Musica" award -- the Carpusa Tango duo, Julieta Brizzi and Marysol de Pablo of Argentina.
Live music was presented by Tupilak prize winner and veteran activist, Jan Hammarlund and poetry was provided by Tupilak's award-winning "house poet" Tomas Åberg of Sweden.

Carlpusa Tango

Jan Hammarlund

Louis-George in Stockholm

2022 Ottar Winners

Alex receives award

Ottar pris ceremony

Peter Fröberg

Sarah Flóren

Tomas Åberg

More information: bill@tupilak.org
Photos: Carolina, Ida with diplomas, Alex receiving his award, Anna and Bill, Peter, Sarah, Louis, Carpusa, Jan, Tomas, Tupilak logo, ILGCN logo