Thursday, June 13, 2024

Latest TUPILAK/ILGCN Awards - London, Vilnius, Anti-HIV/AIDS Culture

Stockholm – Information has reached the Swedish capital about the handing over of the latest award diplomas from Tupilak and the ILGCN -- the "Sappho in Paradise" (for literature and publications) also supported by the Paradise Press (London) -- to Kathryn Bell, long-time secretary of the Gay Authors' Workshop (UK) and celebrating her 90th birthday! and the "Rainbow Warrior 2024" to the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) -- now celebrating it's 30th anniversary.

May 17 Report - Awards to "HIV/AIDS" Authors/Salute to IDAHOT Day
Stockholm - A "double" ceremony took place in the Swedish capital on Friday, May 17, 2024 -- one honoring two Swedish authors writing about the situation, the struggle and the long discrimination of people with HIV and AIDS, and a salute to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia -- finally becoming a official United Nations day.

Kathryn's award also honors her partner, writer and poet, Elsa Bechett, who died in 2015. Creating Kathryn's diploma and handing it over, Peter Scott-Presland, theater man and member of the Gay Auhors' Workshop, has also earlier received a Tupilak/ILGCN award diploma. Another Workshop colleague handing over the diploma to Kathryn was Hastie Salih.

The diploma to the LGL also salutes their annual Baltic Pride co-operation with neighboring colleagues in Riga, Latvia and Tallinn, Estonia. Information about the coming Pride celebrations in Vilnius can be seen on facebook.

The Stockholm event took place at the offices of Sweden's PositHIVa Gruppen, with a warm welcome deliverd by the PG's Ola Ståhle. The award diplomas were given to Bodil Sjöström for her long work with HIV/AIDS cases and for her books, including the latest "Där Kärlek Sker" and Steve Sjöqvist, once close to death himself and for writing a series of books including the latest," "Vägen Valde Dig."

These award diplomas are named "Phanes" -- after the ancient Greek god of birth and creation. Also reading from his book, "A Muskalisk Valp" was Jan Hammarlund, veteran Swedish singer and song writer. Music and song was provided by Swedish singer/musician, Robert Hill.

Salute to IDAHOT Day
The event also paid tribute to the originator of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia – Caribbean-born Frenchman, Louis-Georges Tin. What started as only local events, IDAHOT has finally become a official United Nations day. Louis-Georges came to Stockholm to receive the Golden Tupilak award in 2005.

At the event, members of Swedish Amnesty's LGBTI group also commented on their work for rainbow rights and identity. Bill Schiller of Tupilak/ILGCN pointed out that the legal situation for LGBT people is getting worse including the growing number of the death penalty in a number of nations, and that even where legislation is o.k., the lack of rainbow cultural workers and events can scare LGBT people into total silence and invisibility.

Bodil, Steve, Jan (by Angelo Strina)

Bodil, Steve, Bill (by Angelo Strina)

Hastie and Kathryn

Peter and Kathryn


Thursday, September 21, 2023


Stockholm - A Spanish/English-language rainbow event took place on September 15 at the Cervantes Institute in the Swedish capital, with award ceremonies to Spainish artists, music and song from Argentine, film and poetry -- hosted by Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network.)

Award diplomas presented via Zoom went to gay artists, Javier Tremis Sempere of Spain -- receiving the double diploma the "Orfeo Imago" (named after the ancient Greek musician proud of his male lovers) for outstanding LGBT art work and also inclunding fine art portraying the elderly -- the "Elli's Rainbow" (named after the Viking goddess of age).

The motivation was:--- for outstanding art work often centered around the naked human male figure in erotic and sensual form – both the young and muscular and the elderly faces filled with power, wisdom and determination.


…. and for confirming that art work today and over the centuries has been a powerful weapon against homophobia, intolerance, invisibility as a crucial part of the struggle for LGBT rights and identity.

The other award diploma going to Manolo Yanes of Spain -- also a double diploma both the "Orfeo Imago" for outstanding rainbow art work and the "Clio and her Silver Cup" (named after the ancient Greek muse of historical poetry and the 2,000-year old Greco-Romano silver drinking cup portraying copulating male couples).

The motivation was: for outstanding art work often centered around the naked human male figure in erotic and sensual form. And for confirming that art work today and over the centuries has been a powerful weapon against homophobia, intolerance, invisibility as a crucial part of the struggle for LGBT rights and identity.


…. and for lifting up from the often obscure history of the ancient Greek lovers and heroes and their male lovers, illustrating that despite the obligations of the anciet world to have wives and children, the real passion for these heroes, legends and gods was for their male lovers.

United Nations film,  music, poetry

The event also included music and song from the Argentine duo, Carpusa Tango -- Marysol del Pablo and Julietta Brissi , also earlier receiver of the Tupilak/ ILGCN "Orfeo Musica" award and ILGCN Secretariats for Latin American with the Cubans.  Also, the poetry in Spanish by Tupilak's "house poet" Tomas Åberg, and a film from the United Nations LGBT series of films "Free and Equal" with a world-wide portraying LGBT activiists in "Why We Fight" -- with a reminder than only a few years ago, the United Nations and all its committees refused to support LGBT rights since they were not mentioned in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Concluding words from the Cervantes didretor, Juan Carlos Vidal Garcia expressed a strong fiendship for Tupilak and the ILGCN and a desire to see future co-operation and joint events. 

Bill Schiller of Tupilak and the ILGCN is suggesting that a future event at Cervantes could be a tribute to the prisoners
of the gay concentration camp Tefía -- set up by Franco on the island of Fuerteventura, 10 years after Auschwitz was liberated with the words "never again!".

more information:

Carpusa with awards

Cervantes logo


Elli and Thor drawing

Javier arts from Spain photo

Javier elder man

Javier Trelis Sempere nude

Manolo Yanes

Orpheus and Calais, Manolo Yanes Canara Islands, Heroic Friends

Silver Cup

Tommy Åberg

Tupilak logo

Thursday, August 31, 2023


Norrtälje -- Film screenings, discussions of LGBT history and culture and award presentations with Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) in this Swedish town just north of Stockholm at their ABF (workers education) /RFSL (Swedish LGBT organization) supported Roslagens Pride, August, 2023.

At a lively discussion of the films by Polish/Swedish film maker, Malga Kubiak (a previous Tupilak/ILGCN film award winner for portraying the lives and deaths of a number of LGBT personalities) this year's film award were present to Poland's Viktor Mörka -- co-ordinator of the annual Polish LGBT Film Festival now reaching 9 cities in Poland.

"I am very proud of this award diploma, " Victor told the audience. The award is named after "Wings" -- the world's first ever gay film, made, in Sweden in 1916 -- surrounding the love affair of an elderly sculptor and his young model posing for a statue of Ganymedes -- the ancient Greek youth plucked up to heaven by Zeus as an eagle -- thus the "wings." and the "Polar Bear" --born at the Berline International Film Festival's Teddy Bear gay film awards -- but considered too "cuddly" for Nordic tastes and thus the "Polar Bear" companion to the "Wings."

The festval also included a session on the importance of LGBT history, including a film from the United Nations series of LGBT films "Free and Equal."

Future events: Cervantes, Institute, 8th Nordic Rainbow Month

"We hope that Norrtälje and Roslagen will join us in October as part of the 8th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month -- traditionally shared with colleagues in Estonia, Finland and Denmark," says Bill Schiller of Tupilak, ILGCN and the international committee of LGBT History Months. "We have more UN films and other short films to screen -- and can provide a lively discussion over the importance of rainbow culture and history!".

The next Stockholm event for Tupilak/ILGCN will be September 15 at the Cervantes Institute, with award ceremonies via Zoom for Spanish artists Javier Trelis Sempera and Manolo Yanes, the Swedish/Chilean photography Berto Lee. Music and songs from Argentinian Marysol de Pablo and Julietta Brizzi, and input from Cuban organizers of the Cuban LGBT History Month -- Juan Carlos Gutiérrez and Raúl Pérz Monzon -- also with their Spanish-language short film about the International Committee of LGBT History Months.

Poetry in Spanish is to be provided ty Tupilak's "house poet," Tomas Åberg of Sweden.

Malga Kubiak and Viktor Morka in Nortälje
Malga Kubiak and Viktor Morka in Nortälje

Saturday, August 26, 2023


Stockholm -- Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) had an usual five seminars this time at Stockholm Pride in the first week of August, 2023 -- 3 at Pride House at Clarion Hotel, 2 at Pride in the City including at a friendly Gamla Stan hotel after the rain washed out plans for a planned open-air café.

The Tupilak/ILGCN seminars covered LGBT history, the power of LGBT culture, the work of the International Commitee on LGBT History Months and the Nordic campaign to establish LGBT monuments in this region as well as the rest of the world -- with a congratulations to Gothenburg to unveal this November the first permant LGBT monument in the Nordic zone.

Other seminar discussions covered Nordic rainbow co-operation and solidarity over the years with colleagues in Eastern Europe and beyond. All 5 seminars included rainbow art and photography from the Tupilak/ILGCN collection from over 70 nations and film screenings from Sweden, the Nordic region, Canada, the U.S., the UK and from the UN short film series, "Free and Equal.".

Awards to UK/South Africa, to a Swedish Theater Company
Award diplomas handed out during the week at Pride in the City events went to South African/British movemaker, Melanie Chait (via Zoom), honored for her moving documentary of her partner's last years of life and struggle with breast cancer in "Dance Me to the End of Time."
And -- in person -- to the Swedish theater company, Katakombe, for their powerful music/song/drama, "Jag vill Ju Bara Leva (I Just Want to Live)" portraying the fate of three individuals destroyed by the Nazi regime -- a Jewish woman, a gay man, and a female dissident activist. The company is now planning performances in Malmö, Uppsala and returning to Stockholm.
The Stockholm Pride House this year had a large number of seminars with foreign invited guests dedicated to international solidarity -- focusing on Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Asian nations, Turkey and the Balkan nations of Albania, Serbia and Montenegro.

Future Tupilak/ILGCN events
The next planned events will be film screenings and discussion of LGBT history at the Roslagens Pride in Norrtälje on August 21/22 -- with the film award going to Viktor Mörk of the Warsaw LGBT Film Festival, a Spanish-language culture and history event on September 15 with award diplomas (via Zoom) to two gay Spanish artists and with a report on the Cuban LGBT History Month (via Zoom), in Stockholm at the Cervantes Institute.
Then the October Nordic Rainbow History and Culture Month (shared with Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark) -- with discussions, performances, art exhibits, film screenings and input from Romania, Canada, Hungary, Japan, U.S. and Cuba.
Melanie and Dance me to the End of Time

 Katakombe Poster

Katakombe award ceremony with actor
Stefan Clarin, text writer Emma Broström,
producer Martin Johansson, and friends
and supporters

Melanie Chait

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