Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A reminder

The ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm, Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers), the Nordic Rainbow Network, Bears International and the Nordic Association invite you to prologue planning sessions for the:

2nd Nordic Rainbow History & & Art Month -- October, 2017
(10 Nordic cities)

Vilnius, Lithuania -- Monday, March 27, 16.00 at Paviljonas Café (Pylimos St. 26 b) (near Old Town) (with Belarus colleagues)

Stockholm, Sweden -- Wednesday, March 29 19.00 at Secret Garden Café (Kornhamns torg 59) (Old Town)

Stockholm, Sweden -- Thursday, March 30 19.00 at Nordic Association (Förening Norden) (Drottningsgatan 30) (T-Centralen)

More information: bill@tupilak.org

Friday, March 17, 2017


    Playa del Inglés --  Discussions on the importance of Bear presence on the local, national and internationa rainbow barricades -- and Bear culture --  took place March 9-10, 2017 in this site on the Canary Islands.

    "This is even more important in places like Eastern Europe -- helping break stereotyps held by media, religious leaders, politicians and homophobic hooligans -- insisting that gays are weak, feminine, working in unimportant professions and are only "half men" -- deserving no human rights and no protection from homophobic violence," says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN's (rainbow culture international) Bears International.

    Other discussions concentrated on the growing existence of Bear culture in the form of art, photography, poetry, films and more.

    Bears International's annual art diploma winners for 2017 were also announced -- going to French-born New Zealand resident, Christophe Jannin-Powell and Luis Loras of Spain -- both honored for outstanding Bear sketches and drawing and public art exhibitions.

    "I am very honored by this award," Loras said in a facebook comment.  "I am proud to receive this recognition," wrote Jannin-Powell.

    "I was surprised to fine out that even some pioneers of the LGBT movement on the islands here were unaware of Franco´s gay concentration camp Tefía on the island of Fuerteventrua -- opened 10 years after Auschwitz was liberated .. and running for a decade before falling into oblivion until only a few years ago, " Schiller said, refering to his monologue "Grey Ghosts of Tefía" honoring those gays imprisoned in the camp.

   Bear Talk discussions took place at the oldest Bear bar in the gay-dominated Jumbo Center, Bärenhöhle and the newest Bear bar there, MIAU.

   The event was also supported by the annual, Bear prize-winning Bear Carnaval - Maspalomas -- taking place this year March 19-27.

   The next Bear Talk is planned during the Baltic Pride-Tallinn in the Estonian capital July 6-9, 2017.

   More information at bill@tupilak.org.

Bears International aims at promoting Bear culture and international solidarity and exchange -- and is open to female, male, trans, immigrant/refugees and all other Bears and Bear supporters. 

Located as a link on the ILGCN (rainbow culture international) website:  www.ilgcn.tupilak.org

Monday, January 30, 2017


Coming events:

Maspalomas, Spain:  March 9-10 -- Bears International's "Bears on the Barricades/Bear Culture" 
                                   (prior to Maspalomas Bear Carnival)

Kiev:  May 9-13 -- Bears International at Ukrainian Bears celebrations (Eurovision Song Festival)

Ukrainian Bears in Kiev

Stockholm:  May 17 -- Bears International at IDAHO DAY salute

Budapest:  July 3-5 -- Bears International at ILGCN International Rainbow Culture Conference 
                                 (sidelines of Budapest Pride July 3-12)

Tallinn:  July 6-9 -- Bears International at Baltic Pride-Tallinn

​Tallinn:  April 21-23 --  Tallinn Bearty 2017 - Bear music & culture 

Join us!   Add your event to the list..?   Contact us!

Bill Schiller, international secretary    bill@tupilak.org       www.ilgcn.tupilak.org

Bear award in Maspalomas: ​Bill Schiller, BI international secretary (left),
award winner Lobo (center) of Bear Carnival - Maspalomas, Peter F., Sweden  


BEARS INTERNATIONAL -- a network promoting Bear visibilityinternational LGBT solidarity & culture 
                                          (art, photography, music, films, poetry, literature)

                                  Open to all rainbow Bears -- including Ursula and other female Bears,
                                      trans Bears, refugee/immigrant Bears and bi-sexual Bears.

No membership fees!

Sunday, December 18, 2016


Stockholm -- Discussions, cultural presentations, poetry, art, films and evaluation of the 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month - October, 2016 (Umeå-Stockholm-Vilnius) took place in the Swedish capital December 10-13 -- co-sponsored by Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers), Bears International and the Nordic Association-Sweden.

The gatherings included a Swedish "skål" to the December 10th International Human Rights Day at Sidetrack pub (one of the same venues used in October) and meetings at the PositHIVa Group local, the Old Town island pub Secret Garden and the downtown offices of the Nordic Association, with a presentaton there also of Jukka Aminoff, managing director of Noak's Ark working with HIV/AIDS information and support, describing its history, use of art, music and films and future plans.

Art exhibtions included works from Belarus, Ukraine and samples from all the Nordic nations from the ILGCN/Tupilak collections as well as "Rainbow Flowers" by Sweden's Kennet Lindquist. Live music and song at the final session was provided by Sweden's Christine Zawall, singing in Polish.

It was decided that the 2nd Nordic Rainbow History Month be expanded to include other Nordic cities -- both in the western part of the vast Nordic region and all the Nordic nations on the eastern side of the Baltic -- , more LGBT organizations in the Nordic zone, more LGBT refugees and immigrants, and more programs of Nordic-Belarus co-operation. The Nordic month organizers are also to work for increased exchanges with other LGBT history month colleagues in Budapest, Edinburgh, London and elsewhere.

It was also decided to encourage the search for Nordic grants for Swedish-Danish and Swedish-Icelandic rainbow cultural exchange in 2017 and Swedish Institute support for more Swedish-Belarus LGBT cultural exchange as well as other sources.

Also at the last session, a statement was read out from ILGCN Orfeo Imago (for art and photography) 2016 award winner, Denmark's Birthe Havmöller:

"I am honoured and happy to share the award with the organisers of the Nordic & Baltic Queer Art Network. Feminine Moments is a child of the end of the 1990's and the website was born in 2003, when I finally was confident that the Internet was working well enough for my use as my main source for materials and research about queer feminist art and fine art made by lesbian, bisexual and queer women artists around the world.

"Feminine Moments (art blog and resource site) is my gift to the art world, the homosexual communities and the queer feminist artists around the world. And as the editor of the website, I still feel it is important to push queer art and the women artists as they are only marginally more visible than they were a decade ago.'

Rainbow Flowers by Kennet Lindquist (copyright)
Birthe Havmöller, Denmark   
Christine Zawall (photo by Kennet Lindquist)
More information:  bill@tupilak.org     www.tupilak.org    www.ilgcn.tupilak.org 

Monday, November 14, 2016


Stockholm -- Members of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers), ILGCN (rainbow culture international) and Bears International and others saluted the victims of fascism and neo-facism at a November 9th ceremony in the Swedish capital marking Kristallnacht -- the Ínternational Day against Fascism -- with presentations, discussions, poetry, art and photography.

Swedish Tupilak member, Tomas Åberg read his moving poem entitled "Kristalnacht" and other poems, and artist Bo Bergstrand read the poem of famous Swedish lesbian poet, Karin Boje, "Nattjar" -- about a darkly feathered bird searching in the night for the blue dawn's light -- a poem read in the Auschwitz museum during the historic, first-ever LGBT official visit to the Nazi death camp in Poland.

The ILGCN Information Secretariat's Bill Schiller read a statement honoring the Amsterdam-based human right group, "United," for inspiring November 9 events all over the world, stating that the anniversary not only signaled the smashing of Jewish shop windows in Germany in 1938 but also launching the mass deportation of Jews, Roma, dissidents, LGBT people and others to Nazi concentration camps all over Europe.

The statment also paid tribute to Irishman Roger Casement, hung by the British exactly 100 years ago after his "Black Diaries" of his same-sex contacts were spread by a homophobic press destroying his appeal for clemency, Vadim Kozin -- homosexual Russian singer arrested by the KGB in 1945 and sent to Siberia, gay Belarus culture worker Misha murded by a homophobic hooligan in Minsk as well as Faroes activist Rasmus Rasmussen and Hungarian gay activist, Milan Rozsa-- both driven to despair into taking their own lives.

November 9 anti-fascist exhibition (photo by Joakim of Sweden) 
November 9 participants, Stockholm (photo by Joakihm of Sweden)

Discussion of Evaluation of the Nordic Rainbow Month 

Some discussion took focused on the planned evaluation sessions this December 10-13 of the 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month -October 2016 which took place in the northern Swedish city of Umeå, Stockholm and the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.  

The Stockholm session included presentations about Nazi and neo Nazi persecution of LGBT people presented by Colin de la Motte-Sherman of Berlin, the ILGCN History Secretariat.   Plans were also discussed about next year's Nordic History Month with hopes of including more Nordic cities.

More information:  bill@tupilak.org     www.tupilak.org    www.ilgcn.tupilak.org 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

1st Nordic Rainbow Month in Lithuania

    Vilnius -- The third and last stage of the ILGCN's (rainbow culture international) /Tupilak’s  & Bears International's 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Arts Month 2016 has ended in the Lithuanian capital October 29-31 with presentations, discussions, poetry, films, art and photography. This followed three weeks of events in the Swedish capital and the opening, first two days of October in Umeå in the far north of Sweden.

    Lithuanian artists and curators Karolina RimkutéGabriéle Gervickaité and Laima Kreivyté presented the often dramatic history and present the sensitive situation of Lithuanian rainbow art and photography as a powerful part of the struggle against discrimination and homophobia.

    Former Lithuanian parliamentarian, Marija Pavilioniené, who finally received in person the ILGCN's "Bifrost 2014" award diploma -- for bridge-building between the heterosexual and LGBT communities -- also praised the importance of LGBT culture, confirmed the role of the Baltic nations as part of the Nordic family and immediately became a member of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) which has been supporting the month-long event. 

    Ingrida Kaulinyte, working with the Lithuanian Gay League, made a thorough, photo-filled presentation of the history of the LGL -- including videos banned by the authorities for "spreading" LGBT propaganda."   She and other LGL colleagues received the ILGCN "Arco Nordica 2016" diploma honoring the organizers of the highly-praised Baltic Pride-Vilnius of June, 2016.   The award is given in honor of the late, pioneering gay activist, Rasmus Rasmmusen, of the Faroe Islands.

                                                     Bifrost Award to Swedish Embassy

    At the History Month's final day -- October 31 -- which took place at the Swedish Embassy, first secretary Susanna Hughes re-newed the embassy's support for the Lithuanian LGBT struggle against discrimination and for human rights. On behalf of the embassy, she also received the ILGCN "Bifrost 2016" award -- named after the Viking word for the "rainbow."  She also confirmed that the brand new Swedish ambassador to Lithuania will continue the strong and public support given to the LGBT community by the last Swedish envoy to Vilnius.

     "Discussions included pledges to make joint Swedish-Lithuanian efforts to include LGBT colleagues from neighboring Belarus -- the last dictatorship in Eastern Europe -- in the next Nordic History Month and other events in both countries.  Another pledge aimed at attempting to link Swedish and Lithuanian trans persons for mutual contact and support and another to seek still-hidden LGBT Bears in Lithuania -- as stereotype-breaking personalities needed on the rainbow barricades and future members of Bears International," said Bill Schiller of the ILGCN, Tupilak and Bears International.

     "Other pledges were made to work together to encourage more Nordic cities to join in the events of the 2nd Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month - 2017," concluded Schiller.  

      The 0-budget event in Vilnius was made possible by the rent-free provision of space at the Paviljonas café -- which functioned as the Baltic Pride 2016 information center -- and the Swedish Embassy situated in the historic Old Town of Vilnius.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Last phase in Vilnius October 29-31, 2016 


Stockholm -- The ILGCN's (rainbow culture international) and Bears International's  1st Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month stage in the Swedish capital has been completed with seminars, performances, poetry, film screening and art and photo exhibitions.   This followed the Month's first 2 days in the northern Swedish city of Umeå October 1,2 and is to be followed in turn by the last 3 days in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius October 29-31.

Special guest speakers were Vilmos Hanti, Budapest-based president of FIR --the international anti-facist organization David Veres -- chairman of the European Rainbow Humanists., Ulf Andersson, editor of Sweden's Amnesty PressColin de la Motte-Sherman -- secretary general of the ILGCN History Secretariat-Berlin and Andrus K. co-secretary general of the ILGCN Eastern European Secretariat-Minsk.

Brazilian ILGCN cultural ambassador Anders Ödvall made a moving tribute to the life and songs of Brazilian gay singer, Renato Russo, who died of AIDS exactly 20 years ago.  Amanda Walkabout of Sweden and Apila Miettinen of Finland presented their Nordic-supported campaign "Lilies of the Streets" against prostitution and trafficking of both young men and women, and Swedish journalist Ivar Andersen and photographer Christofer Hjalmarsson provided a powerful description of the violence-filled realities facing gays in Afghanistan.

The Stockholm stage also focused on history and rainbow culture of  Iran, Kurdistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhistan, Hungary, Poland  Sweden, Lithuania, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, the U.K., Iceland, Russia, Belarus and Ireland as well as on the media, elderly, refugees, trans, bisexuals, HIV/AIDS, sports and Bears both in the Nordic region and beyond.

The Stockolm stage of the history month was supported by the Nordic Association - Sweden, Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and Nordic Rainbow Humanists,  and included the 2nd stage of this year's ILGCN international conference following stage 1 in Palanga, Lithuania last June..
ILGCN, Tupilak awards handed out, announced

ILGCN's "Clio's Silver Cup" history awards were handed out in person to pioneer film maker Marie Falksten of "Eva and Maria" fame, and LGBT book shop "Medusa" creator,  Karin Lindequist -- both of Sweden.  ILGCN's new award for international film making "Wings" -- named after the exactly 100-year-old film by homosexual Swedish film maker, Maurice Stiller  -- went to Maria Binder from Germany, and the ILGCN"Sappho in Paradise" literature award went to Greenlandic author Niviaq Korneliussen for her "Homo sapienne."  ILGCN's "Arco Imago" went jointly to Denmark's Birthe Havmöller for her art/photo archive,"Feminine Moments" and the Danish/Estonian-run "Nordic & Baltic Queer Art NetworkLatvia's openly gay Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has received the ILGCN Rainbow Warrior 2016. 

Bears International announced its first "Bear Art 2016" awards going jointly to art photographer, Luke Darko of Paris and London-based artists/curators Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter.

 "We're proud finally  to join other cities running LGBT History Months such as Budapest, Edinburgh, London and some American cities," says Bill Schiller, secretary general of the ILGCN Information Secretariat - Stockholm and Tupilak's international secretary." "We're looking forward to the month's final three days in Vilnius and hope that next year´s Nordic History & Art Month will expand to include additional Nordic cities."

"Because of the 0-budget status of our Stockholm event, we are thankful for the free-of-charge venues provided by the Nordic Association, the local of the PositHIVa gruppen, the Secret Garden and Side Track pubs and Salon Lugo," Schiller concludes.