PRESS RELEASE January 3, 2008
"Blue Baltic" Festival to Link Swedish Capital with Cities in Nordic/Baltic Neighbors
TUPILAK LAUNCHES 2008 with NORDIC/BALTIC EMPHASIS, SPOTLIGHT on AIDS & CULTURE
Stockholm -- Tupilak, the Nordic organization of LGBT cultural workers in the Nordic area, is launching this year with special emphasis on co-operation projects in Sweden and in our Nordic and Baltic neighbors -- promoting the use of rainbow culture as a powerful weapon against homophobia, provincially and silence.
"We're adopting the excellent Polish idea of concrete East-West co-operation by launching the "Blue Baltic" happening " -- in Stockholm on July 19 at Södra Teatern (a week before EuroPride here) together with two cities in countries on the eastern shores of the Baltic -- pledging to increase mutual participation in each other's events. It had been hoped in vain that Europride organizers would adopt this concept to share the spotlight with Eastern European colleagues -- and maybe this may one day happen," says Tupilak chairman Bill Schiller, also general secretary of the ILGCN (International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network) Information Secretariat - Stockholm. "We have nothing against launching the idea on a smaller, less prestigious scale."
AIDS in Rainbow Culture: Baltic Spotlights and Shadows
Tupilak, the ILGCN, the Nordic Rainbow Council and the Nordic Rainbow Humanists are also planning a special cultural festival in connection with this year's May 17 IDAHO (The International Day Against Homophobia) in Stockholm -- with seminars, drama, poetry, photography, music, song and dance. The aim is to help illustrate how HIV and AIDS have been reflected -- or ignored -- in cultural life of the Nordic and Baltic region, and how rainbow culture can be better used to promote safer sex and responsibility -- especially where HIV has reached epidemic proportions in some of Sweden's eastern neighbors across the Baltic Sea.
Swedish and Polish participants at Equality Days In Poznan
Tupilak is also planning to send delegates, the travelling Tupilak/ILGCN art exhibit and films to Prides and other events in the region -- especially in the East, as well as with other "partners" in Eastern Europe such as Romania, with a Nordic-Romanian rainbow festival in Stockholm and in Bucharest during the year. The special relationship with colleagues in Belarus -- the homophobic and last East European dictatorship.
"We are attending the Nordic-Baltic conference in Warsaw February 7-10 hoping to check out what progress has been made int eh many recommendations made at the meeting in Gothenburg last September for increasing co-operation," Schiller adds. "We'll also try to attend the ILGCN world cultural conference stages in Helsinki on September 14 (part of the Tribade Days & Nights Festival) and Minneapolis/St. Paul September 19-21.
Tupilak's November 9 "Kristal Nacht" event -- held in Stockholm earlier and in other Baltic cities -- focusing on Nazi and neo Nazi persecution of homosexuals is searching for a new host city, while Tupilak's annual Moonbow art exhibit and the winter solstice festival are again booked for the Swedish capital.
"Of course, we'll be handing out our annual Tupilak, ILGCN, and other awards during the year to honor outstanding achievements in the world of rainbow culture and international human rights, "Schiller concludes. "We hope we also see a boost in new members among cultural workers and those who support rainbow culture -- since the 100 kronor membership fee and the moral support really helps a small organization like ours cross international and psychological barriers."