Monday, December 12, 2011

Olena Shevchenko, in Stockholm  (Photos by Jussi Jässkeläinen)   
  Trio Continuo - Budapest



Special input from Ukraine and Hungary
Stockholm: 1st Nordic Fire Salutes East Europeans

    Stockholm -- The first Nordic Fire on Eastern European Rainbow Barricades festival took place in the Swedish capital November 25-27, 2011 with invited guests from Ukraine and Hungary as well as presentations on LGBT situations in Belgrade, Minsk, Riga, Helsinki and Bucharest.

     "We are fighting against the same law proposal against positive information about homosexuality now spreading to more Russian provinces," says Olena Shevchenko of the women's organization, Insight - Kiev, new ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network) cultural ambassador from Ukraine.

    Folk and classic music, song, and dance was provided at several of the festival venues by Tamás Lovas, Károly Varga and Sándor Fehér of the Continuo Trio of Budapest, the ILGCN cltural ambassadors of Hungary.

   "We are working with LGBT groups in St. Petersburg and in the Balkans, and hope more Helsinki Human Rights Committees in other countries will join us in work with LGBT human rights," says Peter Öholm of Civil Rights Defenders (formally the Swedish Helsinki Human Rights Committee).

                                    Tupilak and ILGCN awards for Swede, Poles

      At the Nordic Fire session at the CRD offices in the Stockholm Gamla Stan island, Swedish Liberal Party parliamentarian Barbro Westerholm received the annual Tupilak "Bifrost" awards honoring heterosexual bridge-builders uniting the LGBT and the heterosexual communities both in Sweden and abroad.

     The Polish Institute - Stockholm received the annual ILGCN "Rainbow Iceberg" award for promoting Polish and Swedish LGBT cultural exchange and for bringing Polish LGBT women and men to different Swedish Pride events and for promoting Polish and international art exhibitions and publications.

    "Thanks for this fine award. This appreciation for our work with this fanatic and moving motivation really means a lot to us," says Michal Piotrowski, project leader at the Polish Institute.

    Also at the CRD, Bill Schiller described the long history of Tupilak & ILGCN involvement with Eastern European colleagues and the emphasis on mutual exchange. "We were very impressed with the mutual interaction of LGBT groups in the Ukraine and Belarus with our Swedish groups," says Schiller over the recent 3-nation meetings in Kiev and Minsk made possible with support from the Swedish Institute -- the official body promoting international co-operation.

   RFSL chairperson Ulrika Westerlund also described the national Swedish LGBT organization's extensive international work with the Baltic states, Uganda and elsewhere, "The situation in Latvia is hardly easy and even those few open LGBT activists don't get much support from often very critical LGBT colleagues," says Kjell Rindar, former RFSL chairman and teacher at Latvian universities.

     "We are very happy to have had the financial support of ROHS (Swedish national LGBT solidarity organization) to make this min-festival "between" Stockholm Prides possible," says Bill Schiller, international secretary of Tupilak (Nordic rainbows cultural workers) and secretary general of the ILGCN's Information Secretariat in Stockholm.

    Alexander L. described the turbulent situation and extensive homophobia Serbian. (Belgrade is to be the site of one of the stages of next year's ILGCN world conference, along with Rio de Janeiro and the Crimean town of Seimiz.) while Finnish photographer Jussi Jässkeläinen described his work with Bucharest and Helsinki Prides.

                                 Films, Music, Photography, Discussions at Posithivagruppen

     "We are pleased to have another Tupilak event at our premises," states Ola Ståhle of the Posithivagruppen (HIV positive men having sex with men) office, and we are happy to have colleagues from the Baltic states at our summer camps and hope to join in future Tupilak and ILGCN exchanges in Eastern Europe."
           LGBT Monument - Visby
        (Photo by Willi Reichhold)


    Films by Swedish Tupilak member Willi Reichhold described the recent Swedish-Ukrainian-Belarus solidarity visit to Kiev, the summer inauguration ceremony in Visby of the first Nordic LGBT monument on the shoreline of the Swedish Baltic island of Gotland and the "global survival" journey of plants and human beings in harsh conditions around the world.

    Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and Icelandic and Eastern European works from the Tupilak & ILGCN Travelling Art & Photography Exhibition were displayed at all the festival venues, including new photo series from Belarus and the Ukraine, and LGBT CD music from Poland and the Nordic nations were played at festival venues as well.

      Other foreign visitors taking part in discussions at the CRD office, the Bio Rio, Posithivagruppen and the LGBT cultural center Hallongrottan came from Norway, Finland, Kenya and Somalia.

                                                                      Next stop: Estonia, Russia, Belarus

    "We hope the next Nordic Fire festival in Stockholm at the end of next March will focus on Swedish and Nordic LGBT co-operation with Estonia, Russia and Belarus," concludes Bill Schiller. "Once again we'll ask our Tupilak colleagues and the national LGBT organizations in the Nordic region to join us. We hope the Nordic Fire festival can be duplicated elsewhere in the Nordic region -- and we'll discuss this at coming Nordic-Baltic-Polish-Russian-Belarus Rainbow Network meetings coming up in Stockholm and other Nordic capitals during 2012."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nordic Fire

 Hi dear Tupilak supporters and friends!
The coming festival is just around the corner! We hope to see you the coming weekend. 

Warm regards
Zafire Vrba

Here is the updated program:

NORDIC FIRE  on Eastern European Rainbow Barricades     

-- a mini-festival between Prides          on LGBT rights, identity & culture
Stockholm, November 25-27, 2011
          Free entrance!                                                                                                                                                       
Special guests, Seminars,  Discussions, Art, Photography, Films, Performances,   
       Award ceremonies                                                                                                                                                                                                     
An event organized by: 
TUPILAK (Nordic rainbow cultural workers)/  ROHS (Swedish National Organization for LGBT Solidarity)
FRIDAY, November 25 
12.00   LGBT discussions at Civil Rights Defenders (Note: limited space!)  
(Stora Nygatan 26  T-bana Gamla Stan)  
                   Peter Öholm –  CRD work with LGBT organizations      
                     Lena Shevchenko – Insight – Kiev   
  Ulrika Westerlund – RFSL's international work 
             Jussi Jääskeläinen (Finland): Bucharest Pride       
Tamás Lovas – Rainbows in Budapest            
               Bill Schiller - Tupilak/ILGCN in Eastern Europe    
                         Salute to "UN day against violence  against women"
   Tupilak "2011 Bifrost" – Barbro Westerholm, Liberal parliamentarian 
Polish Institute-Stockholm -- ILGCN "Rainbow Iceberg" Award 
16.00-18.00        Discussions at Bio Rio (Salong 4) NEW LOCATION!!
                                   (Hornstulls Strand 13    T-bana Hornstull)
                                Dmitri Plax -- Rainbows in Belarus
            Lena Shevchenko -- Insight's cultural work – Kiev   
                  Jussi Jääskeläinen (Finland) -- Bucharest Pride
          Tamás Lovas – Rainbows in Budapest            
Bill Schiller -- Tupilak/ILGCN in Eastern Europe                            
Films:  "Visby: 1st Nordic LGBT Monument"                          
              "Tupilak in Kiev" – Willi Reichhold             
            Performances: Continuo Trio - ILGCN ambassadors - Budapest                                       
                               Mad Monk – readings from the Humanist Bible
Rainbow CD Music: Nordic region, Eastern Europe                                                                      
Publications:  "Ars Homo Erotica" (National Art Gallery - Warsaw),             
         "Pride Art:  Gay Art from Poland"  – Pavel Leskowicz                               
                                              "Queer Warsaw" - anthology
                       SATURDAY , November 26  
  Study visits including POSITHIVAGRUPPEN with Ola Ståhle     
 (Tjurbergsgatan 29 T-ban Skanstull) 
Evening performance of Continue Trio - Budapest  20.00  at Posithivagruppen     
                                                                       SUNDAY, November 27    17.00-20.00  
                        Discussions, performances, films  at:    Hallongrottan   
                                                                 Bergsundsgatan 25 (T-bana Hornstull)
Sabina Carlsson – UN WomenLena Shevchenko -- Insight – Kiev   
     Tamás Lovas – Rainbows in Budapest            
                                              Kjell Rindar – Rainbows in Latvia     
                          Bill Schiller -- Tupilak/ILGCN in Eastern Europe                           
Films:  "Visby: 1st Nordic LGBT Monument"    "Tupilak in Kiev"
                              – Willi Reichhold   
  MUSIK by Continuo (Classic & Folk) Trio - ILGCN cultural ambassadors,  Budapest          
Rainbow CD Music: from the Nordic region, Eastern Europe                                                                      
Tupilak & ILGCN Art & Photos from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Czeck Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania
Next 'Nordic Fire on Eastern European Rainbow Barricades' Festival 
 Stockholm, Spring 2012    
 NORDIC FIRE Festival Participants/Supporters/Contributors:

Hallongrottan              Nordic Rainbow Humanists  
Nordic Rainbow Council
   Bio Rio   Civil Rights Defenders    Insight -Kiev      RFSL     POSITHIVAGRUPPEN                  
TUPILAK (Nordic rainbow cultural workers)       
ILGCN (International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network)                                   ROHS (Swedish National Organization for LGBT Solidarity)
                      Nordic-Baltic-Polish-Russian-Belarus-Network            MOONBOW Festivals      Kungliga Musikhögskola (Royal College of Music) 
 Noble Travel                                                  
 Tupilak & ILGCN Travelling Art & Photo Exhibit  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hello from Tupilak

Hello dear friends! Hej kära vänner!

Some of you are new members, some of you have been members or supporters of Tupilak for a long time.
As the new chair person I want to say hello and invite you to the up-coming event Nordic Fire on Eastern European Rainbow Barricades - a mini festival between Prides on LGBT rights, identity and culture. 25-27/11- 2011 in Stockholm, Sweden. The program is attached as a pdf-file. 

For those of you who can't make it to the festival, please keep giving your support to Tupilak by spreading the word or continue to be a member.
If you haven't paid your membership fee for 2012, please pay 50 SEK to our account: plusgiro 4983767-7 
Write your name, address and email so we can update our list of members.
If you don't want to be on our mailing list, unsubscribe by answering this email saying you don't want to stay on the list. 

All the best and hope to see you soon!

Warm regards
Zafire Vrba

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nordic Fire on Eastern European Rainbow Barricades

-- a mini-festival in Stockholm -- November 25-27, 2011.

Swedes, Belarus visit to Women's
Insight - Kiev                                                                                                                             Continuo Trio - Budapest

Special guests from Hungary, Ukraine, Finland, etc.. . Local experts on Belarus, Latvia, Romania, Poland.

Seminars, Discussions, Art, & Photography, Films, Performances, Award ceremonies.


Civil Rights Defenders office (Gamla Stan) -- Friday, November 25      (12.00)

Bio Rio  (Hornstull) -- Friday, November 25    (16.00)

POSITHIVAGRUPPEN  (Skanstull)  -- Saturday, November 26   (13.00)

Hallongrottan (Hornstull)  -- Sunday, November 27   (17.00)

CD's and art work from the Nordic region and Eastern Europe

No entrance fee.


Swedish-Ukrainian-Belarus LGBT Cultural Meeting in Minsk
Successful Tupilak/ILGCN Visit to Belarus

    Minsk/Stockholm – Swedish and Ukrainian queer delegations met with Belarus colleagues in the Belarus capital October 20-23,

Belarus Pride press conference 2011—the 2nd stage in the 3-nation project following a similar meeting in Kiev in October – also Minsk supported by the Swedish Institute, the official body promoting Swedish international exchange and co- operation.

"We were very pleased to have had this international input into our Belarus Pride,” says Natasha P. of the GayBelarus organization. “And to have once again Swedes joining us in Minsk!”

   Despite the ban on any Pride parade, Belarus and foreign LGBT visitors “outwalked” any potential homophobic followers through numerous city streets in different groups, jumped into vehicles and re-appeared in a distant suburb – unfurling rainbow flags, marching a short stretch in the streets and cheering the release of a giant rainbow banner carried to the skies by large helium-filled balloons – to the delight of a crowd of Belarus newspaper, radio and television journalists.

                                   Interested and supportive Belarus media

      We wery pleased and surprised to see so many Belarus and Polish journalists present both at the GayBelarus office press conference and at the parade – and the positive response and intelligent questions – and great coverage in the media, ” maintains Bill Schiller, Swedish Radio journalist and international secretary of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers). “And we are very happy that our 3-way meeting could be part of Belarus Pride – no doubt one of the most important Prides in Europe today.”

    The meeting included country-be-country presentations, seminars and discussions, Swedish film screenings and music provided by well-known Belarus singers and musicians calling for democratic rule in this the last dictatorship in East Europe, as well as a musical and dance-filled performance by members of the internationally-famous Belarus Underground Theater – banned by the regime.

    “Our meetings in Kiev and Minsk have been very beneficial and show what our organizations can learn from – and teach each other,” says Olena Shevchenko of the women’s organization Insight of Kiev, who also informed the delegates about the importance of working against the Ukrainian government’s and parliament’s plans to crack down on positive information about homosexuality.

    During the visit, the three national delegations also visited the office of the internationally-finance Belarus organization working with men having sex with men and combating HIV and AIDS.

     “These meetings have given us new inspiration on how to work in new ways for LGBT rights also using rainbow culture as a weapon against discrimination and phobias – including the discrimination of those with HIV and AIDS,” says Taras L. of the Men’s Alliance – Kiev.

      The visit also included displays of art and photo exhibitions from Tupilak and the ILGCN (International queer cultural network) which has works from nearly 40 nations and now has new brand donations from the Ukraine and Belarus.

                                 More Belarus photos and art work on the way

    “I was very impressed with the international exhibit and will create a special Belarus exhibition at our next event” says journalist/photographer Alexander N., also editor of the biggest LGBT website in Belarus,.

     “We are working out plans for long-term Swedish-Belarus-Ukrainian rainbow co-operation – with our next event scheduled for June 1-2, 2012 in the Crimean port of Semiez,” says Slava Bortnik from Belarus Amnesty International and his nation’s second city, Gomel. “Overcoming the isolation of LGBT people in Belarus is crucial for our survival.”

     “We hope that the Swedish Institute will continue to provide assistance to make this future human rights and rainbow cultural co-operation possible between East and West,” concludes Bill Schiller, project co-ordinator and also secretary general of the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm.


More information: and

Photos by Elin Nordlinder and Willi Reichhold, Tupilak, Sweden

Nordic annual mega event in Swedish west coast port

Tupilak at Gothenburg Book & Library Fair September, 2011
Christina Kjellsson

      Gothenburg - Tupilak participated once again at the Gothenburg Book and Library Fair 2011 September 22-25 – the biggest annual cultural event in the Nordic region – at the International Square, both handing out printed material, displaying books and CD’s, meeting the public and presenting form the main stage Tupilak’s work with Eastern European colleagues.

          Included in the stage presentation was the Tupilak annual “Sowelu” award presentation to Swedish singer, musician and song writer Christina Kjellsson, who came up to receive her award. She was honored for her year’s-long contribution to the Nordic rainbow cultural scene and for the use of her music via CD’s at Tupilak events at Nordic, Baltic and Eastern European rainbow solidarity events.

        Tupilak shared its stand this year with the newly-created Göteborgs Rättighets Center (Gothenburgs Human Rights Center) – including RFSL-Gothenburg, Homan (working with rainbow refugees) and other LGBT organizations. At the stand , art and photography from the Travelling Tupilak & ILGCN (International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network) Art & Photo Exhibition were on display.


Kiev: Men´s Alliance

Women's Insight Office, Kiev (photos by Willi Reichhold, Sweden)

Swedish-Ukrainian-Belarus LGBT culture co-operation

TUPILAK VISIT TO KIEV - stage 1 of 3

     Kiev/Stockholm - A Tupilak delegation has recently returned from a September 2-4, 2011meeting with Ukrainian, Belarus and Swedish LGBT activists and cultural workers in Kiev -- a trip made possible thanks to support from the Swedish Institute.

      This included performances, art & photo exhibits, films, lively discussions and seminars as well as planning for future rainbow co-operation between the three countries.

    Information and photos about the visit to Kiev will be presented at Tupilak's last-Sunday-of the-month cultural afternoon at the Stockolm cultural center, Hallongrottan on October 30 (see below.)

     Next stops in this Swedish-Belarus-Ukrainian rainbow solidarity project will be in Minsk October 21-23, 2011 and the Crimea June 1-3, 2012.

Monday, March 21, 2011



Bergsundsgatan 25 (tel. 658 1320) (T-ban Hornstull) Stockholm

Afternoon ... last Sunday of the month.

Gäst presentation, konst, foto, film, utländska gäster, information om
framtids projekt och internationella samarbete*

Guest speakers from Sweden and abroad. Art, photos, films, information
about solidarity projects in Sweden, elsewhere in the Nordic region and

Nästa gång: Söndagen 27 mars från 17.00*. Sunday, March 27. From

( Obs!!! 15 minut styreslemöte 17.00 -- alla välkomna!!)

Also supported by: ILGCN (International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network)
Information Secretariat-Stockholm

Nordic Rainbow Council

Nordic Rainbow Humanists

ROHS (Riks organisation för homosexuella solidaritet)
(Swedish National Organization for LGBT Solidarity)

Monday, February 14, 2011


2011: April-May - Ankara/Istanbul, August-September - Crimea


     Istanbul/Simeiz -- Local organizers, the ILGCN Information Secretariat in Stockholm and ILGCN co-ordinators and ambassadors in a number of countries are planning activities for the two ILGCN world rainbow conference/festival stages for the coming year.

       "The discussions, performances, exhibits and much more will be part of the 6th International Meeting against Homophobia to be held in several Turkish cities in the spring of 2011," says organizer Nevin Öztop of Kaos -Turkey.

   "We hope joining us at the ILGCN stage April 26-30 in Istanbul and May 5-6 in Ankara  will be such ILGCN personalities as Pavel Leszkowicz -- who created the sensational and historic ‘Ars Homo Erotica’ exhibition at Warsaw Pride at the Polish National Art Museum,” says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm.

     “And also Michael Gfroerer, prize-winning Canadian composer and musician as well as secretary general of the ILGCN North American Secretariat – Toronto, and Sweden’s well-known lesbian photographer, Elisabethe Ohlson Wallin to talk about her latest exhibit “Jerusalem” challenging the homophobia of the three world religious, and show some smashing art films from Canadian artist Leif Harmsen and his "Nudes in digitals."

       "I hope to present a seminar on the creation of a non-commercial LGBT publishing house as we have done in London," says Ian Stewart of the ILGCN Literature Secretariat. "And we will be very proud finally to hand over in person the ILGCN-Paradise Press award diploma for outstanding contributions to rainbow publishing and writing to the Turkish publication Kaos since we've been waiting several years to do this!"

                                       Humanists on the Rainbow Barricades

      "I hope to present my multi-media program on humanist on the rainbow n barricades illustrating the battle against intolerance in the world's religions," says Rolf Solheim of the Norwegian Humanist Association and the Nordic Rainbow Humanists, who has ́made has his presentations around the Nordic region and in Poznan, Bucharest and other Eastern European cities.

     "We want very much to present the latest information about the rainbow scene in Poland and especially in Belarus," says Lukasz Palucki" of the ILGCN Eastern European Secretariat - Warsaw "and also to help put a special emphasis on the importance of rainbow history."

      "I hope to join the delegates in Turkey and document the event," says Finnish photographer Jussi Jääskeläinen, who documented the Nordic delegation's visit to Bucharest Pride several years ago.

         "We have art work and photography from over 30 countries in the Tupilak and the ILGCN’s Travelling Art & Photography Exhibit" – including the latest art work from French-Russian artist Vladimir Kara of Paris and “Vladiks of Minsk, “ adds Schiller.

    "I will be very pleased to perform at the ILGCN event in Turkey," says Swedish singer, musician and song-writer Peter Fröberg, who has performed at a number of ILGCN events and other international rainbow solidarity events throughout the Nordic region and in Eastern Europen cities.

    "We're very happy that we could re-schedule this event for Turkey after the cancellations of last year's plans because of the disruptions of the Icelandic volcanoe causing havoc in the international air traffic,” concludes Schiller.

                                                   2nd World Conference Stage in Crimea
Irina Sizova
      "This is also the site of one of my films about LGBT life in this part of Europe," says Belarus film director, Irina Sizova, who will also be screening the first Belarus LGBT documentary "They Still Smile" at the event.  "We also have some excellent support from some Ukrainian women who know the region well and the town itself."

     "We hope that colleagues from Belarus and Russia are able to join us," says Schiller. "And we're pleased that we have some member of the ILGCN Eastern European Secretariat in Warsaw to help us veterans of the local scene and regular visitors to this well-known gay resort town of Simeiz."

        The dates August 25- September 3 have been set to avoid the real summer crush but still to take advantage of the warmer weather in this very beautiful and rugged southern European seaside countryside.

ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference

1st stage: Istanbul May 6-8, Ankara -- May 10-11, 2011

2nd stage: Simeiz, Crimea/Ukraine August 29-September 3, 2011
Photo of the "Simeiz lion"  by Irina Sizova