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. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

1st Nordic Rainbow History & Arts Month
October, 2016

Umeå/Stockholm -- The 1st Nordic Rainbow History & Arts Month -- October, 2016 -- has been launched in the northern Swedish city of Umeå October 1and 2, in the last two days of their annual Pride there  -- with seminars, discussions, films, art and photography.

"This was a great feeling for Umeå Pride to have launched this historical month," says Umeå Pride project leader Mio of Queerförvaltningen, the main Pride organizer. "Making LGBT questions more visible is more important than ever with the right-wing winds blowing everywhere around us!"

"The participants of this segment of this pioneering Nordic month have made history," Bill Schiller of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (rainbow culture international)  told a cheering crowd from the Pride Park stage after the Pride parade marched through the city streets.  He jokingly added:  "We may be a bit slow sometimes in the Nordic zone -- perhaps because of the cold, northerly climate --  but we have finally caught up with LGBT-history month organizing colleagues in Budapest, Edinburgh, London and other southern cities."   

"Instead of limiting the event only to the capital city, the Nordic rainbow month follows the Umeå events by continuing in Stockholm and will end the month with the last three days in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius  -- since we regard our Baltic neighbors as solid members of the Nordic family," Schiller adds. "This month is a long-overdue focus on the history and art of the vast Nordic region -- stretching from the coast of North America in the West and to the borders of Russia and Belarus in the East."
One aim is to use rainbow culture and the history as powerful weapons in the battle against the invisibility and discrimination of those with HIV/AIDS, those with different abilities, trans, the youth, elderly, and refugees from such nations as KurdistanIranKazakhstan,  KyrgyzstanBelarusRussiaUganda.

Revitalizing Nordic LGBT Co-operation..?

The Stockholm stage will also include the 1st Tupilak  Art Fair, the birth of the 1st Nordic Rainbow Network (reviving the long-ago deceased Nordic Homo Council but this time also including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania),  stage 2 of the ILGCN World Rainbow Culture Conference 2016 (between stage 1 in Palanga, Lithuania last July and  stage 1 of  2017 in Budapest, Hungary), a Stockholm meeting of the European Rainbow Humanists, a Nordic session of Bears International and a Nordic fund-supported travelling exhibition on the devastating consequences of prostitution"Lilies of the Streets,and a photo exhibit from the international Association of Anti-Fascists.

"As a 0-budget event, we are very dependent on the generosity of rent-free locales in Stockholm offered by Nordic Association - Stockholm PositHIVagruppenSidetrack pub, Secret Garden  pub and the Folklore Centrum and such NGO organizations as the Central Asia GroupCivil Rights Defenders, as well as representatives from Swedish Amnesty Press, the Rainbow Library -- Umeå, the Canadian Embassy and the British Council," concludes Schiller.  

"In Vilnius, we are very pleased to have co-operation with colleagues in the national Lithuanian LGBT organization LGL and cultural workers in Vilnius for October 29-31, the closing days of this Nordic rainbow history month, " says Schiller.  "One of our aims in Vilnius is to include colleagues from neighboring Belarus -- eager for international contacts and support in their struggle against fierce homophobia in this last dictatorship in Eastern Europe." 



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