PRESS RELEASE August 30, 2017
2nd NORDIC RAINBOW HISTORY & ART MONTH -- October, 2017
Stockholm -- Preparations continue for this the second annual Nordic LGBT History and Art Month -- again including Nordic capitals and smaller cities on both sides of the Baltic Sea -- such as Umeå, Stockholm, Södertälje, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Vilnius, Jönköping and Rakvere, Estonia.
The programs include presentations, seminars, art and photography, film screenings, performances, music, poetry and literature readings – part of an event inspired by other LGBT history months in London, Edinburgh, Chicago, Budapest and elsewhere. The event is being organized by the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) in collaboration with Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers), Nordic Rainbow Humanists, Bears International and local and national LGBT organizations and festivals.
The historic Month begins once again in northern Sweden at Umeå Pride on October 1st. The Month also joins the first-ever rainbow film festival, Hartfest, in the northern Estonian city of Rakvere October 6-8, following events in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.
British, Danish Swedish Participation
At the Stockholm and Södertälje stages of the Month, the "guest of honor" and key-note speaker will be Professor Sue Sanders -- who launched the London LGBT History Month in 2005 – and who will also provide seminars on UK rainbow cultural life and the progress of the British months. Another special guest at the Stockholm and Södertälje events will be Birthe Havmöller of Denmark, creator of the global women's art and photography archive, "Feminine Moments," as well as Swedish film maker, Cecilia Neant-Falk, commenting on her work. Music will be provided in Stockholm by the Swedish duo, “Weed,” and in Södertälje by veteran Swedish singer and song-writer, Jan Hammarlund.
The Gothenberg stage is scheduled for October 15-16. At the Jönköping stage October 21, Njeri Olenkere of RFSL will discribe local LGBT history and culture while Bill Schiller will cover research into Nazi and neo Nazi persecution of LGBT people and the importance of the elderly in the struggle for LGBT culture, identity and history.
The Reykjavik stage is scheduled for October 24 in the Icelandic capital. Another British guest at the later days of the Month will be Tony Fenwick of "Schools Out-UK." At the Vilnius stage in October 25-26, Tatiante Kovacova of the Gay Lithuanian League will describe the history of the organization and LGBT culture in this Baltic state. Also, a presentation from the LGBT Journalists Group from neighboring Belarus. – describing their work challenging the hostile, homophobic media in this the last dictatorship in Eastern Europe.
Humanism, Norwegian LGBT History in Helsinki
The Copenhagen stage is scheduled for October 28-29. Among the guest speakers at the Helsinki stage October 30-31 will be Rolf Solheim of Oslo-- describing the rainbow history and culture of Norway and the support for LGBT rights by the international humanist movement. Mikko Misha Autio of the LGBT culture center at Bear Park Café and gay theater group in Helsinki will describe his work and the Finnish rainbow cultural scene.
Special attention at various stages will be given to the LGBT movements in the eastern edge of the Nordic zone -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania -- facing fierce intolerance from political and religious leaders, mass media and homophobic hooligans and neo-nazis. Another aim is the promotion for more LGBT co-operation and exchange between Nordic cities on both sides of the Baltic Sea.
Yet another focus will be on growing co-operation between Bears in the Nordic region and colleagues in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe – including the new Belarus Bear group, Lokys – defying homophobic statements by politicians, religious leaders and the mass media claiming that gays are “weak, feminine and only “half men” -- deserving no human rights and no protection from violent attacks.”
Other guest speakers will come from refugee/immigrant communities and embassies in the Nordic zone -- including LGBT activists and culture workers forced to seek asylum in Sweden and elsewhere in the Nordic region. Others will come from the trans communities, the differently-abled, HIV positives, and the elderly so often ignored in LGBT events.
More information: Bill Schiller of the ILGCN, Tupilak: firstname.lastname@example.org
Curators at the LGBT art/film exhibitions at the Södertälje Art Gallery -- (weeks 41/42):
Cecilia Neant-Falk (facebook) and Sarah Florén email@example.com
Note: All stages of the Nordic Month are without entrance fees open to all interested. Alas, the 2nd Month has no travel funds although private accommodation may be provided when possible for visiting guests.
Some Nordic embassies are providing some support for visiting nationals.
Picture: Golden Viking same-sex emblemsl