Press Release November 4, 2017
2nd NORDIC RAINBOW HISTORY MONTH ENDS in October 2017
Stockholm -- The 2nd Nordic Rainbow History & Art Month -- October, 2017 has come to an end with successful events in Umeå, Tallinn, Rakvere, Stockholm, Södertälje, Gothenburg, Riga, Vilnius, Reykjavik, Turku/Åbo and Helsinki including discussions, seminars, presentations, poetry readings, film screenings, art and photography exhibitions, theater/dance performances, drama monologues, song and music concerts and award ceremonies.
"We were especially proud to end our LGBT history month in Finland -- in Turku/Åbo with prize-winning Finnish dancers/choreographers Tiina Lindfors, Eeva Soine and Lassi Sairela of the prize-winning Eri dance theater company and in Helsinki at the prize-winning Bear Park Café -- as this Nordic nation celebrates its 100th anniversary of independence," says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) and Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers.) "No nation's history is complete without LGBT history and the enormous contribution of LGBT people to a nation's culture and history!" Eri also presented an evening performance at their theater saluting Finland´s 100 year anniversary with powerful LGBT elements.
"We were very pleased to have had Prof. Sue Sanders of the LGBT History Month-UK join us at the Stockholm and Södertälje stages of the Nordic Month and Tony Fenwick, CEO of Schools-Out-UK join us in Riga and Vilnius, as well as Oslo activist Rolf Solheim who made presentations about Norwegian LGBT history in Turku/Åbo and Helsinki," Schiller ads.
Unable to join the Vilnius stage of the Month because of the lack of funds, LGBT journalists and Lokys Bears of Belarus sent the participants a strong plea for co-operation and underlining the worsening situation for LGBT people in this the last dictatorship of Eastern Europe.
TUPILAK AND ILGCN AWARDS TO LGBT'S IN DENMARK, SWEDEN, FINLAND, ESTONIA
Speaking at the Stockholm session about her books such as "Homonationalism," Swedish journalist/author Anna-Maria Sörberg also received the 2017 Tupilak "Sowelu" award (for outstanding LGBT cultural contributions from women). Tupilak's 2017 "Thor's Hammer" award diplomas (for outstanding LGBT cultural contributions from men) handed out during the month went to Keio Soomelt -- organizer of the 1st LGBT Film Festival in Rakvere, Estonia -- and to Mikko Misha Autio of the Bear Park Café and the Helsinki Gay Theater. The editor of the research blog "Femine Moments," Birthe Havmöller of Denmark, finally received her ILGCN's 2015 "Orfeo Imago" award diploma (for outstanding contributions to LGBT art and photography) in person at the Stockholm event where she also made a presentation of her international collection of art and photos of lesbian and bi-sexual woman all over the world -- a well-illustrated presentation which she also made at the Södertälje Art Gallery.
The events in Stockholm event included song and music performances from the Swedish duo, "Weed," performing also in Södertälja at the city's Art Gallery along with veteran Swedish singer/song writer, Jan Hammarlund, asylum-seeking members of the Russian "Pussy Riot" group, Sweden's Zafire Vrba describing verbal retaliation to anti-trans insults and Sweden's Anders Ödvall, singing Brazilian songs and describing the life and songs of the late, gay Brazilian singer, Renato Russo.
MORE NORDIC CITIES NEXT YEAR...?
"The Nordic Month organizers really appreciate the solidarity of local, regional and national organizations supporting the event as well as many rainbow culture workers and activists. We also sincerely hope that those Nordic cities which could not be with us this year will join us in 2018 -- to help us confirm that Nordic LGBT solidarity is strong and that LGBT history and culture are an essential part of our battle for human rights and visibility -- and that although the Nordic nations and semi-independent territories may be small, together we are a real power house!"
"We are also pleased that we could confirm Tupilak's founding decision 25 years ago to include the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as solid members of the Nordic family -- and that we could include all three in this year's Nordic Month. We also want Nordic co-operation to include all of us on the rainbow barricades -- not only lesbians and gays but also trans, bi-sexuals, Bears, immigrants/refugees, the differently-abled, HIV positives and negatives, young and elderly and all others, " says Schiller.
BRITISH, HUNGARIAN, NORDIC HISTORY MONTHS, BELARUS -- FUTURE COOPERATION...?
After discussions with British, Hungarian and Nordic organizers of the Nordic Rainbow History Month -- and with colleagues in neighboring Belarus sharing a border with Latvia and Lithuania -- we hope to work together with future LGBT History Months in these nations to help combat invisibility and intolerance in all our countries, to promote mutual exchange, cultural input, promotion and historic relevance -- and to support the LGBT battle for human rights, solidarity and rainbow visibility in East and West," Schiller concludes.
Bill Schiller, Tupilak/ILGCN
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1. Statement from Belarus:
Dear Bill! dear colleagues!
Thank you very much for this wonderful and highly needed idea of starting the international LGBT history cooperation network!
On behalf of our Belarusian LGBT Journalists' Community at 'Journalists for Tolerance' human rights group, I would like to express full support to the idea!
Looking forward to closer cooperation with all of you, dear friends!
With warm regards,
Belarusian LGBT Journalists' Community, 'J4T'
2. "THANKS" to participants, supporters:
The 2nd Nordic Rainbow Month thanks special participants and supporters:
Kjell Rindar, Swedish teacher/former RFSL; Swedish film maker Cecilia Neant-Falk; RFSL Newcomers - Stockholm; Rakvere Heartfest Film Festival; Estonian culture activist Keio Soomelt; Estonian film co-ordinator Tiina Teras; Alvar Ameljushenko of Bearty-Tallinn; Estonian singer Erkki Otsman, Eastonian Gay League; Turku-based Finnish dancers/choreographers Tiina Lindfors, Eeva Soini and Lassi Sairela; PositHIVa gruppen-Stockholm; Nordic Association-Stockholm; Umeå Pride; Helsinki's Bear Park Cafe's Mikko Misha Autio; Norwegian activist Rolf Solheim; Sue Sanders - LGBT History Month-UK; Tony Fenwick - Schools-Out, UK; Budapest resident Rian Chen; Belarus activist Sidnimax; Belarus journalist Andrus K.; Anna Giertz of Lesbian Front - Sweden; Swedish painter and trans activist Andrea Sjöfelt; Frosti Jonsson of Bears-on-Ice - - Reykjavik; Daníel Arnarsson of Samtökin ´78 - Iceland; Danish photographer Birthe Havmöller; Top Club - Riga and manager Eduard Niki; Swedish music duo "Weed;" Swedish singer/song-writer Jan Hammarlund; Swedish journalist Anna-Maria Sörberg; Sweden's Anders Ödvall; Södertälje Art Gallery and producer Sarah Florén; Södertälje Kommun; Swedish artist/performer Zafire Vrba; Swedish poet Tomas Åberg; Swedish photographer/film maker Willi Reichhold; Swedish singer/activist Peter Fröberg, Norwegian Embassy - Helsinki; "Unchechen" by film maker Stephen Hornby, UK; Swedish film maker Alexi Carpentieri and Valand Academy Cinema - Gothenburg; Swedish author/historian Arne Nilsson, Sidetrack Pub - Stockholm; Secret Garden Pub - Stockholm; Swedish drama performer Carl Olof Berg; works of Polish LGBT art curator Pawel Leszkowicz; Lithuanian Gay League and volunteer photographer/activist Giordano Campanelli of Italy; Augustinas and his Paviljon Café, Vilnius.
|Add Mikko Misha Autio receives the Tupilak Thor's Hammar award diploma at the Bear Park Café in Helsinki. Also standing, Bill Schiller of Tupilak/ILGCN. Sitting: Rolf Solheim of Norway.|
|Keio Soomelt receives Tupilak's Thor's Hammar award diploma at Festheart Film Festival in Rakvere, Estonia|