Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Stockholm -- The ILGCN-declared 1st International Day of Rainbow Culture and the birthday of Finnish/Swedish author/painter, ToveJansson (of Moomintroll fame) was celebrated in a number of nations all over the world -- from the August 9 Tove Jansson's birthday anniversary to the 12th in the Swedish capital.
A "skål" with Finnish beer in Helsinki on the 9th -- to honor the home country of Tove and her American-born, Finnish woman, Tuulikki Pietilä, and their 40-year partnership --  a Finnish"skål" at the Gay Games in Paris on the same day, an Estonian rainbow "skål" in Tallinn on the 10th. .. a Belarus vodka "salute" in Minsk, a Bear burger-&-beer salute in Moscow, a birthday skål with red Hungarian wine in Budapest, a Canadian "birthday" picnic and literature reading in Vancouver, a rainbow salute from Uganda and Armenia ..and more.
In Stockholm on the 12th, the day was honored by a poem from Tupilak's "house poet," Tomas Åberg dedicated to one of Moomin's famous cartoon character friends and Sweden's Peter Fröberg sang "Autumn Song" ("Höstvisa") -- the beautiful text by Tove Jansson urging everyone to live life to the full and love each other before the bright, warm "summer" turns into the Nordic cold and darkening autumn.   The event also included art and photos of LGBT people from a number of nations and other works of  LGBT poets.
"The United Nations and other organizations have daily salutes to different aspects of the human struggle -- anti-racism, discrimination, IDAHO anti-LGBT discriminaton, women and children's rights, anti-AIDS hysteria -- and even salutes to nature such as to the environment, the oceans, the tree, the elephant and the cat!   said Bill Schiller of the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat-Stockholm and Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) at the event at Whippet-Lab/Social Justice Club in the Swedish capital."  
"We feel that it is high time that we honor the rainbow LGBT culture workers of the world -- both of the present and past -- as vital contributors to LGBT identity, visibiity, human rights and creativity," Schiller concluded.
Some of the Written Greetings to the International Day and Tove Jansson
"Although "Höstvisa" is one of my favorite songs I am too busy with work for the coming issue of Amnesty Press to be able to celebrate Tove Jansson (at the event).
By the way, Amnesty Press published several (LGBT) articles during Stockholm Pride week. Have a nice Tove Jansson-evening!"

-- Ulf Andersson, editor of Sweden's Amnesty Press

"I've sent an earlier email with a couple of 'prelude' photos (from Vancouver Pride, August 5th), promoting the International Day of Rainbow Culture.

These additional forwarded pics below illustrate celebration of the 9th, captioned thus:

"ILGCN secretary general for literature, Ian Stewart, in Vancouver, Canada reads aloud to Wordpress Music Blogger Richibi some early published works from Sappho in Paradise Book Prize awardees, Elsa Wallace and Michael Harth (both recently deceased), in celebration of the August 9 International Day of Rainbow Culture.

Best greetings on this truly fabulous initiative!"

-- Ian Stewart
From Switzerland:

"Dear friends and colleagues,

I wish you all the best in the celebration of the International Day of Rainbow Culture and, of course, a happy birthday to Tove Jansson!

We have made so much progress towards equality in recent years, but there is still so much to do. The role of arts and culture is key, because legislative change can work only if arts and culture have been successful in changing a society's hearts and minds. Keep up the good work and I hope to join you in person on a future occasion.

Hugs to all of you"

-- Renato Sabbadini , former co-secretary general of ILGA

"Today is the first annual ILGCN-declared ‘1st International Day of Rainbow Culture” celebrating this year with a tribute to Moomins creator, Tove Jansson. It’s their first year and we wish them all the best for the future. 

Galleries still are not collecting and exhibiting queer work; it’s something community groups will have to do. Let’s do it!" 

-- Mike Wyeld and Charlie Hunter of Toronto/London (creators of the "Loved" Bear art exhibit which has toured internationally and winners of Bears International annual art award diplomas for Bear culture!)


Photos available.