Friday, July 24, 2020

ILGCN Calling -- July, 2020

Hello ILGCN cultural ambassadors, co-ordinators, secretary generals, friends and contacts:

A reminder:  August 9  International Day of Rainbow Culture/Tove Jansson's birthday.   Make a "skål" to the day and to Tove and maybe to Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finlandis this the 100th anniversary year of his birth.   Maybe read a line from Tove ("All things are so very uncertain, and that's exactly what makes me feel reassured.")...?   A photo of you on your own (or with friends) for ILGCN facebook  and/or webpublication Erato..?

Proposal for Clios Silver Cup (for LGBT history) ´(named for Clio - ancient Green muse for historic peotry and the Warren Cup --ancient Roman silver cup decorated with male homosexual pairs.) Sam Hultin (Sweden) (she provides audioguide historical LGBT trips, guided tours and  seminars and donates profits to refugees in Sweden.)

Approved...?

Other, coming ILGCN awards:

"Arco Nordica" (for Nordic co-operation)  Petter Walllenberg (Sweden - for starting "Rainbow Riots" 
Uganda's first LGBT community center), Vincent Ferrigan & Side Track (Stockholm bar -- fundraising 
for Uganda's Rainbow Riot center.) (Presentation:  Stockholm.)  August.

"Sappho in Paradise" -- ILGCN/Paradise Press - London (for authors, publishers, archives) for the Skeivt Arkiv (Queer Archive - Bergen, Norway).  (Presentation in Oslo or Bergen.)

"Orpheo Iris" (for research in LGBT presence in the Holocaust, neo nazi activities)  Dr. Anna Hájková (Czech/UK) 
"Queer History of  the Holocaust."  (Presentation: Stockholm)  September 15-16  

"Orfeo/Zelim Bakeav Musica" (named after murdered gay Chechnyan singer) -- 1st Estonian LGBT
 Choir   (presentation in Tallinn during the Rakvere Heartfest LGBT Film Festival)  October

Latest additions to the ILGCN/Tupilak International Rainbow Art & Photography Exhibition:

Claude Cahun (France -- artist, anti Nazi activist)

Krisheel Othman (Fiji)

Önder Özgenc (Konya, Turkey)

appho and Erinna (by Simeon Solomon, UK)

Sarabindu (Bangladesh)

Troy Jamison (Brisbane Australia)

Troy Jobson Bolt (Kenya)

Leon Espinosa (Mexico/Norway)

Future events:

ILGCN co-operation with HOSI-Wien - solidarity salute to rainbow colleagues in Poland and Hungary.
               Vienna   September or October.   (ILGCN colleagues welcome!)

ILGCN/Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) 5th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture
 Month OctoberTupilak award: "Loke's Sister" (promotion of trans culture) to Nuka Carmen Bisgaard(Greenland).   

Thursday, April 30, 2020

MAY 17 -- INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, BI-PHOBIA


In this time of the virus hindering get-togethers, Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat-Stockholm join the world-wide celebration digitally on facebooks, websites, etc. -- honoring IDAHO DAY on this anniversary of the World Health Organization's declaration that homosexuality is not an illness:


"Breaking the Silence! Smashing Invisibility!"

Rainbow art & photography, film, music and future events:

TOM OF FINLAND -- a special birthday salute to Touko Laaksonen, on the 100th anniversary of his birth in Finland on May 8th -- a tribute to the man who changed the way the world looked at the gay man.

Latest additions of more LGBT art and photography to the Tupilak/ILGCN International Art and Photography Exhibition -- now with works from over 70 nations. (available on request!)

Felix Garmendia (Puerto Rico), Sergei Dudik (Russia/Berlin), Tupilak award ceremony at Norwegian Embassy in Kiev, Alirezan Shojainan (Iran/Paris), Lynx Dean (Canada), Alaa Haziem (Syria/Sweden), Zelim Bakeav (Chechnya), Barbara Hammer (USA), Wenjie Ding (China).

Song: "Race Against Time" -- Peter Fröberg, former Swedish ILGCN cultural ambassador

Coming events:

August 9 -- International Day of Rainbow Culture (birthday of Finnish author Tove "Mumintroll" Jansson!).

September 15 - Stockholm, etc.:

"Queer History of the Holocaust," (often ignored by other researchers, exhibitions, media coverage) -- Dr. Anna Hajkova, Czech Republic/UK (winner of ILGCN's 2020 Orpheus Iris award for research in this field)

"1st LGBT Delegation to Auschwitz -- 20 year anniversary," An internatonal delegation led by Tupilak/ILGCN (outraging right-wing Polish parliamentarians and media and a homophobic pope demanding in vain the dismissal of the Auschwitz Museum chief). Bill Schiller - Tupilak/ILGCN

"LGBT Monuments around the world -- but none in the Nordic region. Why?"

Film: "LGBT Monuments around the World" -- Willi Reichhold, Tupilak, Sweden in this the 75th year of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

October -- 6th NORDIC MONTH of RAINBOW HISTORY & CULTURE -- in Stockholm and other Nordic cities on both sides of the Baltic Sea. Including:

-- the 2nd NORDIC PRIDE -- focusing on Nordic rainbow culture, history and solidarity often lost in other national and international Prides.

ORPHEUS IRIS 2020 AWARD

ORPHEUS IRIS 2020 AWARD FOR HOLOCAUST RESEARCH GOES TO Dr. ANNA HÁJKOVÁ 



Stockholm -- The ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) 2020 ORPHEUS IRIS award diploma goes to Dr. Anna Hájková, the Czech/UK researcher looking at the victims of the Holocaust and especially the ILGCN victims of oppression and extermination.

The award diploma notes that many other film, exhibitions and other presentations of the Holocaust deliberately ignore the LGBT element . This included many media presentations even of this the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz," says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN.

"We hope to hand over the award diploma at a Stockholm seminar this September," says Schiller.

The award has gone earlier to German and Austrian historians and researchers discussing LGBT presence in the Nazi concentration camps and neo-Nazi persecution afterwards -- and the Auschwitz Museum -- receiving the first ever LGBT delegation to the outrage of right-wing Polish parliamentarians and press and even the homophobic pope demanding in vain the dismissal of the museum boss.
The award is named after "Iris" -- the rainbow -- and Orpheus, the ancient Greek hero of astounding music soothing even the demons of the underworld -- proud of his love for both women and men -- something condemned by the younger, homophobic religions both east and west.

Dr Anna Hájková is associate professor of History at the University of Warwick. She is a Holocaust historian who explores queer desire in the Holocaust. As a first one, she has suggested we explore same sex relationships between Jewish victims in the concentration camps and ghettos, and examine the wide-spread homophobia in the prisoner society.

She has introduced the topic to national newspapers and radio in Germany, US, Israel, and the Czech Republic, as well as academic articles.

Currently, she is writing a book on an enforced relationship between two women in a Hamburg concentration camp: a guard and a Jewish prisoner. Hájková also serves on board of the Czech Society for Queer Memory

Sunday, March 15, 2020

TUPILAK/ILGCN Salute to Anti-Discrimination Day, 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation


Stockholm


The cultural event of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network) Information Secretariat-Stockholm on March 7, 2020 in the Swedish capital was a salute to the coming annual United Nations Anti-Discrimination Day -- the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa -- on March 21st -- and the 75th anniversary year of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in Poland.

The event included strong music of Elise Street of Sweden and a video greeting from Polish gay art historian, Tomasz Kitlinski, facing a 2 year-prison term for publically defending LGBT people, Jews, women and others from attacks from Polish neo Nazis. His message came from Lublin -- one of a 100 Polish cities putting up signs declaring the place to be "LGBT Free" similar to the "Juden Frei" signs of the Nazi occupation of Poland.

Part of the event's art exhibit included "The Polish Table" with posters, books and catalogues of LGBT art of Poland and Eastern Europe created by Kitlinski and his partner, Polish art historian Pavel Leszkowicz -- works both from modern times and centuries past.

The Polish Table

Another presentation was made by Anna Giertz of Sweden about the new "Rosa Brus" project collecting sounds, poetry, music of the Swedish LGBT community in the past and present -- a project working in collaboration with Tupilak. Future Rosa Brus events will take place in Gothenberg and the northern Swedish city of Umeå.

Anna Glertz
Elise Street
Rolf Solheim





First Official Rainbow Visit to Auschwitz


A number of events in many cities have marked the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz, but few have mentioned that LGBT people also perished in that Polish and other Nazi camps," says Bill Schiller of Tupilak/ILGCN. "We were proud to have been the first official LGBT delegation to Auschwitz several years ago -- handing over a diploma to the head of Auschwitz Museum for mentioning LGBT in the information listing the category of prisoners. 

"Our members also played the first music in the camp since WWII -- when prisoners were commanded to play music to calm the frightened inmates coming off the train cattle-cars delivering victims to the camp," Schiller added. "Our visit outraged the right-wing Polish parliamentarians demanding in vain the dismissal of the museum chief, some right-wing Polish media and even the pope!"

Future Tupilak Events in Gothenburg, Estonia, Stockholm


Tupilak chair, Sarah Florén of Sweden, described coming events such as participating in the international Bear event in the Estonian capital of Tallinn in April, in the WestPride event in Gothenburg in June, the International Day of Rainbow Culture, August 9, the LGBT Heartfest Film Festival in Rakvere, Tallinn and Tartu in early October, the 5th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month - October, including the 2nd Nordic Pride event.

"We were pleased to be informed that the ILGCN cultural ambasador of Hungary, musician Thomas Lovas, is to be honored with an award diploma in Budapest on March 21 by the Anti-Fascist Movement of Hungary," Schiller added.

Alex Colard




Art work of high quality was displayed by French New Yorker living in Stockholm, Alex Colard, and examples from the Tupilak & ILGCN international rainbow art and photography exhibition -- with works from over 70 countries.

"We were also pleased to be informed that the ILGCN cultural ambasador of Hungary, musician Thomas Lovas, is to be honored with an award diploma in Budapest on March 21 by the Anti-Fascist Movement of Hungary," Schiller added.

Iranian Salute to Lebanese Singer, Egyptian Protesters


Another written contribution came from most recent addition to the Tupilak/ILGCN exhibition, Iranian, Paris-resident Shojaian Alirezan, sending a message to the meeting describing how he has replaced the classical 15th-century two women in a bath tub -- one pinching the other's nipple -- with two males -- one the openly gay Lebanese singer, Hamed Sinno of the Lebanese band, Mashrou Leila, pinching the nipple of man with a jackel´s head -- the Egyptian god of the underworld, Anubis!

"This is a tribute to the gays who raised rainbow flags in Cairo during a Mashrou Leila concert only to be quickly arrested by the police," writes Shojainan. "This is the situation in much of the Middle East." Some of these flag wavers have received asylum in Canada.

Alireza Shojainan and his painting



Bill Schiller (photo by Alex Colard) 



More information: bill@tupilak.org


















Thursday, February 6, 2020

BEARS INTERNATIONAL REPORT  --  January, 2020

   Oslo/Poznan/Stockholm/Tallinn  -- A number of traditional and brand new ÍLGCN's Bears International awards have been announced and handed out during the last months of 2019 and the beginning of this year. Some of the traditional awards have also received honorary names of some of the male lovers of ancient Greek legendary heroes and gods.

     The "Iolaus" award for "courage and bravery" going to the Ukrainina Bears was announced and handed out to Ukrainian colleagues at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Norwegian Bamse Bears in the Norwegian capital on November 16, 2019, handed over by Bear International award committee members Peter Fröberg of Sweden and John Earhart, Bamse president.

           The award is shared by the Moscow Bears celebrating their 20th anniversary  and the new head of the Polish Bears -- Tom Wiaria -- at the international Bear gathering earlier in November in the Polish city of Poznan. (The award is named after the ancient Greek male lover of Hercules.)

            Also at the Oslo ceremony, this year's last award for Bear art was handed over to Mexican/Norwegian artist, Leon Espinosa.  In keeping with the ancient Greek homosexual themes, this award has been given the title "Hyacinthus" the male lover of Apollo -- the god of light and art).  

            Another event at the Oslo ceremony was the handing over of the new "Cernunus" award for international humanist work for the LGBT communities --  especially in Eastern Europe -- to Norwegian humanist and Bamse member, Rolf Solheim.  He shares the award (named after the ancient Celtic god of wildlife and sexuality)  with Sweden's humanist, Carl-Johan Kleberg, who received his diploma at the Stockholm event (mentioned below).

     The 3 other Bear art diplomas were handed over earlier at the international Bear gathering in the Estonian capital at Bearty-Tallinn last April -- and went to Martin Petersen - USA/Portugal,  Kimmo Karjunen - Finland, and Stafan Zari´c of Serbia.
At the Tallinn event, John Earhart received the first Bears International award for international solidarity, travelling  and networking -- the "Calais" -- named after his ancient Greek lover, Orpheus -- both sailors on that famous ship, the Argo.

                                                              Stockholm Bear International Event

              John Earhart of the Norwegian Bamse's addressed the October 28 session of the 4th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month/1st Nordic Pride in the Swedish capital about his international work with Polish, Russian and Ukrainain Bears.

    He was also entrusted with a special Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) "Bifrost" (bridge-building bewtween hetereo and homosexual communities) award to be given to the Norwegian Embassy in Kiev for their support of the LGBT communities -- partly stimulated through contact with the Ukrainian and visiting foreign Bear organizations.   (Bifrost is the old Norse word for the rainbow -- linking the world of the gods to the peoples of the Earth.)

      We are pleased to add that the Mr. Bear Europe Committee has also decided to create an annual Bear award --
"Mr. Bear of Honor -  Europe" recognizing exceptional commitment and support for Bear integration in Europe.  The first winner is Tom Siara of Poland -- co-winner of the Bears International "Iolaus" award of 2019!

       The Bears International award team (with representatives from SwedenNorwayEstoniaRussiaBelausUkraine and Poland) -- also waiting for recommendations for the 2020  "Calais,"  the "Iolaus" and "Hyacinthus" awards.

Peter Fröberg team coordinator, Stockholm
Bill Schillerinternational secretary, Stockholm

photos 1, 2:   Tom Siara receiving his diploma from John Earthard  3, 4: Bear group photos in Poznan   5, 6: Peter Fröberg handing over diploma to Rolf Solheim  7: Peter and Johan handing over diploma to Ukrainian representative  8. Diploma to artist Leon Espinosa.







Monday, January 6, 2020

ERATO November, 2019
from the ILGCN (international rainbow culture network)
Information Secretariat-Stockholm

4th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month – 
October 2019/1st Nordic Pride
 
Stockholm/Rakvere --  Preparations continue for the October events for the 4th Nordic 
Rainbow History & Culture Month -- inspired by LGBT History Months in the UK, Hungary 
and other places. Some of the Nordic events this year will include the 3rd Heartfest LGBT 
Film Festival in the Estonian town of Rakvere October 4-6 -- the only such festival in the Baltic
states which are all considered part of the Nordic family. Also a LGBT poetry/music/sound 
happening in the Swedish city of Södertälje south of Stockholm at the city's Art Gallery on
October 27
 
In Stockholm, event will take place on October 28-29 with historic presentations, films, poetry, art, music and song.  This will also include the 1st Nordic Pride program -- with the intention of joining the list of regional, Baltic, Europe and World Prides. Organizers are ILGCN, Tupilak
(Nordic rainbow culture network)Nordic Rainbow Humanists and Bears International
 
 
Tupilak, ILGCN, Cyklop Salute UN Day vs. Discrimination 
 
Stockholm -- A two-day event has honored by UN-declared International Day Against 
Discrimination -- the anniversary of the Sharpville Massacre of South Africa on March 21 –
organized by Tupilak, ILGCN Information Secretariat-Stockholm, Bears InternationalNordic Rainbow Humanists and the suburban, culture house, Cyklopen.
 
The program included presentations, poetry, art and photography CD music Uganda!), art and  Photography from Tupilak ILGCN international art exhibition with works from over 60 
countries. Music and song was provided by Sweden's Elise Street Way.  
 
At the event, Elise received the 2019 ILGCN music diploma -- the "Orfeus & Zelim Bakaev" award – named after the ancient Greek musician and the missing Chechnyan singer -- believed to have been arrested and executed in the recent wave of crack downs on gays in that Russian province. This year's award is also shared with Canadian performer, Lynx Dean, and veteran British singer/song writer, Tom Robinson. 
 

STOCKHOLM SALUTE TO IDAHO DAY & ESTONIA'S 100th INDEPENDENCE

Stockholm -- ILGCN joined Tupilak and others  a May 17 event saluting IDAHO Day and
Estonian 101 year-independence at Estonia House in the Swedish capital.

Special guest was Keio Soomelt, manager of the Heartfest LGBT Film Festival in the 
northern Estonia town of Rakvere, speaking about the LGBT scene in his country, his film
festival and his new creation -- the first LGBT choir in this Baltic nation.

Other presentations included a look at the long, Nordic LGBT co-operation with rainbow 
colleagues in Estonia -- even before independence from Soviet occupation. Art work included newcomers to the Tupilak/ILGCN art exhibition, including striking photos from Patrick McDonald of Germany.  Live music was provided by Swedish performers Peter Fröberg and Robert Hill.


BIRTHDAY SALUTE to TOVE, INTERNATIONAL DAY of RAINBOW CULTURE

Stockholm -- ILGCN members in Sweden joined Canadians, Icelanders and other around 
the world for a "skål" -- Swedish toast --  to the birthday of Finnish author and painter, Tove 
Jansson  creator of the "Mumintroll and a salute to the ILGCN-initiated International Day of Rainbow Culture on August 9.  

“The United Nations has some many days honoring events, women, the child, and even trees and animals – so we thought it was high time to honor the LGBT culture workers of today and yesterday,” says Bill Schiller of the ILGCN.  “And we decided to choose the date to honor the birthday of one of our Tupilak members, Tove Jansson – a mega star of the Nordic cultural scene whose books about the Mumintroll, his family and the strange characters in his valley are well known way beyond the Nordic region as well.”


                         
No LGBT Films but Gay Touches at Award Ceremonies
SWEDOISH GOLDEN BUG FILM FESTIVAL 
     
Stockholm -- Unfortunately, none of the winners and not even any of the nominees this
year had any LGBT characters or connections -- a not unusual miss by the Guldbagge jury
and by the year's Swedish film production.

But there was a strong gay input nevertheless at the ceremonies. The winner of the best
photo category was presented by one of Sweden's most popular gay graphic artists and television personalities, Lars Lerin and his Brazilian-born man, Junior – who jokingly told the audience and the national television cameras that as a youngster, he had little time for films. Both said it must be difficult for the jury to choose a winner since they two of them have trouble deciding which tv film they should choose at home.

Another highly popular gay personality often on stage was Jan Göransson, chief at the 
Swedish Film Institute handing out the Guldbagge awards and smooth co-presenter of a
number of award presenters.

When a filmed greeting was screened from the Japanese film director of "Shoplifters"
--  winning the best foreign film award--  the Japanese director said "he was looking forward to a visit to Sweden" -- sparking a chuckle from the audience and then even from Göransson in front of  the tv camera.

Asked later why he also chuckled, Göransson said "it seemed that everybody in the
audience thought that the Japanese film director was suggesting a date with me when he
came to Sweden!  And I must have thought so, too!"

"When our Japanese friend comes to Sweden, I'll be happy to bring him to the next Tupilak event." Göransson told Erato with a smile.


NEW ILGCN AMBASSADORS, COORDINATORS

The ILGCN is proud to add new members to its ambassadorial list: Jessica Jayne Martin in 
Slovakia, Victor Adeniran - Denver, Colorado USA, Marysol de Pablo and Julieta Brizzi
of the Carpusa Tango duo in Argentina (who performed in Stockholm on their tour of Europe.)


POSITIVE NEWS FROM SOME AREAS IN ASIA

In January 2018, the Indian Prince Manvendra opens his palace for homosexuals. The royal family raged and the world press went haywire. But 9 months later, the impunity for male loveis introduced in India. No more legal pursuit, punishment or persecution.

Pakistan leaps beyond all Muslim shadows and strengthens the rights of trans people and
inter sex people. This development is unprecedented not only in Pakistani history. It is one of the most advanced laws in the world. In Europe, similar laws exist only in Denmark, Malta, Ireland, Norway and Belgium.

The next Mr. Gay World will be elected in Hong Kong, China. A transgender woman has 
competeat the Miss Universe competition.

Taiwan is the first Asian country to introduce the gay partnership. Only a few weeks later,
Thailand followed and also introduced legal partnership for same-sex couples. 

___________________________________________

 SWEDISH AMNESTY PRESS: GOOD NEWS FROM ANGOLA 
Angola Decriminalizes Same-sex Relations
The National Assembly of Angola has rejected legislation outlawing “sexual relations whicare against nature. By approving the legislation, Angolese President Joao Lourenco has 
removed his nation from the list of 69 others which continue to criminalize same-sex relations. The new law also prohibits discrimination in Angola based on sexual orientation. 
 
The information has come from the Sweden’s Amnesty Press has long been covering
LGBT situations around the world – both with news items and longer, feature articles.
The editor, Ulf Andersson has come to a number of ILGCN and Tupilak cultural and 
information events and has received the ILGCN award diploma for pro-LGBT journalism 
named after the Irish-born human rights researcher Roger Casement – documenting 
slavery and inhuman treatment of workers in the Amazons and Africa -- a dangerously risk-filled endeavor over a century ago.  
 
Working later for the liberation of his Ireland, Casement was captured by the British, 
imprisoned and executed. Efforts to avoid the death penalty were torpedoed when his 
homosexuality recorded in his diaries was widely revealed in the British press.