Stockholm -- The 5th Nordic Rainbow History & Culture Month - October, 2020 started at the Hanninge Culture House in a suburb of the Swedish capital with Swedish performer, Louise Blad exhibition of pioneering UK lesbian Jackie Forster, followed by the Heartfest LGBT Film Festival in the Estonian towns of Rakvere and Tartu.
At Stockholm meetings filled with presentations, poetry, film screenings and art work from Tupilak's (Nordic rainbow culture workers) and ILGCN's (international rainbow culture network) 70-nation rainbow art and photography exhibition, a number of Tupilak and ILGCN awards were presented.
ILGCN's "Arco Nordica" (the blue rainbow) awards for 2020 were handed out to Petter Wallenberg and Vincent Ferrigan and his Sidetrack bar staff for starting and helping fund the first LGBT Rainbow Riot community center in Kampala, Uganda. The ceremony took place at Sidetrack bar.
Tupilak's awards for men "Thor's Hammer" were handed out to Swedish poet/performer/artist Leif Holmstrand, Sweden's Peter Roth for songs/lectures on HIV, addiction life and death, Jan Göransson of the Swedish Film Institute for supporting LGBT films, film screenings and film makers.
Tupilak's Sowelu award winners for women cultural workers, Kaisa Färlin and Moa Lingnell, Swedish singers and Catarina Harline, Swedish photographer, are to receive their awards later on.
One of the most impressive presentations by Ida Måwe of Ottar, publication of RFSU -- internationally pioneering Swedish organization promoting sexual education and often focusing on LGBT questions.
Other remarkable presentations came with Sweden's Christine Zawall playing the piano and journalist Kirsti Kajanne of Finland, singing the text of Finnish writer, Tove Jansson. Swedish artist Kennet Linquist provided live painting actions at several events during the Month.
Solidarity salutes to Polish, Belarus Colleagues
Also discussed future Polish-Swedish LGBT co-operation and exchange hopefully with support from the Polish Institute in Stockholm, and Belarus-Swedish exchange -- hopefully with support from the Swedish Institute -- which has earlier supported Swedish-Belarus projects.
One meeting during the month took place at the Stockholm City Hall with Tupilak graphic artists and Torun Boucher, (Left Party), vice chair of Stockholm Cultural Council about her highly praised plans to paint the thousands of dull grey, electricity boxes in the city.
Events were small in size and a number of guests were not able to attend in these virus times, but greetings to the "Nordic Month" came from Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Finland and others.
One gathering during the Month sent a message from its October 24 event at Stockholm's Hjorthagen Culture House to the MIX LGBT Film Festival in Copenhagen -- hosting on that same day one of the series of Nordic rainbow seminars -- arranged by the Nordic Council of Ministers -- taking place in a series of Nordic cities and focusing on Nordic LGBT co-operation.
Tupilak also announced the 2020 Golden Tupilak went to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court for her support of LGBT rights -- the first time the award has gone posthumously and to the USA.
The Bifrost (the viking name for "rainbow") award linking the homoseuxal and heterosexual worlds has gone to Costa Rica for being the first nation in Central America legalizing same-sex marriage.
In neighboring Norway, one event during the Nordic Month included the presentaton of a book by the late British writer, Elas Wallace from the Paradise Press-London, as part of the ILGCN "Sappho in Paradise" award to the LGBT Archives in the city of Bergen. The book was handed over by ILGCN Norwegian ambassador, John Earhart -- president of the Norwegian Bears.
Month Events Postponed Until 2021
Two of the Month's planned events had to be postponed until early 2021 -- discussions of Swedish-Estonian LGBT co-operation with the visiting head of the Heartfest film festival and the 1st Estonian LGBT choir -- Keio Soomelt -- also receiving the ILGCN's "Orfeo Zelim" music award.
And Greenlandic-Swedish co-operation, with visiting Greenlandic activist, Nuka Carmen Bisgaard -- who has also received the Tupilak's "Loke's Sister" award for promoting trans culture -- a visit to Stockholm to be made possible with contributions from FPES -- Sweden's trans organization, and the Nordic Institute in Nuuk.
"A third event planning in early 2021 was inspired by the excellent film, "If I Could Speak" screened on the last day of the Month and from the national LGBT organization of SETA-Finland about elderly LGBT people in Finland," says Bill Schiller of Tupilak and the ILGCN.
"We will call this the "Elli's Rainbow Festival" -- films, poetry and presentations focusing on the often-ignored and yet enormous contribution of the elderly to each nation's LGBT culture, identity and history in the Nordic region and beyond."
Elli was the female goddess of Old Age of the Viking sagas, who wrestled the macho god, Thor to the ground.