Wednesday, January 12, 2022


Malmö -- The ILGCN's Orfeo Iris 2021 award diploma has been handed over to the winner, Dr. Joanna Ostrowska, of Warsaw, Poland, on her visit to the southern Swedish city of Malmö. The award from the International Rainbow Culture Network honors reseach and information about the Nazi and neo Nazi persecution of LGBT people.

The award was handed over by Malmö resident, Swedish film-maker, Jenifer Malmqvist, who has earlier received an ILGCN "Wings" award for her film work -- including her prize-winning "On Suffocation" about the execution of young gays in the Middle East.
The award diploma honors Joanna Ostrowska for "crucial, often-ignored research with books and numerous articles on the fate of LGBT people in the Nazi death camps. and for confirming that the inclusion of these LGBT prisoners does in no way diminish the importance of the other categories of prisoners, but reveals the inhumanity of those who would exterminate categories of human beings."

Combating Emergence of Neo-Nazi Homophobia Hatred
It also "underlines the importance of this research to combat those in many countries -- including Sweden -- who insist that the Holocaust never took place, and that new groups of violent, homophobic neo-Nazis are appearing today in many countries."
The Orfeo Iris 2021 award is shared with Barbara Fröhlich and the anti-fascist committee of HOSI-Wien, Austria, working with information about the persecution of LGBT people by the Nazi regime and harassment by neo Nazi elements. It has gone over the years to outstanding rainbow researchers, writers, journalists and others in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, U.K., Poland, and other countries.
The award is named after "Iris" -- the rainbow -- and the ancient Greek musician, Orpheus, whose powerful music could charm even the demons of the underworld, and who was proud of his male lovers, including Calais -- a fellow sailor on the famous ship, the Argo.
the entrance of Auschwitz.

Joanna Ostrowska (right) and Jenifer Malmqvist at the Malmö ceremony

the drawing of the ancient Greek image of Orpheus and his lover Calias,

the rainbow

Saturday, January 1, 2022


Stockholm -- Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) joins the many all over the world in mourning the death of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu who has died at the age of 90 -- a man courageously condemning apartheid, injustice and violence -- and one of the few African leaders denouncing discrimination of LGBT people.
He is the second South African leader to receive the Golden Tupilak award diploma -- the organization's highest award -- which was also given to Nelson Mandela via the South African ambassador in Stockholm.
The name "Tupilak" comes from the Inuit eskimos of Greenland -- a voodoo figure carved out of animal tusk or bone.
When Inuit come into conflict, they do not fight but go home to carve out a little figure -- instructed to travel through the night to destroy an enemy. Tupilak's enemies are not people but intolerance, hatred and homophobia.
Tupilak Meeting the Archbishop in Person
Tupilak has indeed met Desmond Tutu in Person -- on Swedish soil -- I think around 2006. Thanks to a reminder from Susanne Zetterblom -- friend of Tupilak and a Swedish NGO human rights worker who has spent many years in Africa.
At the annual Swedish Book Fair in the west coast city of Gothenburg, and at the "International Square" event there where NGO's struggle to get their half-hour moment on the stage to reach potential supporters, Tupilak was informed that the visiting Desmond Tutu team had arrived late -- afterall -- with no speaker's slot for the archbishop.
Would anyone give up their precious speaker's time to the archbishop? Tupilak did.
And after his powerful speech and much applause, the archbishop gave Susanna and the Tupilakers standing by some solid hugs - and confirmation that we support each other in the human rights struggle.
Tupilak note to the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation:
Please add our voices to the many offering condolences to the Archbishop's family, friends and all those working with your foundation.
We join in deep mourning over his passing, but are convinced that his messages of humanity, peace, solidarity and respect for all people -- despite race or background or sexual orientation -- will not die.
We were deeply honored when he accepted our highest award diploma -- the Golden Tupilak -- a figure combating intolerance, hatred and homophobia.
Bill Schiller, international secretary of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers)


Accepting the Tupilak Award Diploma

Desmond Tutu, South African Ambassador to Sweden