Formerly Nordic Homo Council
Member of ILGCN (International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network )
Member of ILGA (International Lesbian & Gay Association)
Co-operating across Nordic borders & beyond - Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania
September 30, 2006
Continued Solidarity with Refugees, Eastern Europe
NORDIC RAINBOW COUNCIL MEETS in SWEDEN
Gothenburg - The annual session of the newly-renamed Nordic Rainbow Council -- this time in this Swedish west coast city on the sidelines of the giant annual international book fair - approved efforts for continued solidarity over Nordic borders, with rainbow immigrants and refugees in the Nordic region and with colleagues on the barricades in Eastern Europe - including Belarus and Russia.
The main priority is to continue to support events on the Eastern side of the Nordic region - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania struggling with hostile and increasingly homophobic forces.
"We agreed to change the "Homo" in our name to "Rainbow" to be more up-to date and to make sure that trans people, bisexuals and other supportive "rainbow-minded" colleagues feel welcome," says Bill Schiller, international secretary of the Council.
2007 Nordic Rainbow Flags to Fly at Gothenburg Fair?
The session also agreed to co-ordinate a joint effort in 2007 to repeat this year's successful pioneering effort of raising Nordic rainbow flags at the International Square - the largest section of the Gothenburg Book Fair, which is the biggest annual cultural event in the Nordicarea. This was made possible with the financial grant from Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers) in the form of the 2006 Loke Sister's award supporting rainbow cultural projects outside of the Swedish capital.
The Nordic rainbow stand presented books, poetry, CD's, printed information, art and photography - and also co-ordianted two stage presentations on Nordic co-operation with Eastern Europe and with rainbow immigrants and refugees in the Nordic zone combined with highly-appreciated, humor-filled erotic poetry performances.
The Council also agreed to seek further financial support - such as from the Nordic Culture Fund assistance for the Nordic delegation to the 1st Moscow Pride in May, and other institutions. And to send Nordic delegations to the ILGCN (International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network) world rainbow cultural conference stages in Minsk and Posnan this November, following the first stage in Moscow.
The Council also pledged support to the first Nordic rainbow event in the Åland Islands this December - the "Rainbow Lucia" and to continue searching for projects in the other semi-independent areas of the Nordic region -- Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
The session also approved continued membership in the ILGA (International Lesbian & Gay Association (with the annual fee partly covered by Tupilak, the Nordic Rainbow Humanists, the ILGCN Information Secretariat in Stockholm and others.
Swedish Pol-Balt Solidarity Network Saluted
In co-operation with Tupilak and the ILGCN Information Secretariat, the Council approved the proposal to grant the 2006 ILGCN "Arco Nordica" award diploma to Sweden's newly-created "Pol-Balt Network" - providing assistance, solidarity and exchanges with colleagues in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Decisions were also taken to keep Council bureaucracy to a minimum, charge no membership fee but instead to seek voluntary contributions, and to search for more Network members even among more local sections of national organizations, since some of these are at times more interested in Nordic and international co-operation than the mother organizations
Earlier Council sessions have taken place in Riga, Tallinn, Tampere, Oslo, Wasa and Stockholm. Next year's session is preliminarily planned for Vilnius.
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Note: Photo available of Gothenburg Tupilak activists, Filip Vrba & Mats Råsmark, at erotic poetry performance at Gothenburg International Book Fair.