Nordic Baltic Rainbow Network Meets in Gothenburg
Gothenburg -- The 4-day discussions of the Nordic Baltic Rainbow Network at the giant Gothenburg Book Fair and the nearby Museum of World Culture between September 27-30, 2007 in this west coast Swedish city launched enthusiastic plans to increase rainbow co-operation across the Baltic Sea.
“This was a real boost to the work both of the Nordic Rainbow Council and the Swedish Pol-Baltic Network,” says Bill Schiller of the council and of the conference’s co-organizer, Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers).
“Thanks to financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Baltic Unit in Visby on Gotland, we were able to bring colleagues from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland for concrete, face-to face discussions on how we can build permanent rainbow bridges in the future,” Schiller adds.
Expanding Rainbow Co- operation Swedish, Latvian delegates Discussions covered increasing information exchange between Network members, developments in arranging Prides (still banned in Lithuania) and other rainbow activities in each country involved, increasing efforts to encourage all Prides to include a Nordic Baltic rainbow seminar or other events as well as using rainbow culture s a powerful complement to the political struggle. The network will also be open to continuing support from the humanist movement to help combat religious intolerance and take active steps to increase co-operation with other colleagues living in such countries as Russia and the Eastern European dictatorship of Belarus as well as the Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.
The attendance at some of the discussions of two gay activists from Singapore - where printed magazines and cultural exhibits on homosexuality are banned - indicated the enormous value of keeping such discussions open even to enthusiastic “outsiders.” The Singapore gays have joined the ILGCN (International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network) and are eager for co-operation with the Nordic Baltic Rainbow Network.
Double Program at Book Fair, World Museum
Through strong co-operation with the book fair’s
Latvian, Lithuanian delegates at the stage “International Square.” – joining 65 Swedish of the International Square in Gothenburg. solidarity groups together,” Network colleagues were given several chances to reach the public
through speeches and panel presentations at the main and smaller stages about the rainbow struggle in the region as well as from their information stand.
Blogg in Action, Next Meeting & Cultural Evening Set for Stockholm
Delegates in Gothenburg agreed to share the work load with the following:
1. Estonia Pride (Krissu): creating a Nordic Baltic Rainbow Network blog.
2. Tupilak/Hallongrottan (rainbow culture center): offering to host an “intermediate” meeting and rainbow cultural evening in Stockholm on November 30.
3. RFSL: seeking funding for a large Network meeting in Warsaw next spring.
5. Tupilak: checking out the possibility of arranging a Network conference or cultural event in Visby (half-way point in the Baltic. Boat line between Latvia-Gotland).
6. Tribades Festival (Helsinki)/ ILGCN Information Secretariat - Stockholm: organizing Nordic Baltic Network conference/cultural event during ILGCN world conference stage in Helsinki in September, 2008 as part of the Tribade Festival 2008.
7. Lithuania LGL: searching for colleagues in Kaliningrad wanting to join the Network.
10. Tupilak: contacting all Nordic Baltic Prides to encourage the inclusion of a Network seminar/event (giving latest information of new developments to Tallinn.).
11. ILGCN Film Secretariat - Riga: continuing to help Baltic organizers with film festivals.
12. Tupilak/ILGCN - Stockholm: continue to expand the Tupilak/ILGCN Travelling Art & Photo Exhibit to include more artists from the region, and make the exhibit available to more Nordic Baltic events.
Estonian, Swedish delegates. (Gothenburg photos by Heide Terinen)