tisdag 18 december 2007

Nordic Baltic Rainbow Network Meets in Gothenburg

Tupilak/Hallongrottan Arranging Follow-up Session in Stockholm, Blogg in Action

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.

(In action)
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.

4. Mozaika-Lativa/ Tupilak checking out funding for a Baltic Rainbow Boat Cruise around Baltic ports, as well as rainbow ship journeys between Sweden/Finland/Estonia/ Latvia.

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.

8. Tupilak/Nordic Rainbow Council: working on Network web site page, links.

9. ILGCN East European Secretariat - Warsaw: increasing contacts with Russia, Belarus, other East European countries.

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.

13. Nordic Rainbow Humanists: to increase contacts with organizers of Prides, festivals and other events to provide LGBT speakers, information, etc. as has been the case Gothenberg, Poznan and other Nordic/Baltic cities in

Estonian, Swedish delegates. (Gothenburg photos by Heide Terinen)


Stockholm, December 18, 2007  


To members of the Nordic Baltic Rainbow Network  (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden  (Swedish Pol-Balt Network) and special member  Belarus:  

A number of e-mail discussions have been taking place after our  Gothenburg meeting in September the follow-up meeting in Stockholm  on November 30. 

Some members have already come with progress reports from the 13 points we agreed on in Gothenburg (see list on our  NBRN Network!). Other reports very welcome at the coming  Warsaw meeting in February. 

A proposal for an annual, rotating, joint East-West Nordic-Baltic Happenings  (adopting the excellent Polish  proposal for a joint East-West Europride 2008 which was at first adopted and then dropped by the European Pride  Association).  

Aim: Getting  increased Nordic/Baltic participation (seminar holders, performers, artists, film makers, etc.) in each other's event (even if limited in number) to boost East-West Rainbow Co-operation.  

Possible name:   "BLUE BALTIC PRIDE – East-West Rainbow Co-operation between Baltic cities."  

Size:  Large or small depending on local involvement and foreign input. 

Date:  Whenever locals decide  is the best time . Can be an annual Pride, rainbow cultural festival, conference, etc. ….close by each other or spread out during the year. 

Site: Need  not be a national capital. Other cities are also welcome. Towns in semi-autonomous regions  (Faroes, Åland, Greenland, Kaliningrad ) are also welcome. 

Decisions:  Preferably made a year in advance (at an NBRN meeting) to give participants time for planning, fund-raising, public relations, etc..  

Budget:   Can be kept very low with donated venues, private accommodation for visitors, low-budget travel by ship, airline or train.  


Since the coming  Nordic-Baltic/Barents Rainbow Network  February meeting in Warsaw is rather late for preparations for 2008 (since some Prides and other events take place in the spring) we offer to make the first  Western city hosting the first " Blue Baltic Pride:"  

            Stockholm, July 23-24, 2008 (just before Europride-Stockholm .) 

Eastern "Baltic Blue Pride" 2008 colleague (or colleagues) should be approved via e-mail as soon as possible for appropriate planning, joint public relations, etc..  

Feedback very welcome now and/or at the  Warsaw meeting in February.  

Bill Schiller for  Tupilak, Nordic Rainbow Council, ILGCN Information Secretariat – Stockholm  and Nordic Rainbow Humanists.