ILGCN Cultural Ambassadors  

ILGCN Cultural Ambassadors
The International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network, (ILGCN) was founded in Paris in 1992.
Some of the cultural ambassadors

he ILGCN – International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network - was founded in Paris in 1992, with the intention of using culture to assist the fight for emancipation, and break the barriers of silence where possible and necessary. Perhaps a singer with a guitar can appear at a small event in eastern Europe, which will put no-one in danger, but give the participants courage by showing them they are not alone and forgotten.

The ERI Dance Company (from Finland, led by Tiina Lindfoors and Eeva Soini have performed in Berlin and elsewhere for an apple and and egg (as the Germans say!). They, along with Peter Fröberg (Sweden) and others went to Bucarest (Rumania) to perform in support of the local gay community – but were prevented by armed police with dogs from entering the theatre. The event was widely reported in Romania and revealed the extent of the disgusting policies of the then government – and was used to strengthen the political fight, too.

Within the limitations caused by their professional work, and the problems caused by a general lack of money, ambassadors – who are of course openly gay or lesbian performers – agree to perform at and support the cultural events of the gay and lesbian movement, especially in places where "courage boosters" are necessary for the minimum which they can afford. Perhaps only travel costs (and you find accomodation), perhaps with a small/reduced fee. If they are in the area anyway, maybe even for next to nothing.

The Network also has slides and some videos which can be borrowed, as well as contact to sources which may be of help to organisers of smaller events. We are not, however, in a position to act as agents for artists.

We have neither the work-force nor the experience necessary. Please make direct contact.

Some problems, however, have arisen in connection with the conditions of work offered ambassadors. For this reason we have produced this leaflet in the hope of offering guidance to those who may not be used to working with artists and performers.

First, a general word of guidance and warning. CULTURE is a life-enhancing and identity-building factor in all societies and social groups. It is also an excellent way of making enemies and losing money if the event is not carefully budgeted, perferably with someone who has experience giving at least guidance. When it has been decided what form of event you want to organise, start counting the money you have, or can definitely acquire, from sponsors or patrons. Don’t rely on verbal promises. Be realistic in assessing whether your financial resources allow you to organise the type of event you want, or whether you must be more modest. By all means plan to make a profit, but be happy to break even. Next decide who you want to perform – don’t necessarily think of k.d. lang or Jimmy Somerville first.

Whether you want to use a cultural ambassador or not the same applies – before you can in fairness agree with a performer that they appear at your event, you must know what conditions he needs in order to give a performance which will satisfy both him/her professionally - and the audience. If the potential performer in a telephone chat with you from Xhkatmandorf simply answers with a quick list, agree to write it down and send it to them. Ask them to sign it and return it. This may sound horrifically bureaucratic but it may well save BIG problems. It is very easy to misunderstand what is said when someone is not speaking their mother tongue, on the telephone, and you (maybe) are not used to the needs of artists. Trade unionists often have agreed conditions of work. With performers and artists each may well have special needs – this is not a sign of "prima donna" behaviour.

A singer-instrumentalist may not need anything other than the performance space – if you are lucky. Most will ask for a sound system which will include the opportunity of playback from CD or tape. A sound-system is for many artists part of their performance technique, and it is simply not admissable to cancel it (as has happened) because money is short, especially without informing the performer and asking if they want to withdraw from the engagement. If you let them come in the hope they will "go on" without a sound system you may find yourself without a performer but with a bill for travel costs. In such a case you would have broken the contract with the performer.

If you aspire to using dance-artists don’t be surprised if they ask for dance mats. These are heavy and maybe expensive to borrow if you don’t have good relations with the local theater. (Plan ahead!) The mats are a question of danger versus safety if the dancers perform in ballet shoes or bare feet. Similarly, it is not reasonable to ask a instrumentalist who takes a pride in his "skills" but cannot carry his instrument around – such as a pianist or harpist, to perform on something which has been bashed by every visitor to the local club over the last twenty years, and is out of tune! Such matters must be agreed with the performer BEFORE you make a firm agreement for them to come to your event, and the piano must at very least be tuned.

When all is said and done it is a question of fairness, and self-interest, to treat artists with the respect we ourselves deserve & expect.

A good performance, in the interests of the gay/lesbian community, deserves to be well-prepared, well-advertised and well-reported afterwards. Don’t forget to invite the local rag. Send them a short report if they don’t come, with a photo of an artist. They may even ask for an interview. Even if they don’t print anything they will have been reminded we exist – and you will have taken at very least a small step down the road of achieving genuine sexual equality for homos, gays, lesbians, queers, transvestites, and transgendered-people – as well as heteros.

some of the cultural ambassadors ...

Oyvind Rauset (Norway)
Violinist, composer, graphic artist
Lively folk-orientated electronic music
Address: Post Box 2942, Toyen, N-0608 Oslo, Norway
Fax: ++47 2 68 83 70

ERI Dance Company (Finland)
led by Tiina Lindfors + Eeva Soini.
One of Finlands best known dance companies
Address: Only private address available
Fax: 0358 21- 51 53 73

Hördur Torfason (Iceland):
Singer, song-writer, musician
Address: Postbox 872,
121 Reykjavik, Iceland
E-mail: ht (at)
Fax: ++ 354 552 6450

Anja Tollan (Denmark) Photographer
Address: Only private address available - contact Tupilak.

Toomas Volkman (Estonia) Photographer
Address: Only private address available - contact Tupilak.

Celso Junior (Portugal) Painter
E-mail: ilga-portugal (at)
Fax: ++ 351 1 - 2545383

Arturo Clave Suils (Spain) Painter
Tel: ++34 1- 314 3291

Peter Fröberg (Sweden)
Singer, song-writer and musician
(pop – Techno - country?)
Address: Balder Records, Hornstullstrand 9,
S-117 39 Stockholm, Sweden

Raimundo Pereira (Brasil)
Opera singer
Address, c/o Atoba, Rua Prof. Carvalho de Melo 471, Magalhaes Bastos,
Rio de Janeiro CEP 21735, Brazil

Address: Tupilak, Box 2315, S-103 17 Stockholm, Sweden
E-mail: tupilak (at)

Colin de la Motte-Sherman

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