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
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. Dont
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 dont necessarily think of k.d. lang or Jimmy
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
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 dont be surprised if
they ask for dance mats. These are heavy and maybe expensive to
borrow if you dont 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. Dont forget to invite the local rag. Send them
a short report if they dont come, with a photo of an artist.
They may even ask for an interview. Even if they dont 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) itn.is
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) ilga.org
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)
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) hem.passagen.se
Colin de la Motte-Sherman