Theater of Cruelty

Get weird too

Time to get out of the closet: Next week you should feel queasy.


[gay days] «The festival Gay days is the biggest cultural event for the country's gay audience…»

In these words, Skeive Days presents itself. The annual festival opens in Oslo this weekend, 22. June, and lasts for 1. July. In just over a week, including two weekends, Norway's capital will be characterized by gay joy of life.

But is this cultural event really only, or for that matter most, for Norway's queer audience – as the organizers claim? Of course not. If not, there will be no meaning in the festival's main purpose, namely: "to contribute to increased acceptance and respect for this part of the capital's diverse citizens."

After all, the festival's point should be precisely to include the heterosexual majority, to curb prejudice. So that Skeive Days is perceived as the biggest Skeive cultural event for the Norwegian audience as such.

Probably Norwegian heterosexuals are the ones most in need of getting out of the streets of Oslo in the next ten days. The truly global gay trots are leaving for Spain next week. Between 27. June and 1. July will be the Madrid Europride 2007. An estimated 2,5 million people from home and abroad come to the over 200 events, which celebrate lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT). 15 years after the first Europride was held in London, the festival helps to influence more and more people on the continent, regardless of sexual orientation.

But ok. Let's take the Norwegian festival Skeive days on the word: To get full enjoyment of the Oslo festival you should at least feel lively, if you are not as good or will be. And then there is a truly transnational program waiting. The standard is already set at the official opening, which is being undertaken by MP's parliamentary representative Saera Khan. She explains her sincere commitment as follows: "Gender equality was the main reason I entered politics in my time, and equal rights for gays and lesbians have long been a matter for me."

Sunday 24 June from 18 pm, the festival shows its true, global face. This is when the International Committee in Gay Youth, Gay Solidarity, African Youth in Norway and the Joint Council for Africa arrange a concert in Kubaparken on Grünerløkka. The concert focuses on the situation for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in East Africa. Simone from D`Sound poses, like Marte Wulff and among others Dancers with Attitude.

Before it all culminates in the Pride Parade from chef 15 on Saturday 30 June. Let it be a festival for everyone.

[witchcraft] Since few people are in Oslo next week, it might be just as easy to go to Vardø. From June 28 to July 1, there will be a witch conference that can go completely off the broomstick. The speeches from Tromsø via Tampere (Finland) to Austin (Texas) provide new perspectives on everything from shamans in Russia to Guantanamo Bay and exorcism in modern courtrooms.

Damn good Vardø has midnight sun until 26 July. After this gloomy conference, we need sun XNUMX hours a day! ■

Dag Herbjørnsrud
Dag Herbjørnsrud
Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

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