The first whistle has barely sounded at the football World Cup in Russia, but the consequences of state-sanctioned homophobia and hate are already becoming clear. A French gay man is hospitalized in St. Petersburg with a broken jaw and brain damage after a brutal attack on him and his partner. While the Icelandic nation waits with bated breath for „our boys“ to walk onto the World Cup pitch for the first time, this man’s nearest and dearest wait for news of his health and survival. And LGBTIQ+ people the world over wait in nervous anticipation of the next attack, which seems inevitable.
The office of Samtökin '78 will be open from Monday to Thursday between1pm and 4pm durin June and August, execpt for Reykjavík Pride week the 8th-13th of August.The office will be closed from the 9th of July. Open house on Thursdays will continue and next Thursday the 8th of June we will offer Queer Tango again, see event.
The board of Samtökin ‘78 has called a general meeting this coming June 1st at 8 pm at Suðurgata 3. At the meeting, members of the organization will have the opportunity to help shape the work of the coming months and join committees and working groups. Coffee provided and all are welcome – both old faces and new!
The board and staff of Samtökin ‘78 wish to thank everyone who participated in our week of action because of the horrible events in Chechnya. Both those who stood vigil, who came to the protest on Friday or who participated in another way. The protest was very effective and caught a lot of attention, including the news media. For those who were not able to participate the speech of María Helga Guðmundsdóttir, president of Samtökin ‘78, can be found here. More pictures from the protest can be found here.
The Chechen Republic, which is part of the Russian Federation, is now the site of an extermination campaign against queer people, particularly gay and bi men. Despite loud protests from the international community in recent weeks, the situation has worsened and the violence grown in intensity. This must end now!
From Wednesday to Friday, Samtökin ‘78 have organized a chain vigil, where people take turns standing vigil outside the Russian Embassy on Garðastræti between noon and 5 pm.
On Friday at 4 pm, we will assemble at Suðurgata 3, put on pink triangles and march to the Russian Embassy to remind Russia of its commitments to human rights.
Let's unite to celebrate May 1st, International Workers' Day!
11:00 – Sign-making session at Suðurgata
13:00 – Assembly for the march by Hlemmur
13:30 – March begins
Samtökin '78 first particpated in an International Workers' Day march 35 years ago, in 1982. "The scheme was not well received by the march's organizers," observed Þóra Kristín Ásgeirsdóttir in the organization's 30 year anniversary issue. "Still, members of Samtökin '78 were permitted to participate, although they were not formally made party to the day's celebrations. But when itch came to scratch, only two people showed up: Guðni Baldursson and his husband, Helgi Viðar Magnússon. They marched in front of the band Svanur, carrying a white banner nearly three meters across, adorned with two pink triangles and the inscription 'Job security for gays and lesbians'."
The office will be closed 13-17 April as well as 20. April because of Easter and the First day of summer. Our social programme does not go on holiday though! Here are some upcoming events:
On Thursday April 13th a newly found queer bookclub will meet for the first time. In the club there will be an opportunity for book lovers to convene and discuss Icelandic literature with queer themes. Everyone is welcome and no formal experience with literature is required. More information here. The event will be in Icelandic.
On the 28th of Febuary Samtökin '78 will hold a general meeting. The meeting will take place between 17:30 and 19:00 at Suðurgata 3. There are two matters on the agenda:
1. Presentation of proposals for statute changes
A comittee for statute changes has been operating since fall and will present their proposals that will be brought before the annual general meeting (aðalfundur) the 18th of March.
2. A proposal from Íslensk erfðagreining (deCODE Genetics).
We have received a proposal from deCODE Genetics for collaboration with the study of the genetic basis of sexual orientation. At the general meeting we will discuss this proposal. Decision will be made at the annual general meeting (aðalfundur)
Samtakamátturinn, the national assembly of the queer community, is fast approaching – an opportunity to shape the work of Samtökin ‘78 for the future! All interested parties are encouraged to join us at Reykjavík City Hall on Saturday, February 11th from 1–5 pm and give voice to their ideas. There will be ten discussion tables in Icelandic, divided by theme, and discussion tables in English that cover all the themes. The meeting will begin with a brainstorming phase where all participants come up with ideas relating to all of the themes. Those ideas will be distributed to the theme tables for further development. Each theme includes examples of discussion topics, but this is not an exhaustive list.
The next annual general meeting of Samtökin ‘78 will be held on the 18th of March, during which elections will be held for both the board and advisory council. The meeting will be held at Samtökin ‘78, Suðurgata 3, 101 Reykjavík. All registered members who have renewed their memberships (paid fees for 2017) are welcome to take part in the meeting. To register as a member of Samtökin ‘78 please click here.
What do queer people, disabled people, people of foreign origin and fat people have in common? How can these groups work together and learn from each other?
These questions and others will be examined at the conference Disturbing Existence on March 3-4, 2017.
The keynote speaker will be Lydia XZ Brown, Autistic Hoya. They are an American activist and law student of Asian origin, autistic, disabled, asexual and genderqueer. They have been a human rights activist in the United States for years and we encourage all those interested in human rights to attend their keynote address. Despite their youth, Lydia is a popular lecturer and known for their well defined and fresh perspective on marginalized groups’ struggle for human rights.
Since Samtökin '78, the National Queer Organization of Iceland, held the first national assembly of the LGBTIQAP+ / queer community in 2013 under the name Samtakamátturinn, three eventful years have passed. Samtökin '78's work has evolved considerably over this time period and it has been proven beyond any doubt how important the organization is to its members and to Icelandic society. The time has come to pause and take stock, place Samtakamátturinn 2013 in context and develop objectives and priorities for the years to come. Samtökin '78 are therefore holding a second national assembly to address these matters.
Samtökin ‘78, The National Queer Organisation of Iceland, sends its deepest condolences to the relatives and friends of those killed in the Orlando shooting. We also send our energy and support to those who are wounded.
We are shocked and saddened by the news from Bangladesh last week that two activists for the rights of gender and sexual minorities, Xulhaz Mannan and Tanay Mojumdar, were brutally attacked and killed. Xulhaz Mannan was a pioneering human rights activist and a founding editor of Roopbaan, a publication promoting human rights and freedom to love in Bangladesh – the only one of its kind in the country. Actor and activist Tanay Mojumdar chose to be open about his homosexuality despite its running contrary to laws and social conventions in Bangladesh. Both of them elected to remain in their home country despite the risks to their personal safety, choosing to campaign there for a more just society. Their loss is a grave blow to their community in Bangladesh and to like-minded people around the world.
At this trying time, the board of the National Queer Organisation of Iceland wishes to express its sincere sympathies to the loved ones of Mannan and Mojumdar and solidarity with the sexual and gender minority community in Bangladesh. The road to a more just world is often strewn with thorns, and in the wake of tragedies such as this, our solidarity in grief is tested.
Furthermore, the NQO condemns the use of violence to subjugate and silence minority groups and calls on the government of Bangladesh to protect its most vulnerable citizens and communities. The fact that an obsolete relic of British colonial legislation should still be used to punish same-sex attraction is a shameful situation that the NQO urges the Bangladeshi government to rectify immediately.
Join us for our annual conference 2016! It will be queer, fun and educational! Everybody is welcome for all the events except the annual meeting on Saturday where only registred members who have paid the annual fee for 2016 can come. For other events there is no need for registration, just show up at Suðurgata 3, down town Reykjavik.
We have an open house every Thursday. Next Thursday from 8-11 pm we especially want to encourage people of foreign origin to join us for some coffee and chat. Whether you are queer or not, live here or not, speak Icelandic or not you are very welcome! Suðurgata 3, 101 Reykjavik.
Accessible for wheelchair users.
Our house at Suðurgata 3, 101 Reykjavik is now for rent for occations such as meetings or parties. This is approx. 90 sqm bright house on ground floor down town Reykjavik. We have 60 chairs, projector, speaker and 20 small tables. The facilities are all new, new floors, lights, toilets and kitchen. The house is wheelchair accessible.
An exhibition of the work of Þorgbjörg Höskuldsdóttir opens in Gallerí ´78 Saturday November 21st at 3.35 pm. Þorgbjörg's art shows the beauty of Icelandic nature against environmental destructions such as dams. Her art is an important input in the ongoing discussions about the preservation of the Icelandic nature.
All welcome to the opening. Wheelchair accessible.
We are happy to be able to sell CDs with A band called Eva and Stella Hauks in our community centre at Suðurgata 3. Stella Hauks´s CD have not been available for years now. She was the first woman in Iceland to makes songs about lesbian love. This music is not available on spotify or in any other shops!
Our community center is open weekdays from 1-4 pm and every Thursday from 8-11pm.
Family mornings will be held every first sunday of the month at our community centre at Suðurgata 3, downtown Reykjavik, 11am -1pm. Lets meet with the kids, chat, play and eat together. Everyone brings something to the brunch table to share. A great opportunity to meet other queer people with kids.
Looking forward to meeting you :).
The community centre is wheelchair accessible.
We are happy to announce that we can now provide our members with free legal counselling. Erna Á. Mathiesen, lawyer will be providing free counselling sessions. You can come with any issue or questions you wish. If the matter needs extended services of a lawyer, Björg Valgeirsdóttir at Dika lawyers offers a discount to members of Samtökin ´78.
Samtökin ´78 are currently discussing the option of queer education in all of the Hafnarfjörður’s compulsory schools. A draft of the contract states that all staff members at the town’s seven compulsory schools will get a comprehensive education on queer matters such as sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex issues. All 8th graders will also get a visit from our youth educators, who are young people themselves and thus important role models.
Open house at the National Queer Organisation. DJ Alda Villiljós will make the queer music flow. Everybody very welcome!
Accessible for wheelchair users. 22. October at 8 pm Suðurgata 3
In the fall, Styrmir Sports Club offers a variety of fun groups to practice sports with in great company. Everyone is welcome at any time. Styrmis offers anyone who is interested to come and try out three times each of the sports free of charge. Styrmir Sports Club emphasises on a positive and fun environment where everyone is always welcome!
For more information, please check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/styrmir.sport
Below you will find a summary of the different groups that meet regularly over the winter.