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'."
Samtökin '78 will participate in the 2017 march as in many years past. The struggles for queer rights and workers' rights are deeply intertwined. In Iceland, for instance, there is still no law barring discrimination in the labor market on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics.
We encourage everyone to participate in the May 1st march and celebrations with their labor union and/or with Samtökin '78. We also encourage participants to bring their most colorful flags and signs that reflect the importance of secure employment for queer people.
Samtökin '78 employees will of course have the day off on May 1st. The office will therefore be closed.
Photo credit: Alda Villiljós. More photographs by Alda from the 2015 march are available here: https://samtokin78.is/
Let's unite to celebrate May 1st, International Workers' Day!
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.
The first day of summer (Thursday April 20th) there will be a free queer tango course. The evening starts at 8pm with an hour of instruction in the arts of tango. No prior experience with dance is necessary and it is not required to show up with a partner – only a good mood. Everyone’s welcome! See more here.
Samtökin 78 will host an International LGBTQIA open house event on Thursday, March 23 in the Samtökin 78 community center on, Suðurgata 3, 101 Reykjavík, from 20:00 - 23:00. Here you cand find the event on Facebook.
This is an opportunity for the international LGBTQIA community to engage in an open discussion followed by a question and answer period. The objective of this event is to provide social interaction and discuss representation of the international community, share ideas and proposals for integration and visibility in our community. Join us for coffee and snacks. You are welcome to bring food and even just a great story to share.
This meeting is for international LGBTQIA individuals, couples, and relationships as well as intercultural relationships. All from the Gender and Sexual Diversities community are welcome.
What: International LGBTQIA Open House
When: Thursday, March 23 from 8:00pm-11:00pm
Where: Samtökin 78 Suðurgata 3, 101 Reykjavík
Q&A ideas or topics
- How can we enhance representation of foreigner lgbtqia individuals/groups within Samtökin?
- Proposal for participation of international community in Pride parade.
- asking the attendees about their current experience of living in Iceland
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.