Salzburg Global LGBT Forum joins Finnish independence celebrations in discussion on “Home”

Finnish Institute in Berlin invites Klaus Mueller, founder and chair of Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, to speak on the role of “home” for the LGBT community and the artwork of “Tom of Finland”

Tom of Findland’s drawing

Andrea Abellan | 27.02.2017

This year sees Finland celebrate the 100th anniversary of its independence. For the occasion, Finnish Institutes in Berlin, Paris, London and the Benelux are hosting a wide range of events under the title #MobileHome2017. The activities involve different disciplines such as architecture, gastronomy and arts through which the notions of home and homeland are explored.

The Finnland Institut in Berlin, together with Homotopia and the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, are contributing to the program with a discussion on how the LGBTIQ community relates to these ideas.

The discussion, “Feeling at home: in the body, the family and the society” will be held (in English) on Thursday March 2 at 6pm at the Finnland Institut in the German capital.

Panellists Finnish actor Pekka Strang, journalist Susanna Luoto, Professor Anu Koivunen, and the founder and chair of Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, Dr Klaus Muller will be moderated by Laura Hirvi of the Finnland Institut. The panellists will discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual individuals’ understanding of home and homeland and link these impressions to reflect on their relationships within their bodies, families, and society-at-large.

The talk will revolve around Touko Laaksonen’s work. The Finnish artist is world-renowned for his erotic paintings that helped break certain stereotypes related to homosexuality. The artwork of “Tom of Finland,” as he is popularly known, depicts strong and muscular men, often dressed in uniforms, in situations of intimacy. His drawings helped to reflect on the social perception of masculinity and sexual orientation.

The debate will touch on how Laaksonen and his paintings were impacted by Finland, the artist’s place of birth. The artist was born and raised in a very conservative and religious environment strongly influenced by the Second World War. Attendees will be invited to think about the effect that these factors could have had on his personality and work.

The Salzburg Global LGBT Forum explores this discussion in its upcoming session, Home: Safety, Wellness, and Belonging. Also focused on the topic of home, this year participants will scrutinize the specific challenges that the LGBT community face when trying to develop a sense of belonging. The lack of support, legislative discrimination, migration and exile are just some of the obstacles that will be considered during the five-day program.

Tom of Finland’s drawings will be exhibited in Salon Dahlmann in Berlin until May 6, 2017.

For more information on the Finnland Institut event, please see: http://finnland-institut.de/en/programm/kunst/feeling-at-home-in-the-body-the-family-and-the-society/

For more information on the upcoming session of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, please see: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/578

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