WikiLeaks / Brot für die Welt
Thanks to the public service I finally caught up on the big panel discussion on gay rights and homophobia on Finnish TV2 this week.
Very disappointing. Not because it wasn’t entertaining and empathic at times, but because instead of driving for solution the channel wanted to stage a fight. What else can you expect if you put lock a bunch of queer activists and religious conservatives in the same room with tickles of nationwide exposure and general election on the horizon. It’s so trendy to get offended these days. That’s means, motive and opportunity – a premeditated murder one from the broadcasters side. J’accuse!
I mean, what possible good could come out of such meeting of queers, queer activists and representatives of different Christian factions? Well, actually a lot, but nothing new. The former made case for equality, love, human condition and science – the latter mostly referred to tradition, sin, interpretation of the Bible or The Unhinging of Pandora’s Box. A sexologist lady turned out to be the voice of humanism and reason. The woman priest from Helsinki was the lone emphatic voice among fundamentalists.
Her compassion was left unnoticed, since this nonsense has led to a mass exodus from the stately Lutheran Church. But why? I wonder if people actually can tell apart the gay-bashing Christian Democrat party, various sects and The Church. They’re not the same, although perhaps in the popular mind yes. I’ve understood that the church is fairly progressive and multi-voiced – it’s just standing on clay feet. It was a big miss from the bishop on the panel, that he as high-ranking minister failed to make this distinction.
However, I would have been way more interested in hearing about how to make things better.
There’s nothing new in that, that some sects are offended about homosexuals, and how irritating some gays find those sects. Instead, I rather see enthusiasm and drive for solution on societal level, based on basic human rights and equality – still maintaining religious freedoms.
I think it should be pretty easy:
- Homosexuals get the same legal (civil) rights to marriage, adoption etc. as straight people. Luckily enough, this is already in the works through parliamentary processes.
- Religious communities can decide themselves whether they want to bless these marriages, according to their own beliefs and policies.
- Everybody gets treated equally (basic human rights)
- Religious communities can still govern themselves (religious freedom)
- Discussion gets redirected into proper forums e.g. gay rights discussion within the churches, zealots don’t have to worry that the state would oppress their sects (less distraction for all)
The sooner we get this sorted out the better. Live and let love, and bring on something that actually is an issue, like… passive-aggression.
Apollo lunar module in the Sea of Tranquility / Temporary sauna at Biscay Bay.
Actor Daniel Radcliffe / Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen.
In February 2009 I travelled to the Basque Country to join Demos Helsinki & Co’s “basecamp” in Donostia-San Sebastián. I brought a portable DIY sauna with me and one evening we built it on a remote beach. This is a 2.5 minute video how it happened. Camerawork by Kirmo Kivelä.
This spring has been very eventful and it shows on the worsened update frequency on this site. Anyhow one of the better events has been the first Pimp My Passport workshop on 16 May 2009. Remember PMP was first introduced in Riga last autumn but now we actually got hands-on.
Mari and I were invited to Jyväskylä by the media art working group Live Herring. They’re currently appointed as “regional artist” which is a radical move in Finnish cultural politics. The workshop was held at the university lobby during the city’s “long night of the arts” so there was a lot of buzz and people on the move.
The idea was to facilite a workshop where people could make their own shielded covers for their new RFID passports and in the process discuss and get informed about the issues related to technology, privacy and biometric passports.
We set up our tables at the university lobby which itself is an Alvar Aalto landmar and put up lots of scrap and recycled material including used coffee packets, info sheets about RFID and passports plus a sewing machine. The amount of visitors exceeded all expectations. The first people arrived minutes before the official start and the last participants left at 00:05. During the eight hours the booth was never empty of visitors!
It was also nice to note that people of all ages came by. Young women were the most active group, but seniors and children took part as well. Creative flair was shooting through the roof all the time. At the end we counted some 40+ covers were made.
Press showed some interest to the event, regional newspaper Keskisuomalainen put it on page five where we were pitted against the Ministry of the Interior. Another paper from Turku also took note of the event and concentrate more on the crafting side. Unfortunately none of them checked out the vibes themselves but resorted to phone interviews.
The event night and the afterparty presented Jyväskylä as a very jovial and friendly city. It might well be the “most underrated” city in Finland. A world of thanks also to Soile of Live Herring for her kind efforts and support.
Senior people misusing umbrella bin / Wind-blown people misusing garbage bin.