Injustices of History: Shadows of Criminalization

Text Historian vääryydet 2: Kriminalisaation varjo, in the background a black and white and partly blurry photo of a demonstration. A sign reads "Kehotuskielto pois" - Abolish the incitement law.

Wednesday 3 November 2021
10.30–17.45 (EET)

Injustices of History 2: Shadows of Criminalization is the second event of the special year 2021 organized by Friends of Rainbow History and the second part of the Injustices of History series.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the abolition of criminalization of homosexual acts in Finland. Homosexuality was a crime in Finland from 1894 to 1971 – for 76 years. After that, a ban on incitement to homosexuality was in effect from 1971 to 1999, during which it was punishable to publicly incite homosexuality.

The event offers perspectives on the time of criminalization and its consequences in Finland, and also comments on the extensive effects of criminalization and control elsewhere – restrictive control over queer people is not history everywhere.

The event will be held both online and in the Prison Museum in Hämeenlinna. Part of the program is also streamed openly on Facebook.

We thank Kone Foundation for support.

Contact: Kaura Raudaskoski,

Prison Museum, Kustaa III: katu 8, 13100 Hämeenlinna.

Participation and registration

There is pre-registration for the event.
The event is free and is held both online and at the Prison Museum in Hämeenlinna. You can choose from the following options:

  1. Register for the venue: Prison Museum, Hämeenlinna (40 seats). A free lunch is served for the participants (vegan, glutein-free and nut-free) at the event venue. You will have the possibility to go on a free guided tour on the history of the female prison and the Prison museum building.
  2. Register for the online platform (no limit). You will get access to the program in its entirety (except for lunch and the guided tour). You will be able to comment and ask questions online.
  3. Follow us on public stream without registration (no limit). You will be able to follow parts of the program. You will not be able to comment or ask questions.

Registration is open 8 October – 29 October, 2021.
By registering you will ensure your place at the event and in the discussion.

Parts of the event can also be watched online on our Facebook-stream without registration. However, you will not be able to comment or take part in the discussion. Part of the presentations and conversations are recorded and later published on our website, with subtitles in English, Finnish and Swedish.

Program on Wednesday, 3 November

All times are Finnish time (EET).

Please note that the event is multi-language. Only pre-recorded talks have subtitles (Finnish and English).
The program in its entirety will be interpreted to Finnish Sign language on-site and online.
Presentations 1-4 will be recorded and later published on our website, with subtitles in English, Finnish and Swedish.

10.30 – 10.40
Welcome (FI/EN)

Prison, Webinar platform, Facebook streaming

(Friends of Queer History & Prison Museum)

10.40 – 11.30
1) The morality of criminalizing homosexuality (FI/SE)

Prison, Webinar platform, Facebook streaming

Where did the criminalization stem from and how was it rationalized or justified at the time? How does it compare to other Nordic Countries? Two presentations on the criminalization of homosexuality.

Speakers: Jens Rydström (SE, subtitles in Finnish and English)
(Canceled: Antu Sorainen (FI))

Facilitator: Tuula Juvonen

11.30 – 11.40

11.40 – 12.30
2) Living in the shadow of criminal law (FI)

Prison, Webinar platform, Facebook streaming

In Finnish. Stories and oral histories about living under the criminal law. What kind of queer culture was formed and how did the criminalization affect queer people’s everyday lives?

Speaker: Kati Mustola

Interviewer: Tuula Juvonen

12.30 – 13.30

Free lunch for presenters and registered participants at the Prison museum.
The lunch is vegan, gluten-free and nut-free. Further information:

13.30 – 14.30
3) Prohibition law in Finland (1971–1999) and elsewhere (EN)

Prison, Webinar platform, Facebook streaming

What was the law prohibiting the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality that came into effect at the time of decriminalization? What did the activists do to overturn the law?

What kind of societal or legal prohibitions and restrictions have there been or are in effect at the moment elsewhere?

Finnish law prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality 1971–1999
Ulf Månsson (EN), 20 min

Looking back at Section 28 in the UK
Jo Paxton (EN, subtitled in Finnish and English), 10 min

On the LGBTQIA situation in Hungary
Luca Dudits (EN), 10 min

Between decriminalisation of homosexuality and “anti-gay law”: changes in legislation and its influence on Russian queer and LGBT community from 90s towards now. 
Alisa Zhabenko (EN), 10 min

Facilitator: Tuula Juvonen

14.30 – 14.40

14.40 – 15.30
4) Intersectional diversity of sexual and gender history in museums (FI)

Prison, Webinar platform, Facebook streaming

In Finnish. How can museums and memory organizations come forward with diversity of history? What kind of intersectional work museums have cut out for themselves? What are the challenges?

Speakers: Elisa Sarpo and Sandra Hagman

Facilitator: Wisam Elfadl

15.30 – 15.40

15.40 – 16.30
5) Panel: Queer newcomers: perspectives on queer migration (EN)

Prison, Webinar platform, Facebook Stream

What is the legal and societal situation for LGBTQIA people elsewhere? What structural barriers are there in Finland that are not recognized? Perspectives of the people who have moved to Finland because of gender or sexuality.

Speakers: Hassen Hnini, Thomas Moose, and Abdullah Qureshi

Facilitator: Wisam Elfadl

16.30 – 16.45
Summary and feedback (FI/EN)

Friends of Queer History.

17.00 – 17.45
Guided tour into the history of the female prison (FI)

In Finnish. Only for on-site participants. The female prison is located in the Häme castle next to the Prison. The castle is unfortunately not fully accessible.

Guide: Gisela Schulz-Ala-Tala

Access and accessibility & safety

Accessibility and safety:

  • All organizers commit to our safer space guidelines. All participants are responsible for actualizing a safer space as well.
  • In case of a contagious illness, please do not attend the event on-site. Please maintain good hygiene. We recommend to wear a face mask, if possible. It is possible to wash and disinfect your hands at the venue.
  • You can attend both on-site and online. We do our best for online safety.
  • The event is multilingual but mainly in Finnish. Some parts of the program have subtitles in Finnish and in English.
  • The event will feature live interpretation to Finnish Sign Language, which will also be shown online. 
  • Parts of the program are recorded and released later online with the permission of the performers. All published recordings will have subtitles in Finnish, Swedish and English. 
  • The last section of the program will not be recorded and will be streamed only to pre-registered participants. 
  • The Prison Museum is unfortunately not physically accessible. There are 9 steps at the main entrance (see photo). At the back entrance, there is a ramp but it is steep and not fully suitable for an electric wheelchair (see photos here and here). We will assist you if needed – contact us beforehand at
  • There is an elevator between floors at the venue.
  • There is no induction loop at the venue.
  • The event space will have seating and audio amplification. 
  • The public toilets are gender neutral. The accessible toilet is located on the ground floor of the building, accessible via elevator. 
  • For more detailed information on accessibility, please contact us: 

Access to the Prison museum: 

On foot from Hämeenlinna train station approx. 15 min walk (1.7 km). About 10 minutes walk (1.1 km) from the bus station from the center of Hämeenlinna. By public transport in Hämeenlinna, the closest access to the Prison museum is by bus number 17 (which runs through both the railway station and the bus station). It is situated near Häme Castle and the Prison museum parking area near Tampereentie (stop name LinnanpuistoP), which is about 400 meters from the Prison museum. The bus runs about every hour.

In the other direction, the stop can be found at the same point on the other side of the road (bus stop name LinnanpuistoE). Parking for cars and buses is in the vicinity of the prison, along Kustaa III Street, there is a free parking area with a P-symbol and free parking spaces along the street. Along Tampereentie, there is another free parking area reserved for both cars and buses, marked with a P-symbol.