Silvana Imam: 'People in the Lithuanian queer movement are the real heroes'

“People in the Lithuanian queer movement are the real heroes. If you don’t support them, don’t support me” – says hiphop artist and activist Silvana Imam.

With her hit documentary Silvana: Wake Me Up When You’re Awake, Sweden’s Artist of the Year brought her “lesbian revolution” to the Lithuanian mainstream. But would people listen if she had stayed in Plungė, a small town in Lithuania, where she grew up with a Lithuanian mother and a Syrian father?

We met Silvana and her mother Lilija at Vilnius Film Festival „Kino Pavasaris“.

Silvana and Lilija raise Vytė, the flag of the Emancipation Day, the initiative to support Lithuanian women’s equality. They got it as the present from Lithuanian activists. ©Berta Tilmantaitė
Silvana and her mother have a very close relationship. Silvana’s debut album Naturkraft starts with her mother’s poem. ©Berta Tilmantaitė
Suzana and Silvana, the names of two daughters of Lilija. ©Berta Tilmantaitė
Lilija, mother of Silvana, during the interview. ©Berta Tilmantaitė
Journalist Karolis Vyšniauskas and Lilija during the interview. ©Berta Tilmantaitė
Silvana Imama, sound director Kata Bitowt and journalist Berta Tilmantaitė during the interview. ©Karolis Vyšniauskas
Silvana Imam - Helt Fucked (feat. Michel Dida) (Part of NATURKRAFT, the shortfilm)

Further reading:

Swedish Rapper Silvana Imam is the Nation’s ‘Nonsense Warrior’ by Mathias Rosenzweig, PopCrush

Aš nebijau nieko. Lithuanian interview with Silvana Imam by Karolis Vyšniauskas after the first Silvana's show in Lithuania, 2016, DELFI

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Recorded by Kata Bitowt
Original music by Martynas Gailius

The studio sound was recorded at Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania.

This episode is supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture.

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