NYLA Talks

Silvana Imam


“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

Silvana and her mother have a very close relationship. Silvana’s debut album Naturkraft starts with her mother’s poem

Suzana and Silvana, the names of two daughters of Lilija

The podcast episode is hosted and edited by Karolis Vyšniauskas and Berta Tilmantaitė, recorded by Kata Bitowt, original music by Martynas Gailius, photography by Berta Tilmantaitė.

Further reading:

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

Aš nebijau nieko. Karolio interviu po pirmojo Silvanos koncerto Lietuvoje 2016 m., DELFI

This episode is supported by Lithuanian council for culture.


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