20 years of MANEO

Great gala for the 20. anniversary

The MANEO gay anti-violence project held a Benefit Gala at ‘TIPI am Kanzleramt’ on Monday 30th August. The occasion was the 20th birthday of the project. 500 guests crammed into the event, which was sold-out to the last place. Many prominent people attended the Gala such as the current governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, the President of Berlin’s Parliament and former governing Mayor of Berlin Walter Momper, the Mayor of Cologne Elfi Scho-Antwerpes and the Mayor of Heidelberg Wolfgang Erichson, and of course many friends, helpers, and sponsors of MANEO also attended.

Bastian Finke, the leader of MANEO, welcomed the guests and gave a thank you address for the breadth and duration of the support given to the project and described the continuing necessity of the work of MANEO. “With this very special event we want to thank our many supporters, workers, helpers and sponsors”.

The evening’s programme was taken care of by the Haute Vaulet of the Berlin Artists’ scene. Diseuse Georgette Dee and Chansonnier Tim Fischer sang of love and, as usual, effortlessly kept their public spellbound. An unusually well behaved Desiree Nick sang the birthday serenade, this was followed however by Desiree carrying on a birthday cake which she then ate while speaking out and thereby spitting cake over a large part of the immediate audience. Gabi Decker as head of security at the Vatican caused great laughter. The whole evening was compéred in 1920s fashion by the charming Eric Rentmeister (from ‘Cabaret’).

In comparison to this carefree programme the Berliner Singer Angelika Mann simply and seriously said, “I don’t know how one should wish a project happy birthday, so it’s better to say nothing” but she closed her performance with the hope that the time would soon come when a gay anti-violence project would be unnecessary.

The evening continued with agents from the Home Office for Queer Security (TunSi) who provided their comic thoughts on the 20 years of hard, moving and intensive project work. Nic Hartung of the youth project “Tuned” presented the premier of his own composition the Hip-Hip-Song “MANEO”.

The new MANEO award for Excellence was presented to Klaus Wowereit, the Mayor of Berlin, for his great engagement in the rights of LGBT people. “ Herr Wowereit declared, “MANEO is one of the most important projects of this City (…), because even though Berlin is known as an open and tolerant city, violence and discrimination against people because of their gay or lesbian way of life is a sad day to day occurrence.”

The evening contained the world premier of the MANEO “Night Flight Attendants”, a task force who appear in a 1960s Stewardess look, and use the flight attendant techniques such as gesture which are used for demonstrating rules of conduct in dangerous flight situations. It is planned that the MANEO Night Flight Attendants will, over several months, visit as many different locations as possible on the Berlin gay and lesbian scenes to demonstrate correct behaviour in dangerous life situations.

Many Prominent Guests and Wellwishers

The many prominent guests included: The President of the Berlin’s Parliament and former governing Mayor of Berlin Mr. Walter Momper, ex-Federal Minister of Justice Mrs. Brigitte Zypries, the Mayor of the city of Cologne Mrs. Elfi Scho-Antwerpes, the Mayor of the city Heidelberg Mr. Wolfgang Erichson Justice Senator of Berlin Mrs. Giesela von der Aue, Lichtenberg’s Borough Mayor Mrs. Christina Emmerich, Mrs. Lala Süßkind, Chairman of the Jewish Community of Berlin, Mr. Peter Kurth ex-CDU-Finance Senator, Mr. Klaus Lederer Chairman of the Linke (the Left Party), Mr. Volker Beck Member of the Federal Parliament (Green Party), Mr. Dieter Glietsch Berlin Police President, Mr. Dr. Richard Meng, Mr. Rainer-Maria Fritsch, Mr. Rolf Schütte und Mr. Thomas Härtel, Berlin State Secretaries, in addition Mr. Safter Cinar, member of the Board of the Turkish Community in Berlin and Brandenburg, the actress Mrs. Barbara Schöne, Make-up Artist to the stars Mr. René Koch and Mr. Georg Preuße alias „Mary“.

Amongst the wellwishers of the Gala was a delegation of the MANEO partner organisations COGAM (Madrid).

Particularly welcome was a youth group from Tel Aviv, survivors of the attack on the gay/lesbian centre Aguda in August 2009. They attended as part of the MANEO initiated project “Rainbow Bridge. The Rainbow Bridge project was designed as a show of solidarity and consisted of inviting these young people to stay in Berlin and Cologne for a programme of sightseeing and meetings. For the Israeli guests the Gala was their leaving party since they were flying home on the following day. A return visit is being planned for next year.

“All income from the Gala will be used to support the work of MANEO and to secure the continu-ance of the project. “Our thanks go to the brilliant artists, and the many helpers without which the Gala would not have been possible, and particular thanks go to the team from TIPI theatre and Berlin’s FriedrichstadtPalast,“ so said Bastian Finke.


You can get an impression of our jubilee gala in our galery.

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Viele haben uns tatkräftig unterstützt.

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