Antwerp’s LGBTQI+ bookshop Kartonnen Dozen wins Çavaria Media Award

Boekhandel Kartonnen Dozen in Antwerp has won the annual Çavaria Media Award. Brussels based Protest to support the Polish LGBT+ community won the Çavaria Campaign Award.

Çavaria is the main LGBTQI+ advocacy organisation in Flanders

Kartonnen Dozen is the last LGBTQI+ bookshop in Dutch-speaking Europe, i.e. The Netherlands and Belgium. There are also none in Suriname, Sint Eustatius, Saba, Bonaire, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten

The name of the bookshop translates as Cardboard Boxes in English and is actually the title of a gay coming of age novel by Tom Lannoye.

Apart from SOGIESC themed books, Johanna M Pas also sells DVD’s, memorabilia and other products you can find in bookshops. Mostly in Dutch, but also in English and sometimes in French.

SOGIESC, by the way, stands for sexual orientation (lesbian, bi, gay, …), gender identity and expression (cisgender, transgender, non-binary, …) and sex characteristics (e.g. intersex).

Pas and Kartonnen Dozen also sometimes publish novels and poetry. The bookshop also makes point of organizing book presentation, lectures and small events.

Kartonnen Dozen started life as ‘t Verschil, which was a shop and a publishing house. Under those two names, the initiative has been active for 25 years now.

Johanna M Pas. Photo by Marian Coppieters.


Protest to support the Polish LGBT+ community won the Campaign Award. This group of activists in Brussels keeps an eye on what’s happening in Poland regarding LGBTQI+ issues. 

In August 2020, it held a protest near the European Union‘s HQ offices

For more on this subject, I like to refer to Rémy Bonny, who gave us an insight in LGBTQI+ issues in Eastern Europe.

Lifetime Achievement

Just before his 100th birthday, early gay activist Paul Rademakers (°1920) received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering work voor LGBTQI+ people in Antwerp. Paul is still alive. 

Paul Rademakers (right). Photo by çavaria.

Portrait of Johanna Pas by Marian Coppieters, via çavaria’s press release. 
Portrait of Paul Rademakers by çavaria.

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