IPA (International Publishers Association) and International PEN were the main collaborators for this year's main theme: Freedom of Expression. The theme was interwoven throughout the fair's events. IPA and PEN created a joint Stand up for Freedom of Expression exhibit with a stage, upon which 140 guests participated in 60 programmes, attended by between 5000 and 6000 visitors.
ICORN collaborated with IPA and PEN on one of eleven major Freedom of Expression seminars. It was titled Hospitality without Borders, was chaired by PEN's International Secretary Joanne Leedom Ackerman. Moris Farhi (UK/Turkey) and Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) were the key speakers.
The panel set out to answer questions like:
What goal and philosophy could be behind establishing a network such as ICORN?
How can cities of refuge influence literature?
How are the writers themselves affected?
Both writers presented their personal reflections on the ideas of home and exile as related to literature and the creative processes of writing. Orhan Pamuk, especially, underlined how valuable it is for a writer persecuted in his home town/country to know about the possibility of finding refuge in a safe city, even if one chooses not take advantage of that possibility, or is currently not able to leave home under the present situation.
Moris Farhi talked about the challenges facing the host city when receiving a guest writer:
How can one make sure the writer does not disappear from the literary community once settled within a City of Refuge?
What translation and publishing strategies can be put into effect for the writer? How can he or she establish new foundations and relationships when residing within the host city?
Furthermore, Stavanger's ICORN Guest Writer Chenjerai Hove (Zimbabwe) spoke with the Swedish writer Henning Mankell about the situation of Freedom of Speech in Southern Africa at a well-attended event on the Stand up for Freedom of Expression stage.
Kjell Olaf Jensen, President of Norwegian PEN, hosted one of the other main seminars, entitled Writing in Exile. Chenjerai Hove also took part in this event, along with Tromsø's ICORN Guest Writer Easterine Kire (Nagaland), and the Iranian writer Azar Mahloujian