The abstract for this ambitious, multi-million euro project is as follows:
Culture 2007 Multi-annual Co-operation Project
The Shahrazad project will bring new, original and challenging stories from all over the world into Europe. These are stories created, told and passed on by poets, journalists, novelists, editors, cartoonists, translators and essayists who, persecuted and silenced in their homelands, have been or will be granted refuge in European cities belonging to ICORN, the International Cities of Refuge Network.
Through comprehensive series and clusters of events and activities the Shahrazad project's co-organisers, Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, Norwich, Stockholm and Stavanger, will bring the ICORN writers and their stories to large target audiences throughout Europe and beyond.
Human rights, freedom of speech, diversity and solidarity are core values within the project. Shahrazad will be a unique tool for integration and for understanding between insiders and outsiders within communities, countries and even continents. A great number of intercultural dialogues will be initiated in and by the co-organising cities.
These dialogues will spread systematically to neighbouring regions and continents, and in so doing, already from the starting point the Shahrazad project will highlight the themes and agendas of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in 2008.
The Shahrazad project will set in motion a transnational dynamic of sharing and exchanging new stories. It will reach out specifically to individuals and groups unfamiliar with the traditional literary and cultural industries. The project will especially focus on children, youth and young adults who will, through educational programmes, creative workshops and digital story production, be on both the receiving and production ends of the Shahrazad chain of communication.
The Shahrazad project will function as a vital structuring and promotional tool for the International Cities of Refuge Network. The current and future member cities of the network will be interwoven in Shahrazad's activities; the writers hosted by the network will provide the major artistic content, while benefiting comprehensively from Shahrazad throughout the project period.
At the peak of its long-term ambitions, the Shahrazad project aims to supply Europe with a new, more open and sustainable narrative about itself. By opening up to human and artistic impulses from the outside, Europe can regain and revitalize some of its capital values: freedom, democracy and solidarity.