- This is an incredibly important book. Its an incredibly good book, and eye-opening book.
Karl Ove Knausgård said at the launch of Forbidden Voices.
The publisher of the book is the Norwegian publishing house Pelikanen Forlag, based in Stavanger. It is owned by Karl Ove Knausgård and was established in 2010 to publish literature, fiction and non-fiction of high quality.
Travels to the frontiers of freedom of expression
What drives some people to speak up even if it might cost them their lives? Authors and Stavanger Aftenblad journalists Jan Zahl and Finn E. Våga visited six writers and artists in ICORN residency in their cities of refuge and then visited their home countries in an attempt to understand their background, their motivation and the conditions under which the artists have lived and worked in Cuba, Bangladesh, Turkey, Iran, Palestine and Sri Lanka. But this is also a book about the exile experience of six displaced fates in the cities Reykjavik, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Paris, Bergen and Ithaca NY.
In the book, we meet Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo - Reykjavik/Cuba; Ratan Kumar Samadder - Bergen/Bangladesh; Khaled Harara - Gothenburg/Palestine; Sonali Samarasinghe - Ithaca, New York/Sri Lanka; Mana Neyestani - Paris/Iran; Asli Erdogan - Frankfurt/Turkey.
The reportages were first published as an article series in Norwegian newspapers in 2017. It was later translated into English with support from the Fritt Ord Foundation. A new portrait was added to the series this year, featuring Turkish author Asli Erdogan who found refuge in Frankfurt after her release from prison in 2017. She was arrested as part of the governments crack-down on writers and journalists following the attempted coup d’état in Turkey in 2016.
Book-launch at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019
In a common effort with the City of Stavanger and several local cultural actors, writers and artists, ICORN had a stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair in connection with the Norway Guest of Honour 2019. Forbidden voices was launched on the first day, Wednesday 16 October, in the presence of Karl Ove Knausgård, Pelikanen publishing, the authors, Stavanger Aftenblad’s journalists Jan Zahl and Finn E. Våga, and featured writer Asli Erdogan. At the launch Daily manager of Pelican Publishing Eirik Bø presented the book saying:
- It’s a great opportunity to be able to join forces with ICORN, which is also situated in Stavanger, and also with two Stavanger Aftenblad journalists, Jan Zahl and Finn E. Våga, who made this project happen. It couldn’t be a better place to launch this book than exactly here, where also the book has a chapter here in Frankfurt with Asli Erdogan, at the Stavanger and ICORN stand.
This is the article we issued about the series when first published in Norwegian newspapers in 2017. Here is a link to the presentation of the series: Forbidden Voices – the battle for freedom of expression