Organised by Harstad Municipality, in collaboration with Troms and Finnmark County Municipality, the Ly for Stormen conference will take place during The Festival in Northern Norway. Harstad's role as ICORN City of Refuge and the first city in the world to provide safe haven to persecuted musicians is central to the theme of this conference, with organisations such as Norsk PEN and Safemuse also part of the conference programme.
The theme of this year's conference is focused on the need to tell stories from both within, but more importantly beyond Norway, following two years of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stories of persecution of freedom of expression will be told through the personal experiences of artists, activists, and academics, shedding light on different perspectives on issues of censorship and persecution.
Four former and current ICORN residents will be involved in the Ly for Stormen conference. The Iranian poet, journalist, activist, Norsk PEN board member and former ICORN resident in Trondheim Asieh Amini will take part both in the cultural programme and the panel discussion. In the panel entitled ‘Freedom of speech for artist in today’s society – status and challenges’, Asieh will be joined by the former Mayor of Reykjavik Jón Gnarr and Elisabeth Dyvik, ICORN’s Programme Director, amongst others.
The Iranian singer, rapper, songwriter and ICORN resident in Piteå, Justina and the Palestinian hip-hop artist and former ICORN resident in Gothenburg Khaled Harara will also take part in the conference. There will also be reflections from the Iranian sociologist, writer, playwright, and current ICORN resident in Skien Massoud Ghadim Fallah.