In Sweden and the Nordic countries the Cities of Refuge movement has grown rapidly over the past few years through the ICORN-system, in collaboration with individuals and organizations, of which several were represented at the conference. This movement is growing all over Europe and reaching out and connecting with cities in North- and South America, Africa and Asia.
The conference gave a global view of organizations, NGOs and initiatives to protect human rights defenders and how they intersect, and presented Nordic shelter initiatives for human rights defenders in visual arts, discussed how to create professional networks and include North American initiatives with Nordic connections. ICORN programme Director, Elisabeth Dyvik spoke about the duties and responsibilities relating to running residency programmes in her speech, Risky business: Running a residency programme for persecuted artists. Do we know what we’re doing?
Several writers, artists, musicians and cartoonists participated in the conference with artistic interventions, discussing the topics from their own perspectives:
Palestinian rapper and activist, Khaled Harara, ICORN musician in Gothenburg, talking about a project supporting young rappers in Gaza.
Sudanese musician Abazar Hamid, ICORN resident in Harstad, performing and in conversation with Ole Reitov from Freemuse and Iranian Musician Farzané Zamén.
Egyptian singer-song writer Ramy Essam, “the voice of Tahrir Square”, ICORN musician in Malmö, performing and presenting a report on the implementation of Malmö’s first safe haven programme for musicians”.
Director Abdul Hakim Hashemi Hamidi, founder of Simorgh film, ICORN fellow in Paris, and Khaled Harara in a conversation with actor and director Monirah Hashemi and Zandra Tufvesson on the current refugee situation – what is our contribution/responsibility working with human rights from the perspective of shelter cities, artists/culture/independent media?
Fadi Abou Hassan, Palestinian/Syrian cartoonist in Drøbak city of refuge, and Malaysian cartoonist Zunar, in conversation Swedish Comics Association on cartoonist’s rights and the situation in Syria and Malaysia.
ICORN writer in Malmö, Jude Dibia, hosts a discussion with activist Bisi Alimi on LGBTQ perspectives on human rights advocacy and artistic freedom.
Find complete programme, participant's biographies and texts on/by the host and participants at the bottom of this page.
DAY 1 Thursday 10 December
Arrivals, light lunch and registration
13.15 Opening of the conference. Introduction by conference host, activist and theatre director Monirah Hashemi
13.30 Key Note speech: By internationally renowned blogger, scholar and activist Lina Ben Mhenni
14.00 Mapping out the landscape – a global view of organizations, NGO: s and initiatives to protect human rights defenders and how they intersect. By MaryAnn DeVlieg, expert on artists’ mobilty and cultural management
14.30 Supporting young rappers in Gaza, presentation of a project. Rapper and activist Khaled Harara
15.00 Introduction of three workshops by the workshop leaders
15.15 Coffee/go to workshops. Parallel workshops, sign up for 1 of 3.
16.45 Before the safe haven... another day in the office. Ole Reitov from Freemuse gives an insight to a day at work with artists at risk and talks with Iranian musician Farzané Zamén and Sudanese musician Abazar Hamid.
17.30 On the current refugee situation – what is our contribution/responsibility working with human rights from the perspective of shelter cities, artists/culture/independent media? Actor and director Monirah Hashemi , director Abdul Hakim Hashemi Hamidi, founder of Simorgh film and Khaled Harara in conversation with moderator Zandra Tufvesson.
18.15 Artivism; do the artistic disciplines benefit from artivists to develop. Is the artistic expression a need, an obligation, a right, or a convention? Discussion between Daniel Gad, UNESCO chair, University of Hildesheim, Department of Cultural Policy and Ferdinand Richard, Chairman of the Roberto Cimetta Fund in Paris.
19.00 Buffet dinner
20.30 – 22.00 Evening event with musicians and activists Ramy Essam, Farzané Zamén and Abazar Hamid (Directed by Teater Foratt).
DAY 2 Friday 11 December
09.00 Introduction to day 2
09.10 Risky business: Running a residency programme for persecuted artists. Do we know what we’re doing? ICORN programme Director Elisabeth Dyvik.
09.40 LGBTQ perspectives on human rights advocacy and artistic freedom. Writer Jude Dibia hosting a discussion with activist Bisi Alimi.
10.10 Parallel workshops. Sign up for 1 of 3:
12.00 - 13.00 Lunch
13.15 Introducing the Hildesheim Arts Rights Justice - Summer Academy. With Daniel Gad, Todd Lanier Lester and Mary Ann DeVlieg
13.45 Seriefrämjandet (Swedish Comics Association) in conversation with cartoonists Fadi Abou Hassan and Zunar on cartoonist’s rights and the situation in Syria and Malaysia. Seriefrämjandet will also introduce a cartoonist exhibition on the topic of free speech and artistic freedom.
14.15 Open Space – feel free to write down a topic you want to discuss and gather other people for your group. Quiet areas will be set up for your conversations.
15.30 Final discussions with selected participants: what did we learn and where can we go from here. Final words
16.00 – 17.00 The venue will be open for those who wish to stay to have coffee and network for a little longer.
…with artistic interventions and some magic moments as well.