Safe Havens 2021:
WHAT WE RISK FOR ART

December 20, 2021

Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe.

After last year’s Safe Havens Global Stream 2020 focused on a necessary improvement of cultural and artistic policies, this year’s Safe Havens Conference 2021 over 2 – 4 December focused on the artists themselves and the challenges they face at this stressful time of pandemic and creeping authoritarianism. A web-based summit with the overarching theme of Recentering Artists’ Rights in a Time of Crisis.

The program had three key design components, each with its own objectives:

Artistic Interventions: starting with a Keynote Performance instead of a speech, and closing with a multi-disciplinary artistic event live at Sentralen, Oslo. In addition, the conference featured several Artistic Interventions with the aim of re-centering focus on the artists themselves.

“Hive” Discussions: convened by key grassroots regional organizations in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, and followed by an Asia Report.

Artists’ Round Tables: two in-depth engagements, one on perceptions of artistic freedoms and introducing the Majlis concept for the voices of the artists community, and the other on repetitive patterns of definitions of who is “at risk” in arts and culture.

To these were added two debates, one by on Risk, Safety and Wellbeing on managing our mental and spiritual health during current conditions, and the other on the Safe Havens Next Steps and the artistic freedoms sector.

The conference was a closed event for participants only, due to safety for partaking artists at risk. But the closing event was a live performance at the brand new ‘Kronesalen’ at Sentralen in Oslo, titled ‘What We Risk for Art’, featuring the following performing artists:

– Carlos Catun aka Gato (Guatemalan breakdancer)
– Yasmine El Baramawy (Egyptian musician, Oud performer, composer)
– Per Oddvar Johansen (Norwegian jazz percussionist/drummer, composer)
– Ahmed Tobasi (Palestinian actor, director and educator)
– Rezan Betula (Kurdish performance artist)
– Hamid Sakhizada (Afghan musician, dambura performer and singer)
– Naïd Mubalegh (French/Hazara, flute player)
Artistic director: Hooman Sharifi
Moderator: Ingeborg Moa (director of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund)

You can see the full stream of the event here

A big thanks to all making the Safe Havens Conference possible in 2021, and see you all next year.

Safe Havens Conference 2021 was produced by Safe Havens and Freedom Talks (SH|FT) with support by The Fanak Fund, Swedish Arts Council, Swedish Institute, Artists at Risk Connection and Safemuse.

More about SH|FT here

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