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Safe Havens

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON

June 10, 2021

Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg

Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization.

The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into a new phase. From being an annual conference on culture and human rights gathering annually around 200 participants in November/December from all over the world, from changing organizing host environments, Safe Havens is now moving on.

The initiative is now securing the continuity by forming its own administrative body, a non-profit NGO under the name Safe Havens & Freedom Talks (SH&FT).

In Safemuse we are proud and humble being asked to take on the role as fiscal sponsor for the period of establishment. Together with the SH&FT team we are developing the base for the annual conference and associated initiatives like Freedom Talks. And there is more to come – if donors join in.

Yesterday the conference team gathered to start planning for the coming event – probably as earlier, in November / December. Dates will soon be launched. Parallel we are working hard to secure the financial base both for the new NGO, for a new edition of the conference and other activities.

Fredrik Elg – Photo Credit: Sofia Elg

In a newly published article at the Bangladesh independent magazine Shuddhashar.com, the Safe Havens initiator and never resting driver, Fredrik Elg, describes the background and motivation for the Safe Havens initiative and development:

“The goal of all initiatives within the Safe Havens concept is to strengthen the international network, which advocates and protects artists and cultural creators at risk at all levels.

Read the Shuddhashar article HERE

 

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

About us Support us ‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (aka.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a...

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A Conversation with Maryam Sharifi

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SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON

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SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into ...

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Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and ...

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SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour

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Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020

About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens ...

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Safe Havens Global Stream 2020

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS

December 18, 2020

Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and individuals working in the field of artistic freedom and human right.

Phase one of the conference took place between 10 and 13 November with a series of workshops. Then, based on issues and questions that came up during these workshops, phase two of the conference took place on 3 December 2020 with two round-table discussions.

A very fruitful and inspiring gathering all together, although this year as webinars on the internet. 164 registrations in November, and during the streamed round table-sessions 3. December we registered 250 visitors through the streaming partner HowlRound, 154 live views on Facebook, and 214 views on the conference Vimeo-stream. 18 nations with US on top including 17 US states.

Museum of Movement in Malmö, Sweden, was the main organizer (closing down 31 December due to a total budget cut from the Ministry of Culture in Sweden !) with Safemuse as close partner, and a long row of supporters within the Safe Havens international network.

A comprehensive report is on its way.

INSPIRING ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS

Safemuse organized a bouquet of artistic interventions presented both during the November and December sessions.

And as a ‘Great Thank You’ to all Safemuse’s friends and partners for this odd year’s cooperation, and not the least a Grateful Gesture to all the artists we have collaborated with throughout 2020, we’ll bring you here the artistic interventions presented during Safe Havens Global Stream 2020. Some strong and beautiful artistic interventions from artists with very different backgrounds, but also a common ground in the urge to express themselves freely – in spite of great difficulties.

Hamid Sakhizada is a highly acknowledged musician from Afghanistan, specialized in the Hazara traditional music and the instrument dambura.
Hamid has a large fan base in Afghanistan and abroad, and has participated in the 2012 ABU Annual Song Contest and Afghan Star, the equivalent to the Idol song contest. He has performed in several countries, as well as having produced three albums.
Hamid’s all-consuming passion for the Hazara music has cost him dearly. The Hazara-people is a minority in Afghanistan, and due to his tireless efforts to preserve the tradition, Hamid became subject to a steady campaign of threats and violent harassment from groups who oppose the minority Hazara culture, as well as from religious traditionalists.
Hamid was forced to leave his country, and in 2016 he came as guest musician to Safe Music Haven Harstad, Norway, where he still lives and continues to perform his music openly and keeping the Hazara tradition alive.
The album Dai Raft was released in Nov 2019 (LIDIO/Safemuse). With help from an all-star team of musicians Hamid brings old traditions alive through new collaborations, interpretations and expressions. And his artistic intervention during Safe Havens Global Stream is from the release concert of Dai Raft.

Hamid Sakhizada/Dai Raft: ‘My heart’
Hamid Sakhizada (vocals and dambura), Harpreet Bansal (violin), Birger Mistereggen (jew’s harp and rope tensioned drum, percussion), Kaveh Mahmudiyan (tombak, daf and bandir)
Video by Freemuse/ Ingvar Kolbjørnsen

Hamid Sakhizada/Dai Raft: ‘Dambura’
Hamid Sakhizada (vocals and dambura), Harpreet Bansal (violin), Birger Mistereggen (jew’s harp and rope tensioned drum, percussion), Kaveh Mahmudiyan (tombak, daf and bandir)
Video by Freemuse/ Ingvar Kolbjørnsen

Mai Khoi is a Vietnamese celebrated pop star, singer and musician. She has been playing music professionally since she was 12 – in her father’s wedding band, and in 2010 she was awarded the Vietnam Television Song and Album of the Year Award, the highest award for song writing in her country. Her music is distinct in terms of its emotional range, her wide vocal register and the distinct tonal qualities of her voice.
Mai Khoi is somewhat of an anomaly for a celebrity in a Communist country like Vietnam, for having spoken out about sexuality, LGBT rights and violence against women. And in 2016 Mai Khoi broke international headlines after she became the first Vietnamese celebrity in history to nominate herself for the National Assembly on a pro-democracy platform.
After this she has been banned from performing in Vietnam, harassed and detained. Even the closed recording session of her first album after changing from pop icon to artist activist, with only invited friends and supporters in the studio, the police showed up and obstructed her work (‘Dissent’ LIDIO/Safemuse 2018).
The music Mai Khoi will perform during Safe Havens Global Stream is from a project that was planned premiered in Oslo in may this year. Together with Norwegian musician and composer/ music arranger Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum the stage production ‘Mai Khoi Song Cycle’ is still in the making, with Mai Khoi in New York and Ofelia in Oslo – due to corona. So, this is a sneak peek into what will be on stage when the world again opens up after the pandemic.
Mai Khoi is for the time being an Artist Protection Fund Fellow.

Mai Khoi: ‘Lanninh’ & ‘Meow’
Mai Khoi (vocals and keybord), Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum (cello)
Video by the artist/Safemuse.

Mai Khoi: ‘Love’ & ‘Just be Patient’
Mai Khoi (vocals and keybord), Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum (cello)
Video by the artist/Safemuse.

Yasmine Baramawy is an Egyptian musician, sound artist, Oud performer and composer based in Malmö. She develops an original sound universe around her practice of the Oud (modified and augmented by a low string) but also around concrete music and other electronic experiments. She plays one of the world’s oldest instruments yet she manages to work with a curious blend of different approaches and genres like oriental, rock and classic music. She builds sound installations mingling with poetry and spoken word added to her Oud live manipulations, her approach is characterized by a permanent sound research exploring both the acoustic tradition of the oud and the adventurous and transversal sound practices. She composed and performed live with experimental and dance theatre plays and wrote scores for film production in the alternative scene in Egypt.

Yasmine Elbaramawy: ‘about to’
Yasmine Elbaramawy (oud)
(Egypt/Sweden)
Video by the artist/Safemuse.
Special thanks to Ahmed Hararah.
Thanks’ to Inter Arts Center Malmö for providing the studio facilities.

Confess is originally an Iranian heavy metal band. They are known for having faced charges in Iran for their music, in which they expressed anti-religious and anti-government views. Confess in Iran played together for 10 years, and released 2 albums, an EP and several singles.
Khosravi and Ilkhani were arrested in November 2015 and held in solitary confinement. At that time, they potentially faced execution after being charged with blasphemy for “writing Satanic music and speaking to foreign radio stations”. In July 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran handed Khosravi and Ilkhani a combined sentence of 14 1⁄2 years in prison for the crime of playing metal. Khosravi was also sentenced to 74 lashes. Nikan managed to escape the country and landed in Safe Music Haven Harstad, and a while later, it also became possible for Arash to come to Norway. They have teamed up with by Norwegian musicians, and are developing their distinct and powerful metal music and are planning a tour in the spring of 2021.

Confess: ‘Evin’ & ‘I am your god’
Nikan Khosravi (vokals/guitar), Arash Ilkhani (keyboard/dj), Roger Tunheim Jakobsen (drums), Steffen Normark (guitar), Erling Malm (bass)
Video by the Normark Photography

Lavon Volski an icon of Belarusian rock music, a cultural figure, an author. His songs are anthems of those who dream of a democratic and free Belarus. Thus, Volski since many years has been on the regime’s infamous “black list” of artists never played on national radio and banned from performing. Lavon Volski has created several successful solo projects and he founded bands such as Mroya, N.R.M., Zet and Krambambulya, which all made a huge impact on the development of a Belarusian-speaking rock music and of Belarusian culture in general.
Lavon is awarded numerous musical awards, and he received the Freemuse Award 2016.

Lavon Volski: ‘Air Balloon’ & ‘Enemies of the people’
Lavon Volski (vocals/ guitar), Paval Tryputs (guitar), Siarhei Adamovič (bass), Paval Mamonaū (drums)
Film/video production: Kanstancin Siarohin, Valery Kandracjeu
Studio: EverestMedia by Paval Sinila

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020 organized by Museum of Movements in corporation with Safemuse, and with kind support from Fritt Ord, Norwegian Arts Council.

Full program here:
http://rorelsernasmuseum.se/publikationer/safe-havens-conference-global-stream

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

About us Support us ‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (aka.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a...

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release

About us Support us Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many ...

A Conversation with Maryam Sharifi

About us Support us THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place on the island of

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o...

In solidarity with Afghanistan

About us Support us IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul by

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b...

Gladnyhet: En million kroner til residensordning i Oslo

About us Support us Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag 2022: En million til Safemuse residensordning Residensartisten Mai Khoi skal spille på Cafeteatret i 2022. Foto: mai-khoi.com EN GLEDENS DAG I ettermiddag ble Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag for 2022 endelig lagt frem, og gleden var stor da Safemuse mottok beskjeden om byrådets innstilling på en million kroner til etablering

Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag 2022: En million til Safemuse residensordning Residensartisten Mai Khoi skal spille på Cafeteatret i 2022. Foto: mai-khoi.com EN GLEDENS DAG I ettermiddag ble Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag for 2022 endelig lagt frem, og gleden var stor da Safemuse mottok beskjeden om byrådets innstilling på en million kroner til etabl

Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag 2022: En million til Safemuse residensordning Residensartisten Mai Khoi skal spille på Cafeteatret i 2022. Foto: mai-khoi.com EN GLEDENS DAG I ettermiddag ble Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag for 2022 endelig lagt frem, og gleden var stor da Safemuse mottok beskjeden om byrådets innstilling på en million kroner til etabl...

Announcement: New staff member in Safemuse

About us Support us NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international

NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international

NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international ...

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON

About us Support us SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into ...

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020

About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and ...

Safemuse Artist Touring High Schools

About us Support us SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour in Trøndelag, “BBoy for life”. The production, a combination

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour ...

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020

About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens ...

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Safemuse Artist Touring High Schools

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS

December 9, 2020

 Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE

Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour in Trøndelag, “BBoy for life”.

The production, a combination of screening of the documentary “BBoy for life”, live performance and a following conversation with the studens, was presented for High schools in Trøndelag, Norway. The student’s response was overwhelming. The tour had a big impact on everyone involved:

“It’s amazing to see the faces of the youths brighten when they see the documentary about Gatos fight for artistic freedom, and realize that they actually get to meet Gato after the film. During the show the students gave full attention to what was happening”, comments fellow performer and Safemuse coordinator Nicolai López.

The tour followed a week residence at SEANSE (Senter for kunstproduksjon) in Volda, where the artists together with film maker Fahil Anweri, set designer Even Børsum and director Jon Tombre got to work and prepare the production. The production consists of the documentary “BBoy for life” and an audio visual performance that shows the story after this documentary was made. The show includes a dialogue with the students where they get to reflect and share what they themselves fight for, and get the possibility to ask Gato direct questions.

Experiences from the tour

When the students got the possibility to share what they themselves are fighting for, they presented a series of topics: friends and family, the environment, equality and justice for all, self-determination over your own body, fight against racism and the fight for freedom of expression.

The questions for Gato varied from political questions about Guatemala and Latin Amerika, to what football team he supports. The questions that repeatedly came up were:

How is the crew Gato dansed with in the movie now doing in Guatemala? Are they still dancing?

Do you have any contact with your family?

How can we help?

A lot of tears where shed during the time they spent with the students. If not for Covid19, there would have been a lot of hugs. And not hugging was something the artists found the most hard during the tour.

Gato’s message for the students:

“Norway is a land full of possibilities, possibilities for children and youth I never could have had if not coming here. I do hope you see these possibilities and seize them! You can become whatever you want!” 

Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes /SEANSE

The artistic team:

Director: Jon Tombre, foto/film: Fahil Anweri, scenografi: Even Børsum

Performers: Carlos Catun, Nicolai López, Piero Issa

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

About us Support us ‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (aka.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a...

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About us Support us Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

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About us Support us THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place on the island of

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o...

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About us Support us IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul by

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b

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NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international

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About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and ...

Safemuse Artist Touring High Schools

About us Support us SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour in Trøndelag, “BBoy for life”. The production, a combination

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour ...

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020

About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens ...

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Safe Havens News

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020

November 9, 2020

Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream

Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world!

This year the annual Safe Havens is a two phased, streamed conference event. Safemuse is a proud partner and responsible for the artistic program, presenting some fantastic artists, activist and great performers. This includes Hamid Sakhizada with his ‘Dad Raft’-ensemble, Mai Khoi together with cellist and composer Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum, Egyptian oud performer and sound artist Yasmine Elbaramawy, Iranian metal band Confess, and finally the legendary Belarusian rocker Lavon Volski with his band.

Safe Havens Conference Global Stream

Safe Havens – A global network meeting

The annual Safe Havens conference is a global network meeting. The conference is organized in a process of collaboration between artists, different cultural operators and organizations, where focus is directed on the connection between art, culture and human rights.

The conference is a way of visualizing the significant position of culture and academia in human rights advocacy and moving towards sharing and using knowledge between artists, cultural operators, scholars and major human rights and cultural organizations.

Fredrik Elg, initiator of the conference, said: “We are artists, writers, musicians, activists and administrators from all over the world. We are in this together. And, the Safe Havens conference is the place where we come together. The conference is not a step towards establishing a new formal network, it is an open forum for all of us who see a point in meeting, interacting and sharing with new and old friends in order to learn from each other. It is a cosmopolitan space – a platform – where new collaborations take shape.”

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

About us Support us ‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (aka.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a...

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About us Support us Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many ...

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About us Support us THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place on the island of

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o...

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About us Support us IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul by

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b...

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About us Support us Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag 2022: En million til Safemuse residensordning Residensartisten Mai Khoi skal spille på Cafeteatret i 2022. Foto: mai-khoi.com EN GLEDENS DAG I ettermiddag ble Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag for 2022 endelig lagt frem, og gleden var stor da Safemuse mottok beskjeden om byrådets innstilling på en million kroner til etablering

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About us Support us NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international

NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international

NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international ...

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SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into ...

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About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and ...

Safemuse Artist Touring High Schools

About us Support us SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour in Trøndelag, “BBoy for life”. The production, a combination

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour ...

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020

About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens ...

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News

TBT: EL HAQED LIVE AT BLÅ

El Haqed live at Blå 2015

May 18, 2020
Play Video

El Haqed / L7A9D (Oslo 2015)

FRESH FROM THE VAULT: To celebrate the new Safemuse website, we have dug out a video from May 1st 2015 featuring the Moroccan rapper El Haqed/L7a9d on stage together with the Norwegian rap-duo ‘Gatas Parlament’ (Street Parliament).

El Haqed’s appearance was part of a residency organized by Safemuse that included working with ‘Paleface’ in Helsinki and the Palestinian rapper Khaled Harara in Gothenburg. In Oslo he appeared as Special Guest during Gatas Parlament’s May Day party at ‘Blå’, one of the leading venues in Norway within ‘alternative’ live music.

L7a9d or El Haqed (meaning: ‘The Enraged One’) is a Moroccan rapper and human rights activist that has been imprisoned on spurious charges three times in Morocco in as many years, the last time for four months in 2014 – most probably because of his popularity and has lyrics that condemn corruption and police brutality. El Haqed rose to prominence when he was imprisoned for criticizing Mohammed VI, the king of Morocco. After two years in prison he was released in 2013. In February 2014 he released a new album called Waloo. El Haqed faced difficulties in pursuing his recording career when studios did not want to work with him fearing government surveillance. He was banned from performing in public and subsequently Safemuse invited him for a Nordic residency round trip to meet colleagues and have the possibility to work and perform. When returning to Morocco after the residency, he again was approached by the authorities, and found it best to leave. He is now based in Brussels, Belgium,

Gatas Parlament (currently Elling Borgersrud and Jester) started out in 1993, was the first hip-hoppers to release a recording in Norwegian, and have through the years caused quite some controversy with their strong left-leaning political lyrics and views. 

‘Shof’

As a result of a nightly session in the studio of Gatas Parlament in May 2015, the track ‘Shof’ featuring El Haqed was included in Gatas album ‘Gatas 4 Life’, released in February last year.

Check out ‘Shof’ at Bandcamp or Spotify.  

The 2015 residency was organized in cooperation with HIAP/Nordic Fresh Air Network and Perpetuum Mobile in Helsinki and Konstepidemin in Gothenburg, supported by Creo – the union for arts and culture, The Finish Musicians’ Union and SKAP – Swedish composers and lyricists.

Film by Andreas Leonardsen.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

About us Support us ‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (aka.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a...

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About us Support us Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many ...

A Conversation with Maryam Sharifi

About us Support us THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place on the island of

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o...

In solidarity with Afghanistan

About us Support us IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul by

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b...

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About us Support us Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag 2022: En million til Safemuse residensordning Residensartisten Mai Khoi skal spille på Cafeteatret i 2022. Foto: mai-khoi.com EN GLEDENS DAG I ettermiddag ble Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag for 2022 endelig lagt frem, og gleden var stor da Safemuse mottok beskjeden om byrådets innstilling på en million kroner til etablering

Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag 2022: En million til Safemuse residensordning Residensartisten Mai Khoi skal spille på Cafeteatret i 2022. Foto: mai-khoi.com EN GLEDENS DAG I ettermiddag ble Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag for 2022 endelig lagt frem, og gleden var stor da Safemuse mottok beskjeden om byrådets innstilling på en million kroner til etabl

Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag 2022: En million til Safemuse residensordning Residensartisten Mai Khoi skal spille på Cafeteatret i 2022. Foto: mai-khoi.com EN GLEDENS DAG I ettermiddag ble Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag for 2022 endelig lagt frem, og gleden var stor da Safemuse mottok beskjeden om byrådets innstilling på en million kroner til etabl...

Announcement: New staff member in Safemuse

About us Support us NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international

NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international

NEW STAFF MEMBER AT SAFEMUSE Photo: Kristoffer Archetti Stølen MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER We are glad to announce that Akari Izumi Kvamme is the newest member to the Safemuse team!   Akari holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a MSc in international ...

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON

About us Support us SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into ...

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020

About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and

Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and ...

Safemuse Artist Touring High Schools

About us Support us SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour in Trøndelag, “BBoy for life”. The production, a combination

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour ...

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020

About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens ...

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Uncategorized

APPEAL BY DEEYAH KHAN

Artistic freedom and populism

March 3, 2020

‘FRI KUNST 2020’ / MUSIC FREEDOM DAY: Deeyah Khan, an award-winning film director, human rights activist, record producer and former singer and artist, writes about the necessity and need for the power of art and artistic freedom in todays world, full of armed conflicts, inequality, radicalisation, authoritarianism, populism, extremist movements and other forms of intolerance.

This text by Deeyah Khan is written for the ‘Art Freedom’-week (‘FRI KUNST 2020’) organized in Norway in connection with the world wide Music Freedom Day. 

Read the Norwegian translation here

Art is powerful. Art is a necessary expression of what it means to be human. Art is beauty, art is the harshness of truth. Art is activism, art is a mirror to our society. It has the ability to touch our feelings and to connect us to each other beyond our differences. It has the power to speak differently to each person; to reach us on an emotional level. In theaters, through stories and museums, concert halls and our own homes, art invites us to see the world from another person’s perspective, even if only for a moment. And in a world where it seems we’re never more divided, with populism and identarian politics ranging through Europe, through Asia and through America, these moments of perspective have never felt as precious.

We’re being told to stay in our boxes – of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality and all the other reductive identities there are – and not to look outside. But art carves windows into our box, so we can see into other spaces, other experiences, other lives. If we can understand and empathise with others then we can build connections between each other. These are the connections that hold our societies together, that build our mutual understanding, and our sense of community.

This is not to say that art is always a benign force. Art can reinforce conservative norms. It presents us with endless stereotypes of nagging housewives and incompetent husbands. It shows us black and brown people as enemies, that’s if it shows us them at all. At its worst, art can be leveraged in service of totalitarianism and hate. So art must always be open to critique. But we have to treat any approach to censorship with the utmost caution, whether it comes from our enemies…or even from our allies. Wherever we sit on the political spectrum, none of us should be taping up the windows of the boxes we live in.

When it comes to censorship we have to recognise that the people most impacted by the heavy hand of the state, or the harassment of radicalised mobs, are vulnerable people: women, and members of minorities with little political influence. We live in an era of macho, populist politics, the era of Trump, Duterte, Modi, Bolsonaro, Putin and Erdogan. Populists present themselves as ‘men of the people’, often trading on senses of grievance, entitlement and resentment to present themselves as a representative of the majority: the real, true, pure, patriotic citizens of the state. They position themselves as martyrs to political correctness, unable to speak freely. These ‘true citizens’ are contrasted to the supposed ‘elite’ – a category that includes politicians, academics, professionals – and artists, even those working as baristas while they write their first collection of poetry.

Freedom of expression is important to us all. But as diversity is marginalised, those margins where art is created become a dangerous place. Art from the margins becomes more dangerous to create – and all the more valuable to our societies. As long as there is art coming from the margins, there’s still hope that we can redraw connections between people. There’s still a conversation. It’s important to keep conversations alive. Nobody wants to be silenced and to be told that what they have to say isn’t important. It’s not always easy to deal with conversations: it’s certainly hard to admit you may be wrong and to change your views, or to defend your views from hostile attacks. But that’s the dynamic that needs to lie at the heart of any democracy – listening to each other, learning from each other, striving for better answers and better questions. The conversation must carry on, and those voices most likely to be silenced must be included.

We have to talk honestly and openly about problematic topics – like radicalization, discrimination and violence – without becoming defensive. We must remember that freedom of expression includes the right ‘to offend, shock or disturb’ and that the best remedy for speech we disagree with is a robust counter-argument rather than an attempt to silence your opponent. Silencing the other side of an argument only shows that you lack faith in your own ability to argue your position. This is the spirit in which I – as a Norwegian, a Muslim woman with South Asian heritage, a dark skinned daughter of immigrants – set out to engage honestly with extremists from the far-right and Islamist movements, both of which had viewpoints diametrically opposed to my own. This is the spirit in which the most important art is created: not just to entertain, but to open up a window, to show us something new, to tell us something about ourselves and about humanity.

Art is one of the most foundational expressions of humanity, and can only flourish in an atmosphere that supports human rights, one which is free from fear, violence and repression. To be able to show us the light, artists need to be protected from repression and persecution. The barriers to self-expression must be torn down. Instead, we are seeing more and more barriers being raised. Some of them are obvious such as censorship and harassment, some of them psychological and social, from self-censorship for fear of repercussions and negative attitudes in the community towards those choosing a career in art, a prejudice which particularly impacts women. Financial crises, economic inequality, the increasingly evident impacts of climate change and many other outcomes of neoliberal politics have created a perfect storm for social divisions.

The power of art is never more needed in an atmosphere of armed conflicts, inequality, radicalisation, authoritarianism, populism, extremist movements and other forms of intolerance. This is why we need art: to promote dignity, equality, human rights and peace – to tear down the divisions between us. To let the light shine in.

Deeyah Khan

Deeyah Khan is an award-winning film director, human rights activist, record producer and former singer and artist. As the founder and director of the production company Fuuse, she is responsible for several documentaries that go straight into the core of the greatest challenges of our time related to social exclusion and outsideness, racism and persecution. She is also the founder and editor of Sister-Hood Magazine, which promotes and gives voice to various women with a Muslim background.

As a 17-year-old, in 1995, she was forced to flee from Norway and settle in London, following persistent pressures, hatred and killings from conservative Muslims in Norway.

In 2016, Khan became UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity.

#MusicFreedomDay2020

#FriKunst2020

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

About us Support us ‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (aka.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a...

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About us Support us Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

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A Conversation with Maryam Sharifi

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THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o...

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About us Support us IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul by

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b...

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About us Support us Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag 2022: En million til Safemuse residensordning Residensartisten Mai Khoi skal spille på Cafeteatret i 2022. Foto: mai-khoi.com EN GLEDENS DAG I ettermiddag ble Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag for 2022 endelig lagt frem, og gleden var stor da Safemuse mottok beskjeden om byrådets innstilling på en million kroner til etablering

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Safe Havens Global Stream 2020: A BROAD VARIETY OF ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS Safe Havens is a once-a-year conference opportunity where arts and human rights activists share and use their experience. This year organized as a two-stage series of online seminars under the title Safe Havens Global Stream. Prioritising artists, smaller organisations and ...

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About us Support us SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour in Trøndelag, “BBoy for life”. The production, a combination

SAFEMUSE RESIDENCE ARTIST TOURING HIGH SCHOOLS  Nicolai López and Carlos “Gato” David Catun Quintana. Photo: Kristian Glomnes/SEANSE Safemuse residence artist, Guatemalan break dancer Gato (Carlos Catun), together with colleagues Nicolai López and Piero Issa, just finished their premiere DKS (Den kulturelle skolesekken) tour

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Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020

About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

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News

FRI KUNST / MUSIC FREEDOM DAY 2020

A ONE-WEEK CELEBRATION OF ARTISTIC FREEDOM ALL OVER NORWAY MARCH 2020

January 28, 2020

SafeMUSE together with partners FreemuseNOKU – Norwegian Culture Forum, NTO – Association of Norwegian Theaters and Orchestras and a long list of Norwegian artists associations, arts organizations and institutions are inviting for a celebration of ‘Fri Kunst’, Artistic Freedom 2-8 March 2020 all over Norway.

Artistic freedom is under an increasing pressure, and artists of all disciplines and genres are under threat, being persecuted and censored, prosecuted and imprisoned, harassed and even killed. In Europe this is also a growing problem, with Spain being the country globally imprisoning most musicians – both in 2018 and 2019 (Freemuse: The State of Artistic Freedom).

In Norway artistic freedom has been up to debate recently, with several cased where artists has been met with threats and accusations.

On the basis of this, SafeMUSE has taken the initiative to expand the annual marking of Music Freedom Day 3 March in Norway into a national celebration of Artistic Freedom. We are inviting institutions, event-organizers, clubs, galleries, theaters, orchestras, ensembles, organizations, unions and all others who wants to join for a full week of concerts, exhibitions, performances, shows, seminars and discussions to focus on as many aspects and perspectives to artistic freedom as possible. Either to dedicate the event or concert already planned to Artistic Freedom, or to organize something especially related to this topic during this week.

Through this we will gain a general increased awareness, consciousness and knowledge of the importance of Artistic Freedom. The idea is to coordinate whatever will happen during this week under a joint tag and umbrella, and through coordinated action, raise the awareness.
JOIN US AT WWW.FRIKUNST.ORG

 

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

About us Support us ‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (aka.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a...

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About us Support us Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

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THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o...

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IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b

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SAFEMUSE WELCOMES RESIDENCE ARTIST

SafeMUSE welcomes residence artist:
GATO's LONG JOURNEY

November 13, 2019

In the spring of 2016 the Guatemalan dancer ‘Gato’, together with the National Sami Theatre institution Beaivvás, received the Norwegian prestigious Hedda Prize for “Particular artistic effort” (Særlig kunstnerisk innsats), as an important performer and ‘supplier of terms’ for the ground-breaking theater production “Vidas Extremas”. They also received the National Critics Award for Best Play of the year.

Now he is back in Norway as the first SafeMUSE residence artist not being a musician, after a long journey.

Break-dancer Carlos David Catun Quintana (‘Gato’) is one of Central America’s foremost dancers, a prize-winning breakdancer from Guatemala, who for the last three years has been staying in Colombia in a safe space sponsored by SafeMUSE, due to death threats from street gangs in Guatemala. After arrival in Norway he is now working with Norway’s best-known professional dance crew, Kingwings Crew, on a production for a festival in early 2020.

A LIFE VERY LITTLE WORTH

Some of SafeMUSE’s followers might have seen our Facebook page for the support of Gato’s case (Før det er for sent – hjelp oss å få Gato til Norge), and through this knows his long and winding road for a secure life as a dancer.

After return home to Guatemala City from Norway in 2016, he received a phone call from someone presenting themselves being from one of the most violent street gangs (Mara Salatrucha – better known as MS 13), saying he was their next on the list. These gangs see the work of dance crews in Guatemala as a competition, because breakdancers are recruiting young potential gang members into the street dance scene instead of them becoming part of criminal gangs. And while Gato was in Norway touring with the ‘Vidas Exstremas’ production, he received the message that one of his close friends and crew members in Guatemala was abducted and killed – by the same gang calling him. So, this was especially difficult since Gato already had nine of his friends being killed by gangs in the past, including his twin brother a few years before. Now he was next on the list.

In the phone conversation Gato was told what streets he tends to hang out in, and what times he had been seen in the various places. Tired and angry about all the suffering the gangs had inflicted on his loved ones, Gato informed the gang that he does not care about them and that he will continue to live his life as before. But in reality, the phone call resulted in Gato closing in for 2 months before leaving for Europe to compete in an internationally recognized event in the Netherlands. A month before departure however, another friend of Gato (also involved in the preparational Vidas Extremas’ workshop process in Guatemala), receives a phone call from someone pretending to be from an elementary school. The lady on the phone says that she has 50 students that she wants to be taught. Gato’s friend is also in Gato’s breakdance crew, ‘502 Poker Crew’, and when he arrives at the agreed location for the workshop, it turns out that no primary school has called, but instead the same criminal gang. The dancer is shot three times, including once in the neck. After a number of operations, he survives the murder attempt. (They specifically asked for Gato to be one of the workshop holders, but since nobody had heard from him in a month the crew didn’t mind asking him.)

When Gato then was in Europe – after all this, friends in Norway got to know about Gato’s situation (- although he hesitated to tell the story), and Nicloai Lopez, producer connected to the Vidas Extremas production, contacted SafeMUSE. In short time we pulled together a six-month residence program for Gato in Norway, and invited him for a safe residency. His visa application was however turned down by the UDI (Norwegian Immigration) on strict formal grounds. This in spite of the regulations opening up for using fair judgement in cases like this. (He applied through the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin where he formally was staying as a tourist, and not from his home country – also having in mind the Norwegian embassy in Guatemala had been closed down half a year earlier.)

BACK TO LATIN AMERICA

Judging the realities around his situation, SafeMUSE sponsored his trip back to Bogota and not Guatemala City. And together with Lopez and the family of dancer Pierro Issa (Colombian dancer based in Norway), we managed to put him up in a safe space in Colombia. This was autumn of 2016. Since then SafeMUSE has covered his stay in relatively secure placements in Colombia, made possible also through fundraising via the Facebook support page. In relatively short time friends in Norway donated almost NOK 100.000 (EUR 10.000)!

Colombia is however a complicated society, and for Gato things turned worse. All the time since his arrival in Colombia it has been a goal to invite Gato back to Norway to work with the Norwegian break-environment and have a possibility to develop his artistic potential. A complaint on the visa refusal in 2016 was turned down. But this year we pulled together a new residence invitation, and his visa application was accepted, and he was given a temporary residence permit. His departure and travel were however to become a nightmare.

AIR CANADA NOT FOR GUATEMALAN DANCERS

Tuesday 15 October Gato had an Air Canada flight from Bogota via Toronto and Heathrow to Oslo. His visa for Norway and Schengen was issued by the UDI 17 September 2019. He was however rejected at check in on the grounds that his transit visa for Canada (eTA) was not stamped into his passport. The eTA is an electronic transit visa linked to the passport number, and should not be stamped in his passport. Even though, he was harshly rejected from the check-in. And the Air Canada personnel at the airport did not either want to speak with us over telephone from Norway, or our contact at the Norwegian embassy in Bogota. He was rejected and was not allowed to travel. (It also goes with the story that Gato is a holder of a US Green Card.)

Due to the feedback we got on our complaints to Air Canada, we chose to buy a new ticket directly into Schengen and Europe with Lufthansa.

FRANKFURT IMMIGRATION FOR PERSISTENT TOUGHS ONLY

His next attempt on departing from Bogota did not either pass without problems, but he managed to get on board his Lufthansa flight via Frankfurt for Oslo on the 23 September. But while in transit during a security check at Frankfurt Airport the day after, he was detained by the Federal Boarder Police for almost four hours for no formal reason. We lost contact with Gato when he was detained shortly before 5 pm. The general information at the airport helped us to call him up at the airport several times with no result. At the same time, we called the police office at the airport, but no one answered. Finally, just after 8, the boarder police called us after being asked several times by Gato to contact the inviting host in Norway. At this point he had been detained for more than three hours. During this time nothing was done from the police to contact us as inviting hosts for clarifying the situation. His onward flight was at that point boarding in 43 minutes.

The police claimed his visa for Norway was not sufficient. He was supposed to have a ‘D-visa’ for Germany. The police officer also claimed his passport would expire shortly after his visit to Norway, and that this was against the visa regulations.

We responded that this is a Guatemalan artist and dancer invited to Norway for a six months artistic residency, and that Norwegian immigration authorities, the UDI, has granted him an appropriate visa/ a temporary residence permit for this purpose. And as long as he is going to Norway and not to Germany, and Norway is a part of the Schengen passport region, a ‘D-visa’ after German law is not relevant.

We also said that his passport is the passport that was used for the visa application and for the given period of his granted stay, and should be valid for this trip. If needed we will assist him to obtain a new passport by Guatemalan authorities while in Norway. 

In addition, we also allowed ourselves to remind the police officer that Germany is a part of the 2005 UNESCO-convention on Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Article 16 – ‘Preferential treatment for developing countries’ reads: “Developed countries shall facilitate cultural exchanges with developing countries by granting, through the appropriate institutional and legal frameworks, preferential treatment to artists and other cultural professionals and practitioners, as well as cultural goods and services from developing countries.”

We informed the police that this is an artist that already has been through a lot, that he is threatened for his life in his home country by street gangs, and that he should be treated with respect and not harassed.

After this conversation it was 10 minutes to boarding. Calling back the Boarder Police at the airport again some minutes later we were told that they had got the confirmation needed from Norwegian Immigration and that our guest now was boarding the aircraft for Oslo.

After Gato’s arrival in Oslo, we got his version of what had happened in Frankfurt. His phone, passport and papers were taken from him, and he was not allowed to call his contacts in Norway before after more than 3 hours. The police spoke to him in English and German. Gato speaks Spanish, and he was denied to use Google Translate to try and understand what was going on. He perceived the situation as very threatening and unpleasant, and he was shown what he considered being the police isolation cell. In addition, after our first telephone conversation with the police, Gato tells that the police report that had been written during his detainment was torn apart and thrown away.

FINALLY IN NORWAY

David ‘Gato’ Catun arrived on time at Gardermoen Airport, Oslo Friday 24 September – tired and relieved. The day after the breakdance-environment in Oslo had prepared a welcome party, and already on the Monday he was in preproduction with the Kingwings Crew.

The way the Norwegian break-dance environment in solidarity has supported and assisted their Guatemalan friend and colleague is impressing and exemplary. And of course, without the enduring support and cooperation with producer Nicolai Lopez this would never have been possible to pull through. In addition, also others have given very valuable support throughout the whole process.

A big thanks to everyone!

SafeMUSE has, following this, an unanswered claim towards Air Canada for an unreserved apology for the way Gato was treated by the Air Canada representatives in Bogota, and claim for a full compensation for our financial loss following the need for a new ticket.

In addition, we put forward a claim for an explanation from the Airport Boarder Police at Frankfurt Airport. Their formal response is just a repetition of what was said over the telephone by the officer in charge on the 24 September.

Gato may be seen on stage with the Kingwings Crew opening the Northern Lights Festival (Tromsø) – January 24th 2020

BBOY for LIFE (2012 by NadusFilms) – a documentary on break-dancers in Guatemala City with Gato as one of the main characters.

Vidas Exstremas (2016 by National Sami Theatre institution Beaivvás) – excerpts by Avvir.

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IMC’s WORLD FORUM ON MUSIC 2019

IMC’s World Forum on Music 2019, Paris:
STANDING FOR ARTISTIC FREEDOM – IN SOLIDARITY

October 7, 2019

During the 6th World Forum on Music focusing on the five music rights, SafeMUSE Project Manager Jan Lothe Eriksen’s gave an introduction to the First Music Right, and all participants raised in solidarity with artistic freedom fighters all over the world, for the Iranian composer, musician and activist Mehdi Rajabian – not able to leave Iran; Iranian singer songwriter Farzane Zamen – exiled in Glasgow, UK; and Ramy Essam – touring the world but not able to return to Egypt.

The International Music Council’s 70th anniversary was marked by the 6th World Forum on Music in Paris last week, focusing on the Five Music Rights. The last day of the conference, coinciding with The International Music Day, the focused was on the First Music Right, the right for all children and adults to express themselves musically in all freedom.

Together with Ian Smith, President of the European Music Council, Jan Lothe Eriksen gave an introduction focusing on the harsh story of Mehdi Rajabian, Iranian composer, musician and founder of the website Barg music, an alternative music distributor in Iran. Barg Music was the main medium broadcasting alternative music in the country and had introduced more than 100 music albums and thousands of single records by Iranian alternative musicians, as well as female singers, to Iranian audiences, before being shut down by Revolutionary Guards in 2013.

Mehdi Rajabian was arrested pursuing illegal musical activities by Iranian security forces on 5 October 2013 in his office and transferred to Ward 2A of Evin Prison, and was sentenced to more than two months in solitary confinement. When Mehdi Rajabian was arrested, he was recording “Research Album of History of Iran narrated by Setar”. His personal studio, all recordings, hard drives of recorded music were confiscated and the project became silent.

Following this came a long story of imprisonment, hunger strike to be given medical treatment, and an international campaign sparked by Freemuse and followed by Amnesty, United Nations Special Rapporteurs on cultural rights, International PEN and many more, causing great international attention and media coverage. More than 20,000 artists from all corners of the world joined the campaign.

The case of Mehdi Rajabian was investigated in summer 2015 in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court by Judge Mughiseh, and finally he was charged of unauthorized art activity, insulting religious sanctities and advertisement against the regime. He was sentenced for six-year prison and fine. This sentence was on appeal to three years imprisonment in Branch 54 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court and three years of suspended sentence. He has served his three years in prison, and is now serving the last three years. He cannot leave the country, but is still artistically very active.

In March this year he released the album Middle Eastern, a unique project that brought together nearly 100 musicians from across 12 countries.

Mehdi Rajabian´s case is unique. But he is no alone being imprisoned, persecuted, harassed or censored for making music, unfortunately.

Iranian singer songwriter Farzane Zamen, present during the conference in Paris, giving a speech and performing, has her own story.

Egyptian artist and rocker Ramy Essam, also present during the conference in Paris, giving a speech and performing, has his own story. And there are many, many more…

Jan Lothe Eriksen closed his introduction saying:

– Being an artist, censored, harassed, persecuted, prosecuted and imprisoned is in very lonely and terribly difficult situation. So therefore, I ask you, all participants of the 6th IMC World Forum on Music,

supporting the First Right, Freedom of Expression – ‘The right for all to express themselves musically in all freedom’, please stand up…:

– Mehdi, Farzane, Ramy, and all artistic freedom fighters – You are not alone.

See the full video:

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About us Support us ‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (aka.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a...

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About us Support us Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many ...

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About us Support us THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place on the island of

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o...

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About us Support us Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag 2022: En million til Safemuse residensordning Residensartisten Mai Khoi skal spille på Cafeteatret i 2022. Foto: mai-khoi.com EN GLEDENS DAG I ettermiddag ble Oslo Kommunes budsjettforslag for 2022 endelig lagt frem, og gleden var stor da Safemuse mottok beskjeden om byrådets innstilling på en million kroner til etablering

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About us Support us Safe Havens Global Stream November 11.-13. 2020 Julie Ofelia Østrem Ossum and Mai Khoi will perform during the conference Safe Havens Global Stream Safe Havens Conference is starting up tomorrow: Safe Havens Global Stream – with more than 150 participants from all over the world! This year the annual Safe Havens

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ARTISTIC FREEDOM FOR A WEEK IN MARCH

'FRI KUNST 2020' - Artistic Freedom for a week in March

September 27, 2019

After organizing Music Freedom Day in Norway annually every 3rd March since 2015, SafeMUSE have taken the initiative for a one-week marking of artistic freedom in Norway the first week in March 2020. All art-forms – all of Norway.

SafeMUSE is inviting actors in the Norwegian arts and culture field to focus on artistic freedom during the first week of March 2020. Each actor – organizer, organization, institution, club, gallery, library, litteratur house, orchestra, venue, etc. etc. – is encouraged to mark artistic freedom in their one unique way, through their own channels and to their respective audiences. In this way, each individual artist, each institution and organization can talk to their own audience about a topic that concerns us all.

BACKGROUND

Freedom of expression is under threat in many places on the planet. And artistic freedom is no exception. On the contrary. Artists are often in the front line in process of change, and have to endure a great challenges. Globally, the artists are often told to not oppose, not offend, not cause controversy or alternative views and perspectives – and all kinds of issues may cause problems for artists worldwide, like gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, artistic genre, art form and direct or indirect political content. Artists are censored, harassed, threatened, abducted, prosecuted, imprisoned and even killed as a result of their artistic activities. And Europe is no exception. Spain was the country that imprisoned the most musicians in 2017 and 2019 (‘The State of Artistic Freedom 2019’, Freemuse.org).

Based on cases here in Norway in recent years, we believe it is important that a unified Norwegian art field takes a clear stand – and shows that artistic freedom is a fundamental value in our society and for our democracy.

JOINT STATEMENT

Based on a joint statement from the Norwegian Artists Network (‘Kunstnernettverket’) and SafeMUSE, and in cooperation with Freemuse, SafeMUSE is time inviting all forms of art actors to celebrate freedom of artistic expression in the first week of March 2020 under the joint heading ‘Fri Kunst 2020’ – Artistic Freedom 2020.

A large number of artist organizations are behind the initiative together with Association of Norwegian Theatres and Orchestras (Norsk teater- og orkesterforening – NTO) and the Norwegian Cultural Forum (NOKU), and more are invited in – for a national celebration and marking of the importance of artistic freedom all over the world.

Our goal is to lift the focus on freedom of artistic expression, and through this help artists – in all countries – be able to create and practice their art freely, without threats and persecution, for the benefit of the world.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING, PLEASE CONTACT US: jle@safemuse.org

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

About us Support us ‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (aka.

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award Foto: Kristian Glomnes / Seanse Earlier this month, ‘Historias’ was selected as one of the nominees to the cultural award Gullsekken 2021 for the category Best Tour Production. Together with Piero Issa, Jon Tombre, Fahil Anweri, Even Børsum and Nicolai Lopez, Safemuse’s resident artist Carlos Catun (a...

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About us Support us Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release Photo: Wikipedia Commons – No power can stop the freedom of music Iranian composer and musician Mehdi Rajabian spent ten months in his basement in Iran where he worked on his most recent musical project, the album ‘Coup of Gods’. For many

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THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi In a conversation with Safemuse’s Akari Izumi Kvamme, Maryam Sharifi shared her experiences and reflections as an Afghani woman and cultural activist. Photo: Ortenheim Photography. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Peoples Aid Solidarity Youth’s annual conference took place o...

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About us Support us IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul by

IN SOLIDARITY WITH AFGHANISTAN Demonstrators gathered outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Soraia Khawari AN APPEAL FROM THE SAFEMUSE CHAIR OF THE BOARD On Saturday 11th of September 2021, Safemuse attended a demonstration outside the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the political overturn and seizure of Kabul b

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SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into

SAFE HAVENS & FREEDOM TALKS – MOVING ON Photo Credit: Fredrik Elg Safe Havens & Freedom Talks is now established as a new Swedish NGO, with Safemuse as fiscal sponsor, or step stone for the build-up of the new organization. The now well-established international conference initiative Safe Havens is moving into ...

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