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Fri Kunst News Project Safe Havens Safe Residencies

Varun Narain – A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival

March 7, 2024
Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel
If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by artists Varun and Shaad at Nordic Black Theatre — a unique artistic performance combining botany, poetry and queer survival.

Imagining freedom and inclusion

Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for over 10 years, as well as at the Guru Gobind Indraprastha University in New Delhi. Moreover, he has a degree in botany and through his artistry he explores intelligence and survival strategies in the natural world.

— I am very much inspired and healed by the world of plants, lichens and fungi and their physical presence in the cites. I believe in blurring physical, mental and biological boundaries, Narain says.

For many years Narain has been working on gender-fluid characters inspired by what he calls the “wood-wide web”. In recent years, Narain has increasingly faced challenges and a restricted space for expression. He experienced censorship due to the themes reflected in his artistic work and is currently one of Safemuse’s artists-in-residence in Oslo.

— As an artist in residence with Safemuse here in Norway, I hope to rediscover free expression and interact with students and artists to create ways to imagine new possibilities of freedom and inclusion, he says.

This spring Varun and Shaad will perform 'Dark&Delicious' at Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo. Photo: Nordic Black Theatre

“I hope to rediscover free expression and interact with students and artists to create ways to imagine new possibilities of freedom and inclusion.”

– Varun Narain, Safemuse artist-in-residence  

A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival

During his residency, Narain has worked on ‘Dark&Delicious’ – a collaborative performance with his artistic partner, actor and poet Shaad. The performance, which combines botany, poetry and queer survival, will be set up between the 10th and 13th of March at Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo.

— Having Varun with us, and working with him has been interesting on so many different levels, says Celina Jerman Bright-Taylor, Safemuse’s general manager. Visually interesting, challenging us intellectually, all while being extremely funny. It has been fascinating to get an insight into his creative processes and the stories behind each of his colourful puppets. We are very much looking forward to his performance at Nordic Black Theatre and invite everyone to come see the show!

For the past months, Varun has been enjoying a creative collaboration with Nordic Black Theatre  (NBT) and preparing for the performance in Oslo. The artistic director at NBT, Cliff Moustache, is looking forward to presenting ‘Dark&Delicious’ on his stage.

— Very rarely do we get the opportunity to experience such beautiful puppets that convey deep and reflected drama in a simple and sincere way. The narrative grabs and engages thanks to the strong qualities of the artists as the puppet becomes a third artist on stage. At Nordic Black Theatre we want to give them the opportunity to delve deeply into their artistic universe without fear or restricted by authorities.

Tickets for the show can be bought here.

Check out the facebook-event here.

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech

About us Support us I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for ...

Varun Narain – A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival

About us Support us ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by ...

Fri Kunst dagskonferanse 2024 / Artistic Freedom Conference 2024

About us Support us FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024 Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle

FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024 Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle

FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024 Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle ...

Meet our newest staff members

About us Support us Meet our newest staff members Heidi Marie Kriznik (left) and Tiril Ellingsen Thue are the newest additions to Safemuse’s administration. Photo: Espen Tollefsen / Akari Izumi Kvamme We are happy to present Safemuse’s newest staff members: Tiril Ellingsen Thue and Heidi Marie Kriznik. Tiril has been involved with Safemuse since last

Meet our newest staff members Heidi Marie Kriznik (left) and Tiril Ellingsen Thue are the newest additions to Safemuse’s administration. Photo: Espen Tollefsen / Akari Izumi Kvamme We are happy to present Safemuse’s newest staff members: Tiril Ellingsen Thue and Heidi Marie Kriznik. Tiril has been involved with Safemuse since last

Meet our newest staff members Heidi Marie Kriznik (left) and Tiril Ellingsen Thue are the newest additions to Safemuse’s administration. Photo: Espen Tollefsen / Akari Izumi Kvamme We are happy to present Safemuse’s newest staff members: Tiril Ellingsen Thue and Heidi Marie Kriznik. Tiril has been involved with Safemuse since last ...

Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE

About us Support us Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE Report cover photo: Ghawgha Taban, guest artist in the City of Harstad (Photo: Knut Utler) The evaluation praises the way Safemuse work with censored, threatened and persecuted artists from all over the world, but we are criticized for not marketing ourselves as

Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE Report cover photo: Ghawgha Taban, guest artist in the City of Harstad (Photo: Knut Utler) The evaluation praises the way Safemuse work with censored, threatened and persecuted artists from all over the world, but we are criticized for not marketing ourselves as

Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE Report cover photo: Ghawgha Taban, guest artist in the City of Harstad (Photo: Knut Utler) The evaluation praises the way Safemuse work with censored, threatened and persecuted artists from all over the world, but we are criticized for not marketing ourselves as ...

OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024!

About us Support us OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024! June 1, 2023 Artwork by Zhanna Gladko Artistic freedom of expression, solidarity and collaboration In 2022 Safemuse invited for the first round of safe residency placements in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre. Two six month residencies open

OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024! June 1, 2023 Artwork by Zhanna Gladko Artistic freedom of expression, solidarity and collaboration In 2022 Safemuse invited for the first round of safe residency placements in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre. Two six month residencies open

OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024! June 1, 2023 Artwork by Zhanna Gladko Artistic freedom of expression, solidarity and collaboration In 2022 Safemuse invited for the first round of safe residency placements in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre. Two six month residencies open ...

Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project

About us Support us Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project May 31, 2023 Art walk at Hvitsten Salong. (Photo: Hvitsten Salong) MEET THE ARTISTS OF “WHOSE VOICES ARE HEARD” We are pleased to announce that we are inviting 12 minority artist living in Poland and Norway and one artist from outside the

Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project May 31, 2023 Art walk at Hvitsten Salong. (Photo: Hvitsten Salong) MEET THE ARTISTS OF “WHOSE VOICES ARE HEARD” We are pleased to announce that we are inviting 12 minority artist living in Poland and Norway and one artist from outside the

Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project May 31, 2023 Art walk at Hvitsten Salong. (Photo: Hvitsten Salong) MEET THE ARTISTS OF “WHOSE VOICES ARE HEARD” We are pleased to announce that we are inviting 12 minority artist living in Poland and Norway and one artist from outside the ...

“Landless Tree” – migration, destruction & resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban

About us Support us “Landless Tree” – EP debut by Ghawgha Taban Photo credit: Camilla Norvoll “Landless Tree” – migration, destruction and resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban In her first EP release, Ghawgha Taban sings about a “tree without a land”. About an eternally displaced body filled with memories of migration both as a

“Landless Tree” – EP debut by Ghawgha Taban Photo credit: Camilla Norvoll “Landless Tree” – migration, destruction and resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban In her first EP release, Ghawgha Taban sings about a “tree without a land”. About an eternally displaced body filled with memories of migration

“Landless Tree” – EP debut by Ghawgha Taban Photo credit: Camilla Norvoll “Landless Tree” – migration, destruction and resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban In her first EP release, Ghawgha Taban sings about a “tree without a land”. About an eternally displaced body filled with memories of migration ...

FRI KUNST 2023 – under autoritære regimer

About us Support us FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer: 3. mars FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023. Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse

FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer: 3. mars FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023. Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse

FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer: 3. mars FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023. Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse ...

Whose voices are being heard? Exchange program for foreign artists from Poland and Norway.

About us Support us OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO)

OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO

OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO...

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Administration Concert Conference/Meeting Fri Kunst Music Freedom Day News Project Safe Residencies

Fri Kunst dagskonferanse 2024 / Artistic Freedom Conference 2024

FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024

February 16, 2024
Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo

For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle i samfunnet, i tillegg til kunstneriske innlegg fra en rekke norske og internasjonale kunstnere.  

Dagskonferansen fredag 1. mars er åpen og gratis, men krever påmelding innen 26. february 2024. Påmeldingslenke her.

PROGRAM:

11:30 Dørene åpner
12:00 – 12:10 Kunstnerisk innlegg: Mahsa Vahdat og Marjan Vahdat
12:10 – 12:20 Velkomst
12:25 – 12:35 Åpningstale: sametingspresident Silje Karine Muotka
12:35 – 12:45 Kunstnerisk innlegg: Don Martin
12:45 – 12:55 Kunstnerisk innlegg: Varun Narain
13:00 – 13:50 Panelsamtale I: Kunstens kraft og rolle som samfunnsendrer i Norge og verden (samtalen vil foregå på norsk)
– Øystein Strand, avdelingsdirektør for Kunstnerisk produksjon og formidling, Kulturdirektoratet
– Silje Karine Muotka, president, Sámediggi / Sametinget
– Cliff Moustache, kunstnerisk leder, Nordic Black Theatre
– Moderator: Yohan Shanmugaratnam, journalist og forfatter
13:50 – 14:10 Pause
14:10 – 14:20 Kunstnerisk innlegg: Viktor Bomstad
14:20 – 15:10 Panelsamtale II: Kunstnersamtale om kunst og endringskraft (samtalen vil foregå på engelsk)
– Masha Vahdat, sanger og komponist
– Varun Narain, dukkemaker/dukkefører og Safemuse residenskunstner
– Viktor Bomstad, landsdelsjoiker for Troms og Finnmark
– Jannik Abel, fotograf og billedkunstner
– Moderator: Nosizwe Baqwa, artist, aktivist og styremedlem i Safemuse
15:15 – 15:30 Presentasjon: Safemuse Art Havens
15:30 – 15:40 Kort oppsummering
15:40 – 16:00 Pause / omrigg
16:00 – 16:30 Tverrkunstnerisk mini-forestilling: Hooman Sharifi og Arash Moradi
16:30 – 17:30 Sosialt samvær med bevertning

VELKOMMEN

————————

Artistic Freedom Week Conference, 1st of March at Riksscenen in Oslo

For the third year in a row, Safemuse organises a full-day conference at Riksscenen during Artistic Freedom Week in the beginning of March. The program includes talks that focus on art and artists’ roles and power to change society, in addition to artistic interventions from a number of Norwegian and international artists.

The conference is an open event and free of charge, but requires registration by 26 February 2024. Registration link here.

PROGRAM:

11:30 The doors open
12:00 – 12:10 Artistic intervention: Mahsa Vahdat and Marjan Vahdat
12:10 – 12:20 Welcome
12:25 – 12:35 Opening speech: President of the Sámi Parliament Silje Karine Muotka
12:35 – 12:45 Artistic intervention: Don Martin
12:45 – 12:55 Artistic intervention: Varun Narain
13:00 – 13:50 Panel discussion I: The power of art and its capacity for change, in Norway and the world (the conversation will take place in Norwegian)
– Øystein Strand, department director for artistic production and communication
– Silje Karine Muotka, president, Sámediggi / Sámi Parliament
– Cliff Mustache, artistic director, Nordic Black Theatre
– Moderator: Yohan Shanmugaratnam, journalist and author
13:50 – 14:10 Break
14:10 – 14:20 Artistic intervention: Viktor Bomstad
14:20 – 15:10 Panel conversation II: Artist conversation about art and its power to bring about change (the conversation will take place in English)
– Masha Vahdat, singer and composer
– Varun Narain, puppeteer and Safemuse artist-in-residence
– Viktor Bomstad, regional joiker for Troms and Finnmark
– Jannik Abel, photographer and visual artist
– Moderator: Nosizwe Baqwa, artist, activist and board member of Safemuse
15:15 – 15:30 Presentation: Safemuse Art Havens
15:30 – 15:40 Closing remarks
15:40 – 16:00 Break / rearrangement
16:00 – 16:30  Mini-performance: Hooman Sharifi and Arash Moradi
16:30 – 17:30 Social gathering with refreshments

WELCOME

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech

About us Support us I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for ...

Varun Narain – A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival

About us Support us ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by ...

Fri Kunst dagskonferanse 2024 / Artistic Freedom Conference 2024

About us Support us FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024 Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle

FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024 Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle

FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024 Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle ...

Meet our newest staff members

About us Support us Meet our newest staff members Heidi Marie Kriznik (left) and Tiril Ellingsen Thue are the newest additions to Safemuse’s administration. Photo: Espen Tollefsen / Akari Izumi Kvamme We are happy to present Safemuse’s newest staff members: Tiril Ellingsen Thue and Heidi Marie Kriznik. Tiril has been involved with Safemuse since last

Meet our newest staff members Heidi Marie Kriznik (left) and Tiril Ellingsen Thue are the newest additions to Safemuse’s administration. Photo: Espen Tollefsen / Akari Izumi Kvamme We are happy to present Safemuse’s newest staff members: Tiril Ellingsen Thue and Heidi Marie Kriznik. Tiril has been involved with Safemuse since last

Meet our newest staff members Heidi Marie Kriznik (left) and Tiril Ellingsen Thue are the newest additions to Safemuse’s administration. Photo: Espen Tollefsen / Akari Izumi Kvamme We are happy to present Safemuse’s newest staff members: Tiril Ellingsen Thue and Heidi Marie Kriznik. Tiril has been involved with Safemuse since last ...

Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE

About us Support us Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE Report cover photo: Ghawgha Taban, guest artist in the City of Harstad (Photo: Knut Utler) The evaluation praises the way Safemuse work with censored, threatened and persecuted artists from all over the world, but we are criticized for not marketing ourselves as

Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE Report cover photo: Ghawgha Taban, guest artist in the City of Harstad (Photo: Knut Utler) The evaluation praises the way Safemuse work with censored, threatened and persecuted artists from all over the world, but we are criticized for not marketing ourselves as

Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE Report cover photo: Ghawgha Taban, guest artist in the City of Harstad (Photo: Knut Utler) The evaluation praises the way Safemuse work with censored, threatened and persecuted artists from all over the world, but we are criticized for not marketing ourselves as ...

OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024!

About us Support us OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024! June 1, 2023 Artwork by Zhanna Gladko Artistic freedom of expression, solidarity and collaboration In 2022 Safemuse invited for the first round of safe residency placements in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre. Two six month residencies open

OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024! June 1, 2023 Artwork by Zhanna Gladko Artistic freedom of expression, solidarity and collaboration In 2022 Safemuse invited for the first round of safe residency placements in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre. Two six month residencies open

OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024! June 1, 2023 Artwork by Zhanna Gladko Artistic freedom of expression, solidarity and collaboration In 2022 Safemuse invited for the first round of safe residency placements in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre. Two six month residencies open ...

Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project

About us Support us Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project May 31, 2023 Art walk at Hvitsten Salong. (Photo: Hvitsten Salong) MEET THE ARTISTS OF “WHOSE VOICES ARE HEARD” We are pleased to announce that we are inviting 12 minority artist living in Poland and Norway and one artist from outside the

Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project May 31, 2023 Art walk at Hvitsten Salong. (Photo: Hvitsten Salong) MEET THE ARTISTS OF “WHOSE VOICES ARE HEARD” We are pleased to announce that we are inviting 12 minority artist living in Poland and Norway and one artist from outside the

Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project May 31, 2023 Art walk at Hvitsten Salong. (Photo: Hvitsten Salong) MEET THE ARTISTS OF “WHOSE VOICES ARE HEARD” We are pleased to announce that we are inviting 12 minority artist living in Poland and Norway and one artist from outside the ...

“Landless Tree” – migration, destruction & resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban

About us Support us “Landless Tree” – EP debut by Ghawgha Taban Photo credit: Camilla Norvoll “Landless Tree” – migration, destruction and resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban In her first EP release, Ghawgha Taban sings about a “tree without a land”. About an eternally displaced body filled with memories of migration both as a

“Landless Tree” – EP debut by Ghawgha Taban Photo credit: Camilla Norvoll “Landless Tree” – migration, destruction and resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban In her first EP release, Ghawgha Taban sings about a “tree without a land”. About an eternally displaced body filled with memories of migration

“Landless Tree” – EP debut by Ghawgha Taban Photo credit: Camilla Norvoll “Landless Tree” – migration, destruction and resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban In her first EP release, Ghawgha Taban sings about a “tree without a land”. About an eternally displaced body filled with memories of migration ...

FRI KUNST 2023 – under autoritære regimer

About us Support us FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer: 3. mars FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023. Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse

FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer: 3. mars FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023. Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse

FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer: 3. mars FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023. Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse ...

Whose voices are being heard? Exchange program for foreign artists from Poland and Norway.

About us Support us OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO)

OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO

OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO...

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Fri Kunst News

FRI KUNST 2023 – under autoritære regimer

FRI KUNST - under autoritære regimer: 3. mars

February 8, 2023

FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023.

Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse som på ulike måter forhindrer eller nekter kunstnerne friheten til å skape og fremføre.

Vi markerer med en dagskonferanse som inkluderer sterke kunstneriske innlegg og bidrag, og der vi også slipper tre nye SAFE-kortfilmer med møter mellom ulike kunstnere med svært ulike forutsetninger til å kunne være kunstnere.

Tema er Fri kunst under autoritære regimer. På Riksscenen løfter vi frem historier og erfaringer fra sensurerte, forfulgte og truede kunstneres liv, for så å spørre:
– Hva kan vi gjøre?
– Hvilke strategier kan vi finne for internasjonal solidaritet og konkret handling?

Årets program vil veksle mellom ulike kunstneriske bidrag fra Safemuse’ residenskunstnere og faglige samtaler for så å avsluttes med en plateslipp-konsert med den afghanske hazara-sangeren Ghawgha Taban, fribymusiker i Harstad, i samspill med Anja Lauvdal og Marianna Sangita A Røe.

PROGRAM

12:00 – Velkomst: Ane Carmen Roggen, Riksscenen og Celina Jerman Bright-Taylor, Safemuse

12:05 – Åpningstale: Marianne Borgen, ordfører i Oslo

12:15 – Kunstnerisk appell: Jae Nyamburah, artist

12:25 – Dans: Carlos Catun/ «Gato» (Guatemala), tidligere residenskunstner hos Safemuse

12:30 – The State of Artistic Freedom: Sverre Pedersen, styreleder i Freemuse,

12:45 – Visning av .SAFE-kortfilm #2.2: Nikan Koshravi & Arash Ilkhani (Iran), Confess/ tidligere fribymusikere i Harstad i samtale med Anders Odden, artist

12:50 – Panelsamtale om levde erfaringer: Kunstnere deler fortellinger om livet under autoritære regimer, diskuterer verdien fri kunst og kunstneres rolle i samfunnet. Ghawgha Taban (Afghanistan), fribymusiker i Harstad, Sina Winter (Iran), tidligere residensmusiker hos Safemuse. Moderator er Sara Christophersen, PRIO. (Denne panelsamtalen foregår på engelsk)

13:45 – Pause

14:10 – Waves of Future: Presentasjon av Safemuse sine residensprogram.

14:20 – Visning av .SAFE-kortfilm #2.1 av Chong Wang (Kina), residenskunstner hos Safemuse i samtale med Ellen Horn, skuespiller, tidligere teatersjef og kulturminister

14:30 – Panelsamtale om kunstnerisk ytringsfrihet i autoritære regimer: Utfordringer og tiltak som kreves for å støtte kunstnere. Hvilke muligheter finnes det lokalt, nasjonal og globalt?

Celina Jerman Bright-Taylor, daglig leder, Safemuse, Eivor Evenrud, Leder for kultur- og utdanningsutvalget (Ap), Oslo kommune, Astrid Kvalbein, rektor ved Norges Musikkhøgskole, Sofie Marhaug, Rødts stortingsgruppe. Moderator: Laila Bokhari, statsviter og tidligere statssekretær.

15:20 – Kort oppsummering: Jan Lothe Eriksen, Safemuse. Visning av .SAFE-kortfilm #2.3: Ghawgha Taban i samtale med Oddrun Lilja Jonsdottir, artist

15:30 – Pause

15:50 – Konsert: Ghawgha Taban – vokal (fribymusiker i Harstad), Anja Lauvdal – tangenter og Marianna Sangita A. Røe – perkusjon

16:30 – 17:30 – Vi samles med litt mat og drikke

Fri Kunst faller sammen med den internasjonale Music Freedom Day, som er en global markering og feiring av kunstnerisk frihet for musikere 3. mars hvert år, initiert av Freemuse i 2007 og med lokale feiringer av kunstnerisk frihet over hele verden.
Safemuse har markert Music Freedom Day årlig siden 2015 med konferanser og konserter – først i Harstad og i Oslo fra 2017. I 2023 markerer vi, i tillegg til 3. mars på Riksscenen, med nettbasert aksjon på sosiale medier.

Vi serverer lett mat og drikke, og det vil være sosial samling etter programmet er ferdig. Velkommen!

Tid: 3. mars kl. 11:30 – 17:30
Sted: Riksscenen, Oslo
Fri entre/påmelding: Påmelding Fri kunst 2023forms.office.com

En del av den internasjonale markeringen av Music Freedom Day

Med støtte fra Fritt Ord, Norsk kulturråd og Harstad kommune

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I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for ...

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OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO

OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO...

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Administration Fri Kunst News Safe Residencies

Safemuse er bekymret over regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid i revidert statsbudsjett

Revidert Statsbudsjett: Regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid skaper bekymring

May 13, 2022

Regjeringen møter ikke situasjonen verden står i

I forslag til revidert statsbudsjett 2022, som ble lagt frem på torsdag, foreslår regjeringen å kutte støtten til satsinger på menneskerettigheter, menneskerettighetsforsvarere, kvinners rettigheter, arbeidstakerrettigheter, ytringsfrihet, rettsstat og demokrati med 136 millioner kroner. Daglig leder i Safemuse, Jan Lothe Eriksen, er dypt bekymret for det foreslåtte kuttet på over 20 prosent i en urolig tid hvor behovet for å prioritere menneskerettighetsarbeid er større enn på lenge:

– Det er dypt foruroligende og meget overraskende at regjeringen velger å foreslå å kutte i budsjettposten som er satt av til arbeid for menneskerettigheter og menneskerettighetsforkjempere. I en tid med økende press mot ytringsfrihet og menneskerettighetsforkjempere, inkludert kunstnere, i Europa er dette området viktigere enn noen gang. Det foreslåtte kuttet er i sterk motsetning til hva regjeringen har signalisert så langt. Utenriksdepartementets egen strategi på dette området er krystallklar, og den løfter frem kunstnere som viktige menneskerettighetsforkjempere og demokratibyggere. Og Kulturminister Anette Trettebergstuen fremholdt under åpningen av Fri Kunst-konferansen 4. mars at dette område er noe av det viktigste man kan arbeide for, nettopp med henvisning til krigen i Ukraina og den urolige tiden vi lever i. Sist under Europakonferansen i Kristiansand 5. mai, hvor vel rammene for budsjettet var lagt, gjentok statssekretær i Kulturdepartementet Odin Adelsten Aunan Bohmann, viktigheten av å beskytte ytringsfrihet og kulturelle rettigheter, og påpekte kunstnernes viktige rolle som demokratiforkjempere.

Med Hurdalplattformens klare formulering på dette området blir budsjettforslaget helt uforståelig. I denne tiden er det snarere behov for en opptrapping og styrking av dette arbeidet, og ikke å foreta dramatiske budsjettkutt! 

 

The government does not heed to the situation in the world

In the proposal for the revised state budget 2022, which was presented on Thursday, the Norwegian government proposes to cut the support for work related to human rights, human rights defenders, women’s rights, labor rights, freedom of expression, the rule of law and democracy by NOK 136 million. Safemuse’s general manager, Jan Lothe Eriksen, is deeply concerned that a more-than-20 percent-cut is proposed in these turbulent times when the need for these funds is acute: 

– It is deeply disturbing and very surprising that the government chooses to propose cuts in the effort for human rights and human rights defenders. In times of increasing pressure on freedom of expression and human rights defenders, including artists, in Europe, this area is more important than ever. The proposed cut is in stark contrast to what the government has signaled so far. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ own strategy in this area is crystal clear, and it highlights artists as important human rights defenders and democracy-builders. At the opening of the Artistic Freedom Conference on March 4th, the Minister of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen, emphasised that this area is one of the most important areas to work for, particularly with reference to the war in Ukraine and the turbulent times we live in. Most recently during the European Conference in Kristiansand on May 5th, State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Odin Adelsten Aunan Bohmann, reiterated the importance of protecting freedom of expression and cultural rights, and highlighted the important role of artists as pro-democracy activists.

With a national political platform that clearly states the importance of human rights efforts, the budget proposal becomes completely incomprehensible. This is the time to escalate and strengthen this work, rather than to make a dramatic budget cut!

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech

About us Support us I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for

I hope to rediscover freedom of speech Varun Narain interviewed in BLIKK magazine Varun Narain is a queer puppeteer and live performance director from India. He combines modern and traditional puppetry and works on articulating gender fluidity and sexuality. Narain has taught Puppetry and contemporary communication at Jamia Millia University for ...

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About us Support us ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE VARUN NARAIN: A universe of puppetry, botany & queer survival Varun Narain held an an artistic intervention at the Artistic Freedom Conference 2024 in Oslo. Photo: Jannik Abel If you find yourself in Oslo between the 10th and 13th of March, you have the rare opportunity to experience ‘Dark&Delicious’ by ...

Fri Kunst dagskonferanse 2024 / Artistic Freedom Conference 2024

About us Support us FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024 Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle

FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024 Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle

FRI KUNST DAGSKONFERANSE 2024 / ARTISTIC FREEDOM CONFERENCE 2024 Fri Kunst konferanse, 1. mars på Riksscenen, Oslo For tredje året på rad arrangerer Safemuse en dagskonferanse på Riksscenen under Fri Kunst-uken i begynnelsen av mars. Dagen byr på samtaler som setter søkelys på den frie kunsten og kunstneres endringskraft og rolle ...

Meet our newest staff members

About us Support us Meet our newest staff members Heidi Marie Kriznik (left) and Tiril Ellingsen Thue are the newest additions to Safemuse’s administration. Photo: Espen Tollefsen / Akari Izumi Kvamme We are happy to present Safemuse’s newest staff members: Tiril Ellingsen Thue and Heidi Marie Kriznik. Tiril has been involved with Safemuse since last

Meet our newest staff members Heidi Marie Kriznik (left) and Tiril Ellingsen Thue are the newest additions to Safemuse’s administration. Photo: Espen Tollefsen / Akari Izumi Kvamme We are happy to present Safemuse’s newest staff members: Tiril Ellingsen Thue and Heidi Marie Kriznik. Tiril has been involved with Safemuse since last

Meet our newest staff members Heidi Marie Kriznik (left) and Tiril Ellingsen Thue are the newest additions to Safemuse’s administration. Photo: Espen Tollefsen / Akari Izumi Kvamme We are happy to present Safemuse’s newest staff members: Tiril Ellingsen Thue and Heidi Marie Kriznik. Tiril has been involved with Safemuse since last ...

Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE

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Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE Report cover photo: Ghawgha Taban, guest artist in the City of Harstad (Photo: Knut Utler) The evaluation praises the way Safemuse work with censored, threatened and persecuted artists from all over the world, but we are criticized for not marketing ourselves as

Safemuse has been evaluated: VISA PROCESSING THE GREATEST CHALLENGE Report cover photo: Ghawgha Taban, guest artist in the City of Harstad (Photo: Knut Utler) The evaluation praises the way Safemuse work with censored, threatened and persecuted artists from all over the world, but we are criticized for not marketing ourselves as ...

OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024!

About us Support us OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024! June 1, 2023 Artwork by Zhanna Gladko Artistic freedom of expression, solidarity and collaboration In 2022 Safemuse invited for the first round of safe residency placements in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre. Two six month residencies open

OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024! June 1, 2023 Artwork by Zhanna Gladko Artistic freedom of expression, solidarity and collaboration In 2022 Safemuse invited for the first round of safe residency placements in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre. Two six month residencies open

OPEN CALL – Oslo and Hvitsten Art Haven 2024! June 1, 2023 Artwork by Zhanna Gladko Artistic freedom of expression, solidarity and collaboration In 2022 Safemuse invited for the first round of safe residency placements in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre. Two six month residencies open ...

Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project

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Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project May 31, 2023 Art walk at Hvitsten Salong. (Photo: Hvitsten Salong) MEET THE ARTISTS OF “WHOSE VOICES ARE HEARD” We are pleased to announce that we are inviting 12 minority artist living in Poland and Norway and one artist from outside the

Wrocław Institute of Culture/ Hvitsten Salong/ Safemuse residency project May 31, 2023 Art walk at Hvitsten Salong. (Photo: Hvitsten Salong) MEET THE ARTISTS OF “WHOSE VOICES ARE HEARD” We are pleased to announce that we are inviting 12 minority artist living in Poland and Norway and one artist from outside the ...

“Landless Tree” – migration, destruction & resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban

About us Support us “Landless Tree” – EP debut by Ghawgha Taban Photo credit: Camilla Norvoll “Landless Tree” – migration, destruction and resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban In her first EP release, Ghawgha Taban sings about a “tree without a land”. About an eternally displaced body filled with memories of migration both as a

“Landless Tree” – EP debut by Ghawgha Taban Photo credit: Camilla Norvoll “Landless Tree” – migration, destruction and resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban In her first EP release, Ghawgha Taban sings about a “tree without a land”. About an eternally displaced body filled with memories of migration

“Landless Tree” – EP debut by Ghawgha Taban Photo credit: Camilla Norvoll “Landless Tree” – migration, destruction and resilience, EP debut by Ghawgha Taban In her first EP release, Ghawgha Taban sings about a “tree without a land”. About an eternally displaced body filled with memories of migration ...

FRI KUNST 2023 – under autoritære regimer

About us Support us FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer: 3. mars FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023. Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse

FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer: 3. mars FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023. Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse

FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer: 3. mars FRI KUNST – under autoritære regimer, fredag 3. mars 2023. Safemuse inviterer til den årlige markeringen av Fri Kunst på Riksscenen – en feiring av kunstnernes unike posisjon til å beskrive, utforske og utfordre vår tidsånd, og til å belyse og avkle maktutøvelse ...

Whose voices are being heard? Exchange program for foreign artists from Poland and Norway.

About us Support us OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO)

OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO

OPEN CALL: Whose voices are being heard? – Exchange program for artists from Poland and Norway 2023 OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTIC RESIDENCY IN WROCLAW, POLAND 2023 We invite artists to apply for the residency exchange “Whose voices are being heard?” organised by the Wrocław Institute of Culture (Wrocław/PL), Hvitsten Salong (Hvitsten/NO...

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Concert Conference/Meeting Fri Kunst Music Freedom Day News Project

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility

March 31, 2022
The Norwegian Minister of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen, opened the conference. Photo: Jon Lundell / Safemuse

As March comes to a close, Safemuse looks back at a month where artistic freedom has been celebrated and promoted. A mere week after the violent conflict in Ukraine was evoked, Safemuse organised the Artistic Freedom-week 2022 in order to raise the theme of artistic freedom of expression and free mobility of artists onto the public agenda.

Free Art – Free Movement

On the 4th of March, dozens of Norwegian organisations, institutions, cultural initiatives and artists gathered for the one-day conference “Free Art – Free Movement” (Fri Kunst – Fri Bevegelse) at Riksscenen in Oslo. In their welcoming speech, Riksscenen’s CEO / Artistic Director, Ane Carmen Roggen,  and Safemuse’s General Manager, Jan Lothe Eriksen, underscored how deeply and disturbingly relevant the discussion of artistic freedom and mobility have become in light of the meaningless atrocities unfolding before the world’s eyes and the all too evident risks and barriers that confront many artists in Eastern Europe and beyond. 

A committed Minister of Culture

In the opening speech, the Norwegian Minister of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen, spoke of the necessity for artistic freedom of expression in democratic societies today and shared her unwavering support for Safemuse’s efforts:

“I cannot think of anything more important than to promote the importance of artistic freedom and to defend artists’ right to move and express themselves. It is simply a matter of democracy, the most fundamental thing we have to fight for.”

 

The minister also expressed her ambitions for Norway to take the lead. 

– We must look at how we can make the conditions for development and cooperation across national borders in the world of art and culture even better. Norway to the world and the world to Norway. The world community is fragile [and] this makes it even more important to stand up and work for increased cooperation and contact. 

Norway, Trettebergstuen pointed out, is one of the world’s best countries to live in, also for artists. 

– We have good frameworks, good support schemes and we value artistic freedom. And so, allowing international artists to come here to exchange knowledge and experience security, is perhaps more important than ever, she said. 

In her closing statement, Trettebergstuen reaffirmed the Norwegian government’s continued commitment to promote artistic freedom and mobility:

– While it is easy to experience discouragement when the world is fragile, this is an effort we must never give up. There is no alternative. Thank you so much for the work you do, it is more important than ever, and I promise on behalf of the government we will support you and work together with you.

The impossible task

The South African-Norwegian artist Nosizwe Baqwa moved the entire audience at the conference. In a powerful spoken-word performance that sent shivers down the audiences’ spines, she underlined the indispensable societal contribution of artists, and delivered an emotional appeal for the pressing need to protect and enhance artists’ freedoms: 

“…What I know for sure is that artists are best at impossible tasks. 
Artists continue to create because they have to, because they exist in a belief and truth that what they deliver to the world is more important and greater than themselves, that one must not be stopped, one must not be silenced, that which has accompanied humanity since the beginnings, are the rhythms, are the heartbeat, our pulsating inner percussion, it is the tones that hold us together, that created a we, a us, an idea, a thought, a dream, you can not be part of the system who refuse the dreamers to come together, especially not those who are already suffering from the violence of those who want to silence them, silence them to death, you must keep the dreams and dreams alive, because it is we who keep you alive.”

– Excerpt from Nosizwe Baqwas piece. (Translated from Norwegian. Read the entire, original text here).

The artist Nosizwe Baqwa moved the audience with her powerful performative text and song. Photo: Akari Izumi Kvamme / Safemuse.
From the left: Celina Bright Jerman-Taylor, Ole Reitov and Ingeborg Moa discussed inconsistent visa practice and ways to overcome the current challenges. Photo: Jon Lundell / Safemuse.

Inconsistent visa practice

The conference included two panel discussions moderated by Ingeborg Moa (Norwegian Human Rights Fund). The first conversation was with Alexandra Archetti Stølen (Oslo World) and Per-Idar Almås (The Førde Traditional and World Music Festival) who shared their reflections and experiences as festival organisers. Thereafter Moa spoke with Ole Reitov (Unesco adviser and founder of Freemuse) and Celina Bright Jerman-Taylor (Safemuse) about the challenges and opportunities with regards to the 2005 Unesco convention on artistic diversity, which Norway has ratified together with 150 other countries as well as the EU. 

The discussions were followed by a performance by an anonymous Afghan singer and a mini-concert by the Malmø-based ICORN guest artist, Egyptian oud player and sound-artist Yasmine El Baramawy together with Danish tuba player Rasmus Svale Kjærgård Lund. The conference closed off with an artist talk, organised in collaboration with Riksscenen, Ballade and SalsaNor’s initiative Ella, whereby Guro Kleveland, editor of the web-magazine Ballade, interviewed Ayhvin Bruno from Venezuela, Dayami Ross from Cuba and Yasmine El Baramawy.

Thank you to our supporters

Artistic Freedom Week 2022 and conference was organised with support from the Fritt Ord Foundation (Stiftelsen Fritt Ord) and the Norwegian Culture Council (Kulturrådet).

We extend a special thanks to all the participants, the engaged audience – both physical and digital -, and our partners Riksscenen, Ballade and SalsaNor. 

Yasmine El Baramawy and Rasmus Svale Kjærgård Lund. Photo: Jon Lundell / Safemuse.
Guro Kleveland led the artist talk with Ayhvin Bruno, Dayami Ross and Yasmine El Baramawy. Photo: Jon Lundell / Safemuse.
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