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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!

Safemuse er bekymret over regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid i revidert statsbudsjett

About us Support us Revidert Statsbudsjett: Regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid skaper bekymring 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

Revidert Statsbudsjett: Regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid skaper bekymring 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, arbeidstaker

Revidert Statsbudsjett: Regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid skaper bekymring 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, arbeidstaker...

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility

About us Support us More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility 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

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility 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

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility 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 ...

New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly

About us Support us New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly Photo: Veronica Tonstad / Creo Safemuse held its General Assembly on Monday 28th of February at Sentralen in Oslo, with both physical and digital attendees.  Thank you Anders Hovind!  For over a decade, Anders Hovind has been involved in the work of building

New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly Photo: Veronica Tonstad / Creo Safemuse held its General Assembly on Monday 28th of February at Sentralen in Oslo, with both physical and digital attendees.  Thank you Anders Hovind!  For over a decade, Anders Hovind has been involved in the work of building

New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly Photo: Veronica Tonstad / Creo Safemuse held its General Assembly on Monday 28th of February at Sentralen in Oslo, with both physical and digital attendees.  Thank you Anders Hovind!  For over a decade, Anders Hovind has been involved in the work of building ...

Safemuse inviterer til Fri Kunst 2022

About us Support us SAFEMUSE INVITERER TIL MARKERING AV KUNSTNERISK YTRINGSFRIHET Foto: Cronje Strøm Følg live-stream fra konferansen via denne lenken. Start: 13:00. Watch the live-stream from the conference via this link. Start: 13:00. FRI KUNST 2022 Safemuse arrangerer Fri Kunst-uken den 1. – 7. mars 2022 for å sette temaet kunstnerisk ytringsfrihet og fri bevegelse

SAFEMUSE INVITERER TIL MARKERING AV KUNSTNERISK YTRINGSFRIHET Foto: Cronje Strøm Følg live-stream fra konferansen via denne lenken. Start: 13:00. Watch the live-stream from the conference via this link. Start: 13:00. FRI KUNST 2022 Safemuse arrangerer Fri Kunst-uken den 1. – 7. mars 2022 for å sette temaet kunstnerisk ytringsfrihet og f

SAFEMUSE INVITERER TIL MARKERING AV KUNSTNERISK YTRINGSFRIHET Foto: Cronje Strøm Følg live-stream fra konferansen via denne lenken. Start: 13:00. Watch the live-stream from the conference via this link. Start: 13:00. FRI KUNST 2022 Safemuse arrangerer Fri Kunst-uken den 1. – 7. mars 2022 for å sette temaet kunstnerisk ytringsfrihet og f...

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator

About us Support us Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera Upcoming residency program in Oslo The observations and reports

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera Upcoming residency program in Oslo The observations and reports

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera Upcoming residency program in Oslo The observations and reports ...

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art

About us Support us Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be ...

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART

About us Support us Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global ...

‘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...

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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.

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.
Safemuse er bekymret over regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid i revidert statsbudsjett

About us Support us Revidert Statsbudsjett: Regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid skaper bekymring 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

Revidert Statsbudsjett: Regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid skaper bekymring 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, arbeidstaker

Revidert Statsbudsjett: Regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid skaper bekymring 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, arbeidstaker...

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility

About us Support us More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility 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

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility 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

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility 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 ...

New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly

About us Support us New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly Photo: Veronica Tonstad / Creo Safemuse held its General Assembly on Monday 28th of February at Sentralen in Oslo, with both physical and digital attendees.  Thank you Anders Hovind!  For over a decade, Anders Hovind has been involved in the work of building

New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly Photo: Veronica Tonstad / Creo Safemuse held its General Assembly on Monday 28th of February at Sentralen in Oslo, with both physical and digital attendees.  Thank you Anders Hovind!  For over a decade, Anders Hovind has been involved in the work of building

New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly Photo: Veronica Tonstad / Creo Safemuse held its General Assembly on Monday 28th of February at Sentralen in Oslo, with both physical and digital attendees.  Thank you Anders Hovind!  For over a decade, Anders Hovind has been involved in the work of building ...

Safemuse inviterer til Fri Kunst 2022

About us Support us SAFEMUSE INVITERER TIL MARKERING AV KUNSTNERISK YTRINGSFRIHET Foto: Cronje Strøm Følg live-stream fra konferansen via denne lenken. Start: 13:00. Watch the live-stream from the conference via this link. Start: 13:00. FRI KUNST 2022 Safemuse arrangerer Fri Kunst-uken den 1. – 7. mars 2022 for å sette temaet kunstnerisk ytringsfrihet og fri bevegelse

SAFEMUSE INVITERER TIL MARKERING AV KUNSTNERISK YTRINGSFRIHET Foto: Cronje Strøm Følg live-stream fra konferansen via denne lenken. Start: 13:00. Watch the live-stream from the conference via this link. Start: 13:00. FRI KUNST 2022 Safemuse arrangerer Fri Kunst-uken den 1. – 7. mars 2022 for å sette temaet kunstnerisk ytringsfrihet og f

SAFEMUSE INVITERER TIL MARKERING AV KUNSTNERISK YTRINGSFRIHET Foto: Cronje Strøm Følg live-stream fra konferansen via denne lenken. Start: 13:00. Watch the live-stream from the conference via this link. Start: 13:00. FRI KUNST 2022 Safemuse arrangerer Fri Kunst-uken den 1. – 7. mars 2022 for å sette temaet kunstnerisk ytringsfrihet og f...

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator

About us Support us Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera Upcoming residency program in Oslo The observations and reports

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera Upcoming residency program in Oslo The observations and reports

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera Upcoming residency program in Oslo The observations and reports ...

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art

About us Support us Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be ...

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART

About us Support us Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global ...

‘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...

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News

New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly

New chair elected at the Safemuse General Assembly

March 15, 2022
Photo: Veronica Tonstad / Creo

Safemuse held its General Assembly on Monday 28th of February at Sentralen in Oslo, with both physical and digital attendees. 

Thank you Anders Hovind! 

For over a decade, Anders Hovind has been involved in the work of building Safemuse from the very beginning in 2011. He led the project group when we started as a project in Creo in 2011 and joined as a board member when Safemuse was established as an independent organisation in December 2013. In 2015, he accepted the position as chair of the board and has done a truly remarkable job during the six years he has headed the board. He has worked closely with both the administration and board members, and proved himself to be a committed, engaged and inclusive leader, whose efforts have contributed to Safemuse’s growth, professionalisation and achievements so far. 

– Anders has throughout this time been an important and enthusiastic inspirer, sparring partner and supporter for me as a general manager through headwinds and tailwinds! He has been a stayer in this work. And also careful and responsible. A real pleasure to work with and have as a boss. A big thank you to Anders for his work in Safemuse for more than ten years! When Anders now chooses to step back and start a new phase in life, I wish him all the best, says Jan Lothe Eriksen, general manager of Safemuse.

Safemuse would also like to extend its gratitude to Tina Espejord who has been an alternate on board for the past years. We wish both Tina and Anders the best in their endeavors ahead!

Introducing the new board in Safemuse

At the General Assembly, a new board was elected for the upcoming year and we are happy to present a highly competent and committed board: 

Hans Ole Rian was elected as the new chair of the board. Since 2013 he has been the president of Creo, the Union for Arts and Culture, Norway’s largest artists’ organisation with over 10,000 members. Creo was a central contributor when Safemuse was first founded and the association has been an avid and vocal supporter of Safemuse’s projects ever since. The union works to ensure their members working conditions and better pay, whether they are employees or self-employed and artistic freedom of expression is at the core of Creo’s values. 

I hope that I, together with the administration and the other board members, can keep up the good work that has been done so far, to both strengthen Safemuse and ensure that even more artists will have the opportunity to visit [Norway] for shorter or longer stays, Rian says in an interview with the magazine Kontekst.

– We are proud and grateful to have Hans Ole Rian as the next chairman of the board. He has already stood on the barricades of Safemuse, and I look forward to and look forward to the continuation!, says Jan Lothe Eriksen.

Another new member on the board is Karoline Aaskildt. Karoline is no stranger to the work of Safemuse, as she formerly worked in the Safemuse administration between 2018 and 2021, and has played a key role in developing many of Safemuse’s projects and building the organisation. Karoline is currently completing her Masters degree in musical therapy and has been elected to be an alternate in the Safemuse board. 

In addition the following members continue in their board positions: Terese Mungai-Foyn (vice-chair), Halvard Bakkelund (deputy), Julian Skar (deputy), Heidi Vibeke Pedersen (deputy), and Per Jørgen Ystehede (alternate).

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Concert Conference/Meeting Music Freedom Day News Project

Safemuse inviterer til Fri Kunst 2022

SAFEMUSE INVITERER TIL MARKERING AV KUNSTNERISK YTRINGSFRIHET

February 15, 2022
Foto: Cronje Strøm

Følg live-stream fra konferansen via denne lenken. Start: 13:00.

Watch the live-stream from the conference via this link. Start: 13:00.

FRI KUNST 2022

Safemuse arrangerer Fri Kunst-uken den 1. – 7. mars 2022 for å sette temaet kunstnerisk ytringsfrihet og fri bevegelse av kunstnere på dagsorden. Vi inviterer til dagkonferanse, løfter saken i norske medier og sprer budskapet via nettbaserte kanaler. Bli med å markere uken!

VELKOMMEN TIL DAGKONFERANSE

Bli med på dagkonferansen “Fri Kunst – Fri Bevegelse” på Riksscenen den 4. mars 2022. Her samles relevante aktører fra organisasjoner, festivaler og andre arrangører, samt institusjoner som arbeider med kunst og kultur.

Dagkonferansen er åpen og gratis, men krever påmelding. 

Meld deg på arrangementet via lenken: https://forms.office.com/r/jteb8MDm81 

ÅRETS TEMA

Årets tema er fri bevegelse av kunst og kunstnere, og hvordan vi kan bidra til at Norge oppfyller UNESCO-konvensjonen om kulturelt mangfold (2005) art.16, Preferansebehandling (eller fordelsbehandling) av utviklingsland: Industriland skal legge til rette for kulturutveksling med utviklingsland ved å tilstå, gjennom hensiktsmessige institusjonelle og juridiske rammeverk, fortrinnsbehandling av kunstnere, andre kulturarbeidere og utøvere, så vel som av kulturvarer og -tjenester fra utviklingsland.

Vi ønsker å sikre at kunstnere og kulturarbeidere internasjonalt har mulighet til å forflytte seg fritt og mulighet til å samarbeide på tvers av grenser. En rekke aktører i kunst og kulturverdenen opplever store utfordringer med visum når artister og kulturarbeidere skal inviteres både ved kortere og lengre opphold. Det at kunstnere og andre kulturarbeidere ikke får visum hindrer den kunstneriske friheten, utveksling av ideer og hindrer kunsten i å utvikle seg og bli sett, hørt og opplevd også utenfor sin egen kulturelle kontekst. Spesielt er det viktig at kunstnere fra land i sør i økt grad får delta i utveksling, utviklet sitt arbeidsmarked og vist sin kunst i Norge, i Europa og resten av den vestlige verden.

PROGRAM

12:45 Dørene åpner

13:00 – 13:10 Velkomst og kort introduksjon om Fri Kunst v/ Ane Carmen Roggen, Riksscenen og Jan Lothe Eriksen, Safemuse.

13:10 – 13:25 Åpningstale v/ Kulturminister Anette Trettebergstuen.

13:30 – 14:30 Panelsamtale: “Samarbeid på tvers”. Deltakere: Per Idar Almås, Førdefestivalen, Alexandra Archetti Stølen, Oslo World, Marthe Valle, artist. Moderator: Ingeborg Moa, direktør i Menneskerettighetsfondet.

14:30 – 14:45 Pause

14:45 – 14:55 “Fri kunst – fri bevegelse – fri utveksling”, innlegg v/ Nosizwe Lise Baqwa, artist.

15:00 – 16:00 Panelsamtale: “Inkonsekvent visumpraksis”. Deltakere: Ole Reitov, grunnlegger/ tidligere direktør i Freemuse og UNESCO rådgiver og Celina Jerman Bright-Taylor, rådgiver, Safemuse. Politisk ledelse fra Justisdepartementet er invitert. Moderator: Ingeborg Moa, direktør i Menneskerettighetsfondet.

16:00 – 16:30 Pause

16:00 Dørene åpner til konsert / kunstnersamtale

16:30 – 17:30

DEL I: Konsert med Yasmine El Baramawy, egyptisk oudspiller, lydkunstner og fribymusiker i Malmö & Rasmus Svale Kjærgård Lund, tuba, og Inkognito, Afghansk sanger.

DEL II: Kunstnersamtale i samarbeid med Riksscenen, Ballade og SalsaNor med initiativet Ella. Deltakere: Ahyvin Bruno, venezuelansk vokalist, Las Karamba; Yasmine El Baramawy og Daiami Ross, leder, Cuba Cambia. Moderator: Guro Klevland, redaktør, Ballade.

Fri Kunst-konferansen arrangeres med støtte fra Stiftelsen Fritt Ord og Norsk Kulturråd. 

English summary:

In connection with the annual celebration of Music Freedom Day, Safemuse is organising Artistic Freedom-week 2022 on the 1st – 7th of March to place the theme of artistic freedom of expression and free movement of artists on the agenda.

The week will include a one-day-conference on Friday the 4th of March at Riksscenen, as well as a campaign to raise the issue in the Norwegian media and spread the message via online channels.

The panel discussions will take place in Norwegian, but English-speakers are welcome to join us at 16:30 for the concert and artist talk. Seating is limited and all participants are asked to register their attendance: https://forms.office.com/r/jteb8MDm81

16:00 The doors open for a concert / artist talk

16:30 – 17:30

PART I: Concert with Yasmine El Baramawy, Egyptian oud player and sound artist based in Malmö & Rasmus Svale Kjærgård Lund, tuba, and Inkognito, Afghan singer.

PART II: Artist talk in collaboration with Riksscenen, Ballade and SalsaNor with the initiative Ella. Participants: Ahyvin Bruno, Venezuelan singer in Las Karamba; Yasmine El Baramawy and Daiami Ross, leader of Cuba Cambia. Moderator: Guro Klevland, editor of Ballade.

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Categories
Safe Residencies Administration News Project

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator

February 3, 2022
Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera
Upcoming residency program in Oslo

The observations and reports by Freemuse and the wider, international network dedicated to defending artistic freedom of expression, all share a common concern: All over the world, artists are exposed to threats and persecution because they create art and in various ways are perceived as a challenge to existing power structures. 

 

When Safemuse was established in 2013, its mission emanated from various Norwegian artists’ organisations’ wish to protect the artistic freedom of expression and the role of artists in society. The newly-launched residency program in Oslo is the last development in Safemuse’s international solidarity initiative, which aims to give artists safe spaces to create and develop their artistry, regardless of the country in which they reside.

 

“We continue to see a great need for permanent residences that can ensure continuity and predictability in our work, and contribute to safe opportunities for the artists” says Jan Lothe Eriksen, the director of Safemuse. Artists who experience harassment, persecution and threats are forced to work under very difficult conditions, and have a great need to get out of such situations, recharge their batteries, meet colleagues, expand their repertoire and develop new works and projects. By inviting endangered and persecuted artists to safe residences, we provide the opportunity for a breather. At the same time, Norwegian artists get the opportunity to collaborate with foreign colleagues with completely unique qualities and backgrounds, present these to the public and enrich the Norwegian cultural scene. The residency program in Oslo is organised in cooperation with Nordic Black Theatre and funded by the City of Oslo. The activities related to the program will also strengthen international cultural cooperation in Oslo, cooperation for artistic freedom of expression and increased understanding of art as a societal changer.

Meet our new project coordinator
Jon Lundell is the newest addition to Safemuse's team. Photo: Nosizwe Baqwa

“As artistic freedom is an important base for any well-functioning society, it should be allowed to be as diverse as we as humans are.”

-Jon Lundell, Residency Coordinator

Jon Lundell, is the newest addition to Safemuse’s team. Jon is a father of two children and has a background as a photographer, artist, art teacher and director of the wonderful art festival, collective and hub, Hvitsten Salong

What does artistic freedom mean to you?

“As artistic freedom is an important base for any well-functioning society, it should be allowed to be as diverse as we as humans are. This, I think, should be at the core of the understanding of artistic freedom. At the same time, we must be vigilant when it is being used as means for oppressive discourse and reactionary practice. Safemuse is doing super important work for artists at risk and pushing the agenda of human rights and artistic freedom. I am very eager to be part of the organisation and look forward to contributing to this amazing work, as well as to broaden my perspectives and learn more about the challenges in the world of art.” 

Safemuse is thrilled to have such a knowledgeable, experienced and motivated new team member onboard to help run the residency in Oslo and, hopefully, contribute to realising the ambitions to expand the Artistic Safe Haven residency program to other parts of Norway in the future.

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Categories
News Project Safe Residencies

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art

January 28, 2022

On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be open from the 1st of February until the application deadline on the 15th of February 2022. 

One of Safemuse’s most important objectives is to create Safe Residencies for artists, promote artistic freedom of expression, artistic solidarity and collaboration. After receiving funding from the Municipality of Oslo, Safemuse is, together with Nordic Black Theatre, establishing a residency program in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The residencies aim to support artists who are experiencing persecution, censorship or are otherwise living under threat and that for various reasons cannot work freely in their place of living. 

“This is a great leap forward in Safemuse’s work for artists at risk!” says Jan Lothe Eriksen, the director of Safemuse. Eriksen and his colleagues has for years strived to make the residency program a reality and he is now looking forward to inviting the two first artists: 

“Until now we have had to seek funding for every residency project, a rather complicated process,” he explains. “However, with this new funding from the Oslo City Council we will have a foreseeable financial situation for this work. It will allow us to plan the residencies in a much better way, and not the least, build a sustainable residency program over time within a predictable framework. Over time this initiative will contribute to Oslo as an important Safe Haven, in addition it already being an ICORN-city.”

“It has been a long process getting to where we are today,” Eriksen adds. “And we are grateful for the support and assistance from Jarl Solberg and Cliff Mustache at Nordic Black Theatre, as well as Sverre Pedersen at the former Freemuse Oslo office and Hans Ole Rian at Creo-union.”

In 2022, Safemuse will offer two six-month residencies that focus on artistic development and cooperation for artists within all artistic disciplines. The residence program places the artists at the centre stage, providing them a safe and free space to create, develop and present art, collaborate with other artists, and expand their networks. 

The residency program is funded by the Municipality of Oslo. At the closing event of the Safe Havens Conference 2021 that took place at Sentralen in Oslo on the 4th of December, Vice Mayor for Culture and Sports, Omar Samy Gamal, spoke about the duty of politicians to “facilitate and to protect an open and informed conversation”, and underlined the City of Oslo’s support for initiatives that promote freedom of expression and artistic independence: 

“Oslo is a diverse city, home to more than 200 nationalities. The city government’s vision is making Oslo a warmer and more creative city, with room for everyone. The objective is for everyone to experience Oslo as an open and inclusive and tolerant city. This is why Oslo has been a city of refuge for writers since 2001.” 

“We are working now on expanding our city of refuge scheme to also be a safe haven for artists at risk and human rights activists,” Gamal adds. “We are doing this to support independent voices, and because diversity in the arts is what keeps it vibrant and alive. And we are doing it because freedom of expression is under pressure in many parts of the world.”

Oslo’s Vice Mayor of Culture and Sports, Omar Samy Gamal, spoke at the Safe Havens Conference in December 2021. (Photo: Cronje Strøm)

On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be open from the 1st of February until the application deadline on the 15th of February 2022. 

One of Safemuse’s most important objectives is to create Safe Residencies for artists, promote artistic freedom of expression, artistic solidarity and collaboration. After receiving funding from the Municipality of Oslo, Safemuse is, together with Nordic Black Theatre, establishing a residence program in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The residencies aim to support artists who are experiencing persecution, censorship or are otherwise living under threat and that for various reasons cannot work freely in their place of living. 

“This is a great leap forward in Safemuse’s work for artists at risk!” says Jan Lothe Eriksen, the director of Safemuse. Eriksen and his colleagues has for years strived to make the residence program a reality and he is now looking forward to inviting the two first artists: 

“Until now we have had to seek funding for every residency project, a rather complicated process,” he explains. “However, with this new funding from the Oslo City Council we will have a foreseeable financial situation for this work. It will allow us to plan the residencies in a much better way, and not the least, build a sustainable residence program over time within a predictable framework. Over time this initiative will contribute to Oslo as an important Safe Haven, in addition it already being an ICORN-city.”

“It has been a long process getting to where we are today,” Eriksen adds. “And we are grateful for the support and assistance from Jarl Solberg and Cliff Mustache at Nordic Black Theatre, as well as Sverre Pedersen at the former Freemuse Oslo office and Hans Ole Rian at Creo-union.”

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Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator

About us Support us Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera Upcoming residency program in Oslo The observations and reports

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera Upcoming residency program in Oslo The observations and reports

Upcoming artistic residency in Oslo and a new Residence Coordinator Former resident artist Sina Winter, Safemuse director Jan Lothe Eriksen and Sami indigenous rights specialist and joiker Ande Sonby in a panel discussion at Hvitsten Salong in August 2021. Photo: Kine Bruniera Upcoming residency program in Oslo The observations and reports ...

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art

About us Support us Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be

Safemuse kicks off 2022 with an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art On the 28th of January, an open call for artists in need of a safe residency to develop their art was published on Safemuse’s homepage. The online application form will be ...

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART

About us Support us Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global ...

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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...

Categories
News Project Safe Havens

Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART

Safe Havens 2021:
WHAT WE RISK FOR ART

December 20, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can see the full stream of the event here

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

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

More about SH|FT here

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News Project Safe Residencies

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

‘Historias’ nominated to Gullsekken 2021 award

October 21, 2021
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. Gato) has been on tour and visited schools across Norway with a personal and dynamic production combining documentary screening (“Bboy for life”, 2012), and live performance and conversation with the students. ‘Historias’ is centred around the intertwined stories of three dancers and how it ultimately brought them together. 

The Guatemalan breakdancer Gato (Carlos Catun) brings his experiences from life in the streets of Guatemala City into the performance. Gato was forced to leave his home country following death threats from Guatemalan street gangs. After several years on the move, his long journey to safety finally came to an end when Gato, in 2019, moved to Norway as a Safemuse resident artist. Over the years, Gato has established close ties with the breakdance milieu in Norway and engaged in numerous collaborative projects with other artists and dancers. Safemuse resident coordinator Nicolai Lopez has been an important engine behind the ‘Gato-process’.

‘Historias’ was launched as part of the artistic program for Den Kulturelle Skolesekken (DKS) (loosely translated as “the cultural school bag”) – a national scheme established in 2001 to promote and disseminate art and culture to children and youth throughout Norway. Gullsekken 2021 recognises the achievements of art- and cultural practitioners in Norway, and the nomination of ‘Historias’ is a testament to the production’s high artistic quality and impact on its audiences. 

“We were actually called by many schools afterwards because they had to tell us how intensely the performance had moved their students.”

-DKS nomination statement

In their nomination statement for ‘Historias’, DKS wrote: 

“It was a powerful experience for the students who received a visit by the production team to first see the gripping documentary, and then meet one of the main characters live in the classroom, see him dance and hear him tell his story. We were actually called by many schools afterwards because they had to tell us how intensely the performance had moved their students. That is not a daily occurrence for us in the DKS-team.”

On the 20th of October, DKS announced the two winners of Gullsekken 2021: Marja Mortensson Trio and Lost and Found Productions. Safemuse congratulates the winners, as well as the nominees – all of whom have effectively reached out to youth in their own unique ways, created magical cultural experiences in schools and provided students with an opportunity for reflection through music and performing arts.

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About us Support us Safe Havens 2021: WHAT WE RISK FOR ART Safe Havens is the annual summit of the artistic freedoms sector, convened each December since 2013. It provides a unique opportunity for artists and those who defend them to network and build collaborations across the entire globe. After last year’s Safe Havens Global

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‘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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News

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release

Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian risks rearrest after album release

October 7, 2021
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 years, Rajabian experienced imprisonment, bans, solitary confinement and hunger strikes. – “I couldn’t even play an instrument on my album. I could only compose and arrange. I did it just to say that no power can stop the freedom of music”, Rajabian said in an interview with Billboard Media (15. September 2021). 

Rajabian was arrested in 2013 and sat three months in isolation before he was released on bail. In 2015 he was once again jailed after having recorded the album ‘The History of Iran Narrated by Setar.’ Rajabian was alleged for having distributed unlicensed music by Iranian singers from outside the country, some of which contained lyrics and messages that the authorities considered to be political or cover taboo subjects. According to Amnesty International’s report from 2016, Rajabian’s trial lasted only three minutes before he was sentenced for having ‘offended Islam’, ‘spread propaganda against the system’ and conducted ‘illegal audio-visual activities.’

 “Silence in the face of oppression is complicity with the oppressor. I cannot be silent.”

– Mehdi Rajabian, interview in Billboard

Mehdi Rajabian’s new recording will be available on all major streaming services, and the album has been submitted for Grammy nomination consideration. 

Read more about his story and check out the album teaser on Billboard’s website.

Photo: Barg Music
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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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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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Conference/Meeting News Safe Residencies

A Conversation with Maryam Sharifi

THE SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE 2021: A conversation with Maryam Sharifi

September 30, 2021
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 Utøya. At the Solidarity Conference 2021, dozens of passionate youth from all over Norway gathered to discuss local and global politics, share their reflections with invited guests and meet old and new friends. On the 11th of September, Safemuse attended the conference together with Maryam Sharifi who shared her story and experiences from life as a woman and cultural activist in Afghanistan.

Life as a woman in Afghanistan

Maryam Sharifi is an afghani cultural activist and festival organiser. She grew up in a war-torn Afghanistan during the Taliban’s first reign of terror in the nineties and early 2000s. It was a time when girls were not allowed to attend school and women were denied participation in public life. Maryam and her sisters stayed at home all day to weave carpets by hand in order to help her family make a living. Although the Taliban’s loss of power in 2001 opened up to some new opportunities that Maryam previously did not have, life as a young woman continued to be challenging. Recently, with the country once again having fallen into the hands of the Taliban, Maryam is increasingly worried about the situation for girls and women in Afghanistan. “Back then it was difficult to work, but now it is impossible,” she says.

“Back then it was difficult to work, but now it is impossible.”

Maryam is concerned about the situation we see today, the future of Afghani people, and women, artists, journalists and human rights activists in particular. She describes the desperation expressed by friends and family back home whom she is in touch with. “It just makes me so sad. Many people have contacted me to ask if I can help them. I have an artist friend who had to quit painting and just stay at home.” Maryam is concerned that the situation is going to get worse. “I don’t know why so many people are referring to a so-called ‘New Taliban’ – there is nothing new about them, they have not changed, they continue to abuse journalists, persecute opponents and carry on as they want.” Although Maryam finds it difficult to see much hope for the near future of Afghanistan, she honours the many strong women and civilians who risk their lives by publicly speaking up or taking to the streets to demonstrate against the Taliban regime and the limits imposed on girls and women. 

A group hug with some of the particpants after the talk. Photo: Ortenheim Photography

A Night with Buddha

In 2001, the Taliban destroyed two world heritage listed Buddha-statues, carved into a mountainside, in Bamiyan. Twelve years later, in 2013, Maryam started the festival “A Night with Buddha” to commemorate the statues, create dialogue and raise awareness around the importance of culture, art and identity. Maryam describes the event as an attack on the identity of the people and felt it was important to oppose the mindset of the Taliban and the systematic attacks on art, artists, women and human rights. Although it was possible for a woman to organise the festival as a woman, the challenges were numerous and many groups attempted to oppose and hinder the festival from taking place.

Ethnic discrimination and power-scrambles

Maryam describes long-seated tensions and power-scramble between the four largest ethnic groups in Afghanistan. “My husband worked with Hazara-music, and so many reacted negatively to his work. They asked questions about why he was playing Hazara-music or singing in his local dialect. Our music, our faces and our dialect were haram (shame).” Hamid received many threats and was attacked on several occasions. It culminated when he was attempted run over by a car. Hamid survived, but broke his arm and was not able to play his instrument for two years.  

“Our music, our faces and our dialect were haram.”

Moving to Norway 

Maryam and her husband Hamid Sakizada were forced to leave Afghanistan when it got too dangerous to stay there. In 2013 they were able to find refuge in Harstad, a small city in the north of Norway, as part of the ICORN program. Although it has been difficult to be so far away from her family, the support from Safemuse, ICORN, the municipality of Harstad and locals has helped Mariam and Hamid to rebuild their lives in Norway.  Mariam has been able to put her experiences from Afghanistan to good use and has for the past two years been involved with the local cultural festival, “Festspillene i Nord-Norge”. 

Speak of Afghanistan

When asked by a youth participant about what young people outside Afghanistan can do to help, Maryam answers: “I always say, don’t be silent. Speak about Afghanistan. Speak of the women who don’t have the same rights as us. Speak of the children who are not allowed to go to school. The Taliban has so much power, but we need to raise our voices, and there is so much power in youth. So, I beg you, speak of Afghanistan.” 

“The Taliban has so much power, but we need to raise our voices, and there is so much power in youth. So, I beg you, speak of Afghanistan.” 

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