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

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

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

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

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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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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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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

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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.”

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

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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

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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

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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 ...

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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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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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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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Categories
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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