Monday 16 January, Programme Director in ICORN, Elisabeth Dyvik, signed the Membership Agreement with Vice Rector Sandra Goulart Almeida of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), in the presence of Director of Cultural Actions at the UFMG, Leda Maria Martins, and Lucia Castello Branco. Belo Horizonte is the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, and the sixth largest city in Brazil.
“This is a very important project for UFMG, a diverse and inclusive federal reseach institution, who wants to join the work of the ICORN network.’
said Sandra Goulart Almeida.
To the Vice Rector, the agreement not olny opens a possibility to invite an artist in need of a safe place to work and develop his/her art, but someone who also will add to the diversity to the university. ‘It’s another voice, another point of view who joins us to think about how we know the world “, she said.
UFMG is the first institution in Latin America to join the network and to establish a partnership for the reception of refugee artists. The initiative is being undertaken in partnership with the Casas Brasileiras de Refúgio (Cabra), the arm of Icorn in Brazil.
Elisabeth Dyvik, Programme Director of ICORN, says:
‘This is a very special moment for ICORN. I would like to thank the UFMG, and its staff, for the painstaking and groundbreaking work they have done. Not only does this agreement lay the foundation for an ICORN residency at UFMG, it opens the door to establish other ICORN residencies in Brazil, and in South America at large.’
Chris Gribble, Chair of the ICORN, Board says:
“It is a wonderful thing that Belo Horizonte has joined the network. The region has such a staggering literary heritage and an amazingly vibrant contemporary literary culture that our whole network will be enriched by. I believe that such an important country as Brazil joining us will send a global message about the value of freedom of expression.”
At UFMG, the intention to establish a partnership with Icorn was announced in 2015, at the 2nd UFMG-Icorn Meeting: writing, exile, home. The partnership between the University and the Network is based on the work carried out by Professor Lucia Castello Branco, from the Faculty of Letters. The reception of the artists will be mediated by the Directorate of Cultural Action (DAC).
It is also the achievement of our ambassador in Brazil, Sylvie Debs, French research professor and specialist of Brazilian literature and cinema, she has been working insistently on establishing cities of refuge in Brazil for the past few years. She founded the website CABRA REDE (link www.cabrarede.wordpress.com) in Portuguese, to communicate the intentions and activities of ICORN in Brazil, and together with the team in Belo Horisonte and neighbouring cities, has organised several events to promote the project. She says:
“As regularly mentioned by international organizations such as PEN, RSF and Amnesty International, freedom of expression has increasingly been reduced in the world for the last years. If we want the cultural diversity, the reflexion and creation to continue to sustain us and bring some meaning to our lives, we must provide opportunities for artists and thinkers to carry on their research and work. Looking at the diversity of profiles, artist’s experiences and backgrounds of the about 170 guests ICORN sheltered since 2006, you can hear the heartbeat of the world and take its pulse. You can also measure the degree of resilience, solidarity and generosity of artists and persons involved in the network. Implementing this capacity in a concrete and determined way represents ICORN’s importance for me. It gives me great joy to see the fruits of all this work with the great people in Brazil, now signing the agreement and soon hosting their first ICORN writer-in-residence in Belo Horizonte.”
Read also Brazil Welcomes ICORN , ICORN goes to Brazil and ICORN in Brazil on the work on establishing cities of refuge in Brazil.
In the media
O TEMPO Jan. 18. 2017 UFMG vai receber artistas estrangeiros refugiados
Estado de Minas Jan. 18. 2017 UFMG receberá artistas estrangeiros exilados a partir deste ano
UFMG Jan. 17. 2017 UFMG assina termo de cooperação para acolher escritores refugiados