ICORN will most probably receive the largest number of applications ever in 2018. As of June 18th, ICORN had received 74 applications from persecuted writers and artists from around the world, a significantly higher number than previous years. The applications come from 26 different countries. 15 writers and artists, many with their families, have already arrived in an ICORN city in 2018.
ICORN saw an increase in the number of female applicants in 2017, and this affects the 2018 placements; 9 of the 15 writers and artist who have arrived in ICORN residencies this year are women. This is the highest percentage of invited and placed women artists and writers in ICORN’s history. Female writers and artist often are more vulnerable than their male colleagues and we are therefore glad that this is understood and taken seriously by the inviting ICORN members.
Among the women who have arrived in ICORN cities this year are Supriti Dhar, journalist and women rights activist from Bangladesh (Norrköping); Sahar Mousa, Palestinian/Gaza Poet (Stockholm); Kholoud Charaf, Syrian poet, art critic and social activist (Krakow), and Maha Nasser, journalist and TV presenter from Yemen (Växjö).
Journalists still make up the largest group of applicants to ICORN this year (27 of 74), followed by creative writers, bloggers, film makers, visual artists and musicians. More than half of the writers and artists who have been welcomed in ICORN cities this year are creative writers.
We also welcome the development seen in several cities where they've been able to go from hosting a single candidate to welcoming couples or families. This is positive as the majority of the ICORN applicants have spouses or families. We see that a slight majority of those already arrived in an ICORN city in 2018 brought one or more dependents. Some cities have also expanded the programme to host two ICORN candidates simultaneously.
With 6 new cities on board already this year, ICORN will be able to help even more persecuted writers and artists to continue their work. Asker, Berlin, Helsinki, Lund, Poitiers and Vestfold signed in recently, and the latest happy news is that the City of Leiden in the Netherlands committed to the agreement this week.