11 writers have been placed in cities of refuge this year, in addition five writers have been invited to a city and four cities are about to invite a writer. Our latest placement was Jahangir Akash to Tromsø, Norway, who arrived in May. This year ICORN also made its first placement of a writer from Afghanistan. Some of our new member cities, such as Tilburg, Odense and Ljubljana have already invited their first guest writer and Krakow invited a writer for a short term stay early in 2011.
During the first six months of 2011 ICORN recieved 17 new applications. This is an increase from last year, when we received 29 in total. The applications comes from a variety of countries, such as former Soviet Republics, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Congo and Burma. In 2010 ICORN received many applications from Iran, and we still do - but this year we are experiencing an increase in applications also from South-Southeast Asia. Several of our guest writers have been active in the uprising in the Arabic and North African countries.
We have been contacted by writers in Syria and expect to receive applications from this area, but the situation there is still very complex and dangerous, says ICORN Programme Director Elisabeth Dyvik.