Their itinerary will take them from Ouro Preto and Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais, through Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo, to Porto Alegre in the southern region of Rio Grande do Sul. Through a series of informal and strategic meetings with partners ranging from Brazilian PEN to the Universidade Federal do Minas Gerais, the how-where-and-who’s of a future ICORN presence in Brazil is to be mapped out. "This is a great opportunity for ICORN", says Helge Lunde. "We are grateful to all the local organizers for facilitating this important step forward towards establishing cities of refuge in Brazil."
Ouro Preto, Belo Horizonte and the Forum das Letras Festival
First out, on 29. October, is a panel debate at Ouro Preto’s Forum das Letras Festival regarding the City of Refuge idea. Helge Lunde and Claudio Aguiar, President of Brazilian PEN, will be joined in the debate by poet and translator Mohsen Emadi (Iran/Mexico) and poet Julia Oliveira (Honduras/Sweden), both ICORN writers. Sylvie Debs (ICORN representative in Brazil) will mediate the debate, which is to take place at Anexi I do Museo da Inconfidência (Rua Vereador Antônio Pereira, 33, Centro) in Ouro Preto at 4 p.m.
Next is the official opening of the Festival, where ICORN’s Executive Director Helge Lunde will sign a letter of intent with the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP), obliging the University to host a persecuted writer for four months. “The principal objective of this agreement is to defend freedom of expression”, says Carlos Magno Paiva, coordinator of International Relations at UFOP, to Brazilian newspaper O Tempo, “these writers fear for their lives due to political and religious intolerance in their home countries”. The UFOP is hoping to receive its first guest writer in 2015, and is looking forward to including its future guest writer in the University’s academic life. It will, however, rely on further funding to be able to expand any agreement.
Thursday 30. October will include a lecture given by Claudio Aguiar on Revelations at History’s Margin at 4 p.m., followed by another panel debate with Julia Oliveira and Mohsen Emadi at 6 p.m. This time, the chosen theme is “Exile or Silence” and the venue is Cine Vila Rica (Praça Reinaldo Alves de Brito, 47 – Centro).
On Friday 31. October, Emadi, Oliveira, Lunde and Debs will all meet students at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, UFMG, before meeting with UFMG staff to discuss the possibility of the UFMG receiving a writer at the Cultural Campus in Tiradentes.
Porto Alegre and the Feira do Livro
At Porto Alegre’s 60th Feira do Livro, Lunde, Oliveira, Emadi and Debs will be joined by Claudio Aguiar and Carles Torner, poet and Executive Director of PEN International, in a panel debate on Freedom of Expression and the creation of Cities of Refuge for Persecuted Writers in Brazil. The panel debate will take place at the Sala Oeste do Santander Cultural at 6 p.m., Sunday 2. November.
Monday 3. November takes Carles Torner and the ICORN representatives to São Paolo and a meeting with the French Consulate and the SESC. On 4. November, they will present ICORN and the Casa Brasileiras de Refúgio - CABRA project at 2 p.m., followed by testimonies and a poems recital, at SESC São Paolo's Centro de Pesquisa e Formação.
Rio de Janeiro
Concluding his tour of Brazil, Helge Lunde will discuss freedom of expression and the creation of Cities of Refuge in Brazil Wednesday evening at Brazilian PEN's office at Praia do Flamengo, 172 / 1.101 - Flamengo - Rio de Janeiro. Claudio Aguiar and Carles Torner will be joining him, and Sylvie Debs will chair the event, taking place on 5. November at 5.30 p.m.
For more information, check out Brazilian PEN's overview and Feira do Livro de Porto Alegre,Forum das Letras and Casas Brasileiras de Refúgio - CABRA on Facebook