December 9th is a very different school day in Tuscany. Trains and buses are bringing youngsters from the entire region into Florence for a whole day's Nelson Mandela Forum. The forum is an annual event organized by the Region of Tuscany and Oxfam Italy, this the 14th forum has "Freedom of expression" as its main theme.
ICORN member region Tuscany
Having had the status as Region of Refuge since the nineties, Tuscany has emphasized its ICORN membership when preparing for the big forum. Hence, among officials, artists, musicians and film makers, the ICORN writers Mansur Rajih (Yemen/Stavanger) and Philo Ikonya (Kenya/Oslo) are invited to perform for the crowd of young Tuscans.
ICORN chapter in official "Freedom of Idea" book
ICORN has also been involved with inputs to a 300 pages "Freedom of Ideas" book all Mandela Forum participants are offered to read preparing for the big event. Former Norwegian PEN president and city of refuge pioneer Kjell Olaf Jensen presents the text "How Norway became a country of safe havens for persecuted writers" with a foreword by Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.