Maria Amelie, 25, published the book "Illegally Norwegian" in September 2010. The book described her life as a paperless immigrant in Norway. Maria Amelie and her parents fled from North Ossetia when she was only a child. Her parents applied for asylum in Norway, but the application was rejected and her parents decided to go underground. For more than eight years Maria Amelie lived in Norway, learned the language fluently, and got a university degree and friends.
The book "Illegally Norwegian" made Maria Amelie a public figure in Norway and led to an increased focus on the paperless immigrants and their lack of rights. Her story led to massive public debate and demonstrations.
Maria Amelie was arrested by Norwegian police January 2011 for breaking Norwegian immigration laws, and was later deported to Russia where she neither felt safe nor had any connections. When Krakow City of Refuge invited her to become their first Guest Writer she happily accepted.
ICORN welcomes Krakow as the first Central European city to join the network. With its vivid cultural life and strong commitment to human rights, we are convinced Krakow will play an important role in the future development of our organisation, says ICORN director Helge Lunde.
The City of Krakow is the official ICORN host, throught the Krakow Festival Office. the Villa Decius Association is the cooperating partner accommdating the guest writers.