The City of Poitiers' restored new residence for artists, the Villa Bloch, was inaugurated on Saturday 9 February, by the Mayor of Poitiers, Mr. Alain Caeys. He expressed his pride and enthusiasm of the project and house, which was the residence of the French intellectual, communist writer Jean- Richard Bloch. The villa will host four artists simultaneously, including an author or artist in exile.
Poitiers is the second French city to join ICORN, in 2018, and already welcomed their first ICORN writer. Iranian writer Mohammad Bamm arrived safely with his family in mid-January. They have taken up residency as the first artist-in-residence in the Villa Bloch and find inspiration from the environment.
- It is amazing for me to live in this house. It's very symbolic, greets the poet Mr. Bamm.
Mohammad Bamm is the author of texts and songs about workers' rights, human rights and freedom of expression in Iran. His writings have been censored by the Iranian government and caused him time in prison on charges of blasphemy and propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- An artist should be able to say what he wants, we should not lock them up because of their art, says Mohammad Bamm sadly. - Here, at the Villa Bloch in Poitiers, I will be able to write and continue my work in freedom.