The Dissident Blog is run by Swedish PEN and publishes what the rulers want to delete, and is a unique digital platform for writers, journalists and artists who are threatened by censorship and persecution. It has featured many ICORN writers and artists throughout the previous years, and is read by writers, journalists, news agencies and human rights organizations around the world. the 27th edition is focused on women writers and features three writers in ICORN residencies in Sweden; Journalist and woman rights activist, Supriti Dhar, journalist and writer, Souzan Ibrahim and poet and writer, Sahar Mousa.
In later years, violations of citizens’ and political rights have escalated dramatically in Bangladesh. Media is increasingly under pressure and the authorities fail in the protection of minorities, bloggers, intellectuals and LGBT-people, who are submitted to brutal violence from Islamic extremists. Most of the influential bloggers have left Bangladesh. One of them is the journalist and feminist Supriti Dhar who today is an ICORN writer in residence in Norrköping.
Souzan Ibrahim, who is a well-known Syrian poet, author and journalist currently in ICORN residency in Östersund. The everyday life and rights of women have dominated her writing and journalistic work. She left Syria in 2018 after having been threatened and attacked by both the regime and the rebels because of her texts. She arrived in Östersund, Sweden as a guest writer. Below is an extract from her upcoming book where she has collected journal notes from the war in Syria.
Sahar Mousa is a Palestinian poet and writer. She published on Facebook during the wars in Gaza in 2008 and 2012, a series of articles that received attention. The articles led to death threats from local ISIS groups and threats and sexual pressure via social media. She was told to stop writing and to return to Islam or they would ruin her reputation. She was forced to flee and today lives in Stockholm as an writer in residence through the ICORN programme. “Gazing at an empty mirror” is a newly written poem by her.