More than 140 delegates, guest writers and observers from as many as 39 different countries are heading to Ljubljana Wednesday 21 - Saturday 24 May, to take part in the 2014 ICORN General Assembly. Since ICORN was established in 2006, over 40 cities have joined the network and more than 100 guest writers have found a safe space in an ICORN city of refuge. Now 37 guest writers from 20 different countries will join us in Ljubljana.
As an organisation of member cities and regions, offering safe havens for persecuted writers, ICORN’s main aim is to be able to host as many persecuted writers as possible in ICORN member cities, forming a sustainable and dynamic global network for freedom of expression. During the assembly participants will engage in vital issues regarding growth and expansion, governance and promotion of the network and determine the future direction of a continuously growing ICORN.
The ICORN general assembly is not only a formal meeting; it is a social event, a learning platform, and most importantly, a unique chance to meet colleagues from across borders and sectors and remember the reasons why we are here: to give the writers a new opportunity in a safe space to execute their basic human right to freedom of expression.
The assembly kicks off with a reception hosted by the Mayor in the Ljubljana City Museum on Wednesday 21 May. A rich and inspiring programme continues through to Saturday 24 May.
Participants can look forward to valuable workshops and plenary sessions on the development, running and cooperation in the network. ICORN’s close partner PEN WiPC will present their recent report on the status of freedom of expression for writers. ICORN presents reports from the two recent years and strategic plan for 2014-2018. Issues will be raised such as: How do we meet the challenges of the growing number of persecuted writers applying to the network? How should ICORN member cities continue hosting writers, refining the conditions for accommodating the writer, and should our organisation consider offering shelter also to persecuted artists and human rights defenders?
Find ICORN GA 2014 PROGRAMME below
River poetry, talk and open air performances
On Friday 23 the assembly wraps up with a talk by Ragip Zarakolu, prominent Turkish writer and publisher, at present ICORN guest writer in Sigtuna. The speech is titled: My Struggle: A life as fighter for freedom of expression in Turkey.
The unique and adventurous literary event, Ljubljanica River Poetry, will follow, where the audience will be brought along the Ljubljanica River with poetry readings by ICORN guest writers, Slovene and international poets performing from a boat along the shore at the Makalonca and the New Square.
The evening concludes with a performance by the Overflight festival, To the Bridge, and a farewell party for all participants at the Shoemakers Bridge.
Ljubljana City of Refuge and The Overflight theatre festival
The ICORN General Assembly 2014 is organised by ICORN in cooperation with the assembly host, Ljubljana City of Refuge. The assembly coincides and overlaps with the 2014 edition of the Overflight Theatre Festival (see below), which runs from Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 May.
All participants are invited to a magnificent opening of the festival Thursday 22 May, with a specially commissioned performance titled “Hell is Empty”, based on texts and contributions by among others the four ICORN guest writers Girma Fantaye, Jahangir Akash, Naeimeh Doostdar and Mansur Rajih. The play is directed by choreographer Marko Mlacnik.
The Mladinsko Theatre will during these fruitful days also host a workshop with the ICORN Guest Writers, where they will have the opportunity to meet with other writers attending the festival.
We look forward to fruitful and exciting days together in Ljubljana!