On July 20th, 2023, The City of Warsaw signed the ICORN Membership Agreement and officially joined the network. The Polish capital becomes the 84th ICORN City of Refuge globally, joining forces with Kraków, Gdańsk, Wrocław, and Katowice in Poland.
With the resolution to join ICORN passed by Warsaw City Council back in December 2018, the relationship between Warsaw and ICORN was formalised on Thursday June 20th, 2023 at Warsaw City Hall. The ICORN Membership Agreement was signed by Deputy Mayor of Warsaw Aldona Machnowska-Góra and ICORN’s Executive Director Helge Lunde, alongside ICORN Board Member and Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of the City of Krakow Robert Piaskowski.
Warsaw has long been a partner of ICORN within Poland and beyond, and its decision to join the network at a time of crisis, turmoil, and war, cements its commitment to freedom of expression and solidarity. The Polish capital is the fifth ICORN City of Refuge in Poland, alongside Kraków, Gdańsk, Wrocław, and Katowice.
Reflecting on Warsaw’s ICORN Membership, Deputy Mayor Aldona Machnowska-Góra said:
‘I am extremely pleased that Warsaw is just becoming one of the cities united by an attitude of solidarity with persecuted writers and writers. We will do our best to provide refuge to as many persecuted writers and artists as possible, and to create, together with other organizations, a sustainable global network standing up for freedom of expression. This is a special task, especially in the context of the war raging beyond our borders. I hope that our city will become a place to save the talents of all the male and female artists who find a home here and contribute to saving their sensitivity to the world around us.'
Managing the ICORN programme and hosting writers, artists, and journalists will be the Warsaw Observatory of Culture, the local government cultural institution for the City of Warsaw. The Observatory of Culture will welcome and host future ICORN residents in Poland’s capital, a hub of culture, media, history, and industry. Warsaw is home to more than 60 museums and art galleries, and over 30 theatres, including the Polish National Theatre, and the Polish National Opera.
We welcome Warsaw into the ICORN network and look forward to working together in protecting and promoting free expression, human rights, and democracy worldwide.