Linköping became a member of ICORN in 2014 to host writers, artists, and journalists who need a safe and creative place to work. Being the fifth largest city in Sweden, Linköping is a cultural, educational, and human rights hub in the Östergötland region.
Near two other Cities of Refuge Jönköping and Norrköping, and only two hours away from Stockholm, Linköping’s convenient location benefits the city’s population and its ICORN residents.
The Linköping City Library is a vibrant community space providing the citizens with a varied literary and cultural programme. The Library is also an important partner in the ICORN programme, forming a strong cultural network together with the Music Hall, numerous art galleries, museums, and theatres, and form a base for the ICORN residents.
Every year, the local book fair and cultural festivals are arranged in the city centre attended by local writers, editors, and freedom of expression and human rights associations provide professional networking opportunities for Linköping’s ICORN residents. Some of these support organisations include the Swedish Writers Union and Swedish PEN. There is also a specialised local group of writers for authors of children’s books.
More generally, there has been an increasing interest in and growing responsibility for human rights and the protection of free speech in Linköping. At the official ceremony when the city signed the ICORN Membership Agreement, Mayor Helena Balthammar stated:
‘We should always protect the right of expression and democracy and will do so for a guest writer who needs protection from politically motivated threats and persecution.’
Since joining ICORN, Linköping has hosted three ICORN residents. Find out more information on them below.