The City of Uppsala is organising the conference Freedom of Speech – Perspective and Initiatives on 12–13 February. The conference reflects various aspects of freedom of speech and the initiatives that are taken to strengthen it.
Together with key organisations working for artists right to free speech, like PEN, Freemuse and Reporters Without Borders, ICORN guest writers are invited participate in a row of debates and discussions on the conditions of freedom of expression. Among them are current guest writers, Turkish publisher, Ragip Zarakolu, and Sedigheh Vasmaghi, poet from Iran and guest writer in Uppsala.
Invited guests will discuss the global state of freedom of speech. During the two days of the conference, presentations and panel discussions will be held that are open to the general public on topics such as:
- How free is the free word?
- Religion – a source of conflict or a path to increased dialogue and freedom of expression?
- The exile's opportunities.
- Technology – threat or opportunity?
- Initiatives that strengthen freedom of speech.
ICORN Programme Director, Elisabeth Dyvik, will have a discussion with previous ICORN guest writer in Trondheim Asieh Amini, Norway and Khaled Harara, musician and ICORN guest writer in Göteborg about “Living in Exile-New Opportunities?”
Freedom of artistic expression and creation - UN Report
During the conference, the UN report The right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity will be presented. Read more:
ICORN participates in meeting on UN special report “The rights to freedom of artistic expression and creation”
Arts–Rights–Justice Working Group presents UN special report and demands at the European Parliament 2 October
The initiative for the conference was taken by PhD Sedigheh Vasmaghi, lawyer, theologian and poet from Iran and current City of Refuge Author scholarship holder in the Municipality of Uppsala.
The freedom of speech conference is part of Peace Year 2014 - when the City of Uppsala marks Sweden’s 200 years of peace. It is organised by Cultural Board of the City of Uppsala, with support from the Swedish Arts Council, World Class Uppsala and Uppsala Konsert & Kongress.
The conference is aimed at representatives of international cities of refuge programmes for threatened artists and organisations that support work on human rights and freedom of speach and expression, as well as interested members of the public.
Uppsala City of Refuge
The municipality of Uppsala has been a member of ICORN since 2008. Uppsala City of Refuge has not only played a part in strengthening freedom of expression in the world but has also had great significance for the local cultural life, revitalizing the field of literature, says Eva Edwardsson of the Uppsala Cultural Committee.