Saturday 9 January 2016

Safe Havens 2015

Some of the incredible people I met at the Safe Havens conference in Sweden last month: Tunisian blogger and keynote speaker Lina Ben Mhenni (second from top), Iranian singer Farzane Zamen (top), activist-musician Ramy Essam of Egypt (with guitar), and Afghan playwright Monirah Hashemi - thanks to Fredrik Elg for the pictures!. All together in the fight against xenophobia, bigotry and fascism!

The conference - the first of three annual gatherings for which funding has been sourced - drew together human rights organisations from across the world who are involved in providing refuge for persecuted journalists, writers, academics, artists and musicians. Against the backdrop of rising neo-fascism in Europe in the light of the mobility/migrancy crisis precipitated by Islamofascism in Syria, we debated how best to share our resources and expand our operations. I reported on the project to bring South African cities on board the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN)