Nieuwe blog: ICORN digital workshop Fearless Cities

Verhalenhuis Belvédère was joining the ICORN programma in the Re:Writing the Future festival in Berlin from 25-28 February 2021. A digital celebration of artistic freedom, spaces of resilience and international solidarity.


Read the blog of March 2nd from Esseline van de Sande ‘Sanctuary for the Future’.



Exiled artists from around the world, cultural institutions in Berlin, and ICORN International Cities of Refuge Network came together to produce the festival Re:Writing the Future as a response from the global arts community to the turbulent times the world is facing. The online festival took place from 25 to 28 of February 2021 and was open to the public. The programme had something for everyone: from debates, presentations, concerts, performances and readings streamed live from multiple locations in Berlin to a series of digital workshops to connect artists, cultural practitioners and city officials from around the world. The digital format opened up the programme to a large audience to explore key questions. How are urban cultures shaped and revitalized by the experiences of newcomers? How can cultural institutions confront the double challenges of growing illiberalism and the ongoing shutdown?


During a special ICORN programme on Thursday, 25 February artists, activists and ICORN administrators from Barcelona, Mexico City, Rotterdam, Krakow and Pittsburgh presented a workshop titled “Fearless Cities” at 16:00 pm. Another highlight was the encounter between former ICORN resident Svetlana Alexiewitch and her Nobel Peace Prize in Literature colleague Hertha Müller at 17:30 pm.



Rotterdam in ICORN Digital Workshop: Fearless Cities
How can cities in  this day and age stand up and become concrete actors for human rights, advancing freedom of expression, defending democratic values and promoting international solidarity? The cities of Barcelona, Krakow, Mexico City, Pittsburgh and Rotterdam are long time members of ICORN, the International Cities of Refuge Network, and have been protecting and promoting numerous persecuted writers and artists from around the world. The online audience met them all at the Fearless Cities workshop, listened to the unique stories about their works and got inspired to make creativity, solidarity and hospitality more integral values of each city. [Workshop in English]


Moderated by:
Helge Lunde (Executive Director, ICORN International Cities of Refuge Network)


Gemma Rodrìguez Villanueva (Secretary General, PEN Català, Barcelona)
Philippe Ollé-Laprune (Author, founding director of Casa Refugio Citlatépetl, Mexico City)
Esseline van de Sande, Ishmail Kamara, Jana Beranová, Hamed Ahmadi, Chris de Jong (Verhalenhuis Belvedere, Rotterdam)
Robert Piaskowski (Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of Krakow for Culture)
Andrés Franco (Executive director at City of Asylum, Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conductor)


Register Now
The workshop was done via Zoom.

To attend this workshop, please register here. Registered participants will receive further information from ICORN on the format and the agenda before the event.



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