Finland: Invitation to attend Nordic Art Asylum Network meeting

4 April 2013

To help create a Nordic and Baltic Art Asylum Network, the Helsinki International Artist Programme is organising a three-day networking meeting for interested partners, held in Helsinki, Finland.


The meeting will start at 5pm on 2 May and continue until 2pm on 4 May 2013.

Background for the meeting
Recent decades have seen human rights violated and restricted under pressure of political and economic interests. PEN has a long
 tradition of organising ‘Writers in Exile’ residencies. At the ‘Freedom of Speech’ conference at Helsinki International Artists Programme in September 2012, the Director of the Visual Culture Research Center in Kiev in Ukraine, Vasyl Cherepanyn, said:
 “Compared with the protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s, recent social movements follow a line that separates the image from the word, the visual turn away from the linguistic.”

There are many artist dissidents now in need of “asylum”, who work visually rather than in writing.

Consequently, one long-term aim of the network meeting is to develop a Nordic and Baltic Art Asylum pilot residency project to offer temporary residencies for visual artists, film makers, curators and cultural theorists who have been forced to leave their own countries for political reasons.

Starting up the residency programme will require reliable Finnish and international partners in collaboration, as well as specific types of expertise, for example, in the treatment of trauma. Residents will also need legal and other assistance. These challenges will be discussed in workshops with facilitators.

In its first stage, the residency programme will be particularly aimed at Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The programme of the three-day networking meeting in Helsinki consists of keynote lectures and facilitated workshops on topics such as

• “Legal Aspects of the asylum seeking processes”;
• Challenges of setting up an artist-asylum scheme;
• A residency as a “temporary home”, the need to create a social context.

The speakers and facilitators include Morten Goll (Trampoline House, Copenhagen) and Iida Siimes (Pen, Helsinki).

The final programme and speakers will be confirmed in April 2013 at

The Art Asylum network meeting is being curated by Marita Muukkonen, and is a continuation of the conference entitled ‘Freedom of Speech: Perspectives in Contemporary Art in Europe’ which was held at HIAP Suomenlinna in September 2012, and curated by Muukkonen as a part of HIAP’s Paths Crossing programme, which was funded by the EU Culture Programme.

If you are interested in attending the network meeting, please register by 8 April 2013, briefly giving your reasons for participation.
Please indicate if you need financial assistance for travel and accommodation. There are limited funds and places available. The meeting is being organised with support from Nordic Culture Point.
• Send registrations to: asylum(at)

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