Sweden: Artists and writers join forces against threats from the extreme right

13 February 2015


Three leading organisations representing artists and writers in Sweden are launching a joint initiative to create awareness about right wing threats targeting artists and writers.

The three organisations KRO/KIF, The Swedish Writers’ Union and Swedish PEN decided to create the initiative after Konstnären, KRO/KIF’s quarterly magazine, in the fall documented how Swedish artists are receiving threats from the neo-Nazi movement.

The threats takes many shapes and forms, from emails and comments to letters and physical encounters at home, all with the same intent to silence the artist. The Swedish Writers’ Union had similar experience of their members receiving threats.

“As opposed to other groups that are receiving threats like politicians and journalists, artists and writers don’t have an organisation, a news room or a government office providing support,” Editor-in-Chief of Konstnären Anders Rydell told Radio Sweden. “We risk the threats lead to self-censorship.”

The new initiative will be launched at a demonstration in Stockholm on Saturday 14 February 2015. The Swedish minister of culture, Alice Bah Kunhke, will participate along with several Swedish artists and writers including Makode Linde, Dror Feiler and Heléne Lööw.

“The demonstration is the starting point for a long-term collaboration aiming to highlight and understand the ideologies behind the threats,” said chairman of the Swedish Writers’ Union Gunnnar Ardelius. “The situation is urgent. We will focus on right wing movements because these groups repeatedly and systematically have generated threats against a significant part of the Writers’ Union’s and KRO’s members.”

One of the first goals for the three organisations is to create an action plan on how to react to threats against freedom of expression, according to Radio Sweden.

More information in Swedish language:

» “KRO/KIF, Författarförbundet och Svenska PEN inleder samarbete för att motverka hot från högerextremister”

» “Manifestation till stöd för hotade konstnärer och författare”

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