Underground artists in exile – A debate about human rights and freedoms of expression

Saturday 16/2 12.00 – 13.30
Studio 3, floor 3
Kulturhuset, Stockholm
Admission and opening hours: supermarketartfair.com

The Armenian artist Narek Aghajanyan and his family are facing expulsion from Sweden. They have been denied asylum despite the fact that Narek has suffered politically motivated threats and physical violence to his person and art, including having his paintings destroyed. Why is there sanctuary for writers in Sweden but not for visual artists or musicians? Narek Aghajanyan, who has had several exhibitions in Europe, including Sweden, will be interviewed on stage concerning his work and experiences.

The seminar will continue with a discussion focusing on recent developments relating to more inclusive definitions of artistic freedom; the founding in 2012 of Artsfex, the first global network in support of freedom of expression in visual arts and music, and the on-going discussion in Sweden on widening the scope of the City of Refuge project (“Fristäder”) to include support of persons active in non-verbal creative arts.

Participants: Kerstin Brunnberg, journalist, Chairperson of the Swedish Council of Culture, Alfons Karabuda, composer, Chairman of European Composer and Song Writer Alliance (ECSA), delegate to the United Nations Expert Group on Freedom of the Arts, and Patrik Steorn, art historian, vice chairman of Swedish Arts Critics Association (AICA).

Arne Ruth, journalist and writer, former president of Swedish PEN, will chair both sessions.

This programme is part of Supermarket 2013. Stockholm Independent Art Fair.