Anchoring ICORN: Baltic Sea Region Network

Anchoring ICORN is a new network based on the participating members of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) in the Baltic Sea region, which aims to expand knowledge sharing platforms between BSR countries as well as the EU Eastern Partnership region, build promotional strategies of the region’s integration activities of persecuted writers and literature and human rights principles, as well as to prepare a foundation for future development of the network in the region and joint initiatives.

The cities of ICORN offer shelter for persecuted writers and artists seeking safety from governments and political oppression. Among the Swedish cities in the ICORN network there is: Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Uppsala, Växjö, Sigtuna, and 11 others.This gives the Swedish ICORN cities a chance for active interaction and knowledge exchange with the BSR. Växjö will represent this Swedish network of ICORN cities in this BSR network.

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This long-term cooperation among the 3 countries will include 3 phases:

1) strengthening collaborative activity, mobility, sector cooperation and exchange among the applicant organisations through Network Meetings and an International Conference. This will lead to the future creation of a compounded know-how, used for exchange and promotion;

2)  organizing a series of National Workshops for other organisations from the applicant countries in an effort to share experience, contribute to capacity building and develop new tools for the integration of communities on the municipal level; and

3) creating platforms i.a. mentoring, workshops for organisations from outside of the BSR, including for the Eastern Partnership, that will contribute to experience, skills and know-how exchange to promote the value of human rights, security and democratic participation and integration of migrants and refugees via culture.

Funding for the network project has been kindly provided by the Swedish Institute as part of its Baltic Sea Region Seed-Funding Grants.