Opening performance for the biennial ICORN Network Meeting -PEN International WiPC Conference in Maihaugsalen, Lillehammer Wednesday May 31 May at 8 pm

Distinguished artists from Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Palestine and Norway will perform a specially curated piece exploring the experience of exile and being silenced. Through a rich variety of genres and elements the performance will touch on the necessity of having to invent new forms, new words and new means of resistance against repression and persecution. In this way, the audience will experience how writers and artists throughout time have expressed themselves in ways that no censorship or rulers can attack, retaining the ability to transmit their critical message to people with open hearts and minds.

In this new piece Iranian singers Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat will perform together with Norwegian actress Juni Dahr, pianist Tord Gustavsen, percussionist Kenneth Ekornes and the Lillehammer choir Mjøsikale. The audience will also experience Syrian dancer Ahmad Joudeh, Afghan musician Hamid Sakhizada, Palestinian rapper Khaled Harara, Afghan film creator Mohsen Hosaini and Norwegian artist Moddi together with Sami singer Marja Mortenson.

Several of the participating artists live and work in cities in Norway, elsewhere in Scandinavia or Europe, thanks to the cooperative efforts of PEN International and ICORN for writers and artists at risk. The piece is produced and curated by Erik Hillestad.