Side Events

Together with our partners, we will host a number of side events during World Expression Forum 2022. Read more about the events here.

Landscapes of protection for artists at risk

WEXFO Conference workshop, 31 May, 9:00-12:00 

Conference room Bjerkebæk

Co-hosted by:


The International Resource for Impact in Storytelling (IRIS)

PEN America/Artists at Risk Connection (ARC)

International Cities of Refuge, ICORN 

Artists are subjected to risks that stifle their voice and threaten their lives. Recent research commissioned by (IRIS) and the Ford Foundation, shows that the dangers filmmakers and other storytellers are exposed to are very similar to those faced by human rights and environmental defenders. They are targeted for uncovering wrong-doing and speaking truth to power, yet safety and security for creatives are often not included in strategies and discussions regarding human rights defenders’ needs.  Annual reports by watchdog organizations show an increasing number of storytellers and their families killed, hurt, imprisoned, harassed, and threatened because of their work. This alarming reality not only deprives artists of the safety and freedom essential for their continued creativity but deprives us all from seeing our world of today through their stories. 

What more does recent research tell us about the risks facing these artists? What can we do about them? Who is already in action trying to protect these artists? Do they have enough resources to stand up to this threat?  Do they coordinate with each other? These questions will be discussed by five of the most active organizations in the field of artist protection. They will bring you a feel of the topic from grassroots work in regions like the Middle East and Latin America, as well international efforts out of the USA and Europe.


Cato Litangen, Mimeta


  1. Julie Trebault, PEN America/Artists at Risk Connection (ARC)
  2. Peter Noorlander, Ford – IRIS Report Author, Strengthening Safety and Security Resources for Visual Storytellers and Journalists
  3. Sara Ishaq, Filmmaker/Coordinator, International Coalition for Film Makers at Risk
  4. Elisabeth Dyvik, International Cities of Refuge, ICORN
  5. Helena Nassif, Executive Director, Culture Resource-Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafi

Opening Remarks with Signe Ihlen Tønsberg, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs