The number of ICORN members in Sweden is growing rapidly. Skelleftå has now decided to join the network, thus becoming the 7th Swedish city of refuge.
Now the decision is made, the Swedish city of Skelleftå is ready to sign the membership agreement with ICORN and invite a persecuted writer to stay for a period of two years. The municipality has, according to Norran, put aside the sum of SEK 750 000 for the purpose.
Umeå, another city in Northern Sweden, a European Capital of Culture in 2014, is also on its way to join ICORN, and strong political forces in the city of Eskilstuna are now pleading for their city to become an ICORN City of Refuge. ”Eskilstuna has a long tradition as shelter city for people from many parts of the world” writes Maria Buco from Folkpartiet in a debate published in Ekuriren, and continues: ”The vision about our city as a proud shelter city should not only be an empty slogan. Through becoming a city of refuge for persecuted writers and journalists it can be filled with content”.
Currently the cities of Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Uppsala, Växjö and Sigtuna are ICORN’s member cities in Sweden. ”We see a very strong and positive movement here at the moment” says ICORN director Helge Lunde: ”The Swedish Arts Council, Swedish PEN and many other organisations and initiatives are working together with the cities, making it the most dynamic and prosperous ICORN region in the world right now” he upholds.