At the seminar, current trends in and challenges to artistic freedom were discussed by an international panel of experts. The aim of the conversation was to contribute to a developed and nuanced understanding of artistic freedom and its importance in a changing world.
The seminar was held on Thursday 22 September at 16.45-17.30, and it can also be experienced digitally via Bokmässan Play or live on the Swedish television channel Sveriges Utbildingsradio.
The participants were Mika Romanus, Director of the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Ziv Nevo Kulman, Israel’s Ambassador to Sweden, and Eline Sigfusson, Director of a/nordi/c – a think tank for art, culture and politics. Benny Marcel, Director of the Nordic Culture Fund, will welcome the participants and the audience, and the discussion was moderated by Hedda Krausz.
Issues relating to artistic freedom of expression have gained a new focus in recent years, both in the Nordic countries and globally. International reports show that artists and cultural practitioners are increasingly encountering restrictions on their artistic freedom and attempts to control their artistic practice – a trend that has become even more evident with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the tense geopolitical landscape.
In the Nordic countries, the need has also arisen to rethink and revise some of the institutional mechanisms that are designed both to ensure the freedom of the arts and culture and to support their role in the development of society. The theme has been illuminated in several recent studies conducted by Kulturanalys Norden and the think tank a/nordi/c.
Benny Marcel, Director of the Nordic Culture Fund, explains the background to the seminar:
At the Nordic Culture Fund, we see the need to stimulate a renewed conversation about artistic freedom and its importance for the development of societies.
In the Nordic countries, comprehensive structures have been built up over many years to protect and secure the free expression of art in society, but it has become even more important to discuss how these can be rethought to meet the needs of an increasingly pluralistic world of art and culture.
We can also see that art and culture speak to, and are influenced by, global trends and issues. This underlines the need to look beyond national contexts and address challenges in a broader international and global perspective.
At the seminar, different perspectives on artistic freedom were discussed by a qualified panel of experts with broad experience from the fields of art, culture and diplomacy.
You can read more about the seminar and the participants here.
Bokmässan is the largest cultural event in the Nordic countries, and is held annually in Gothenburg.
This year’s fair will take place from 22-25 September at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre in Gothenburg. The Fair’s main themes this year will be South Africa, Crimetime, the climate and voices from Ukraine.Read more here.