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Dominika Kasprowicz on the ICORN Governing Board 06.06.2024

3o May, at the ICORN General Assembly, the director of Villa Decius in Krakow was elected to the ICORN Governing Board.
On 3o May in Copenhagen, at the general assembly of members of the International Network of Cities of Refuge ICORN, bringing together representatives of more than 70 cities from all over the world, Professor Dominika Kasprowicz, director of Villa Decius in Krakow, was elected to the ICORN Governing Board. In the previous term, the city of Krakow was represented on the Council by Robert Piaskowski, former Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of Krakow for Cultural Affairs. The ICORN Council is elected by the member cities and consists of representatives of 6 member cities from different nations across the network, representing and supporting the views of ICORN.

My appointment to the Governing Board of the International Network of Cities of Refuge ICORN is a great honour for me personally, but also an important signal that this organisation, which brings together more than 70 cities from all over the world, is attentive to the needs of our part of Europe. I am taking up my position on the Council for the next four years, and the most important tasks now facing the network are to coordinate cooperation even better - both in the Polish cities belonging to ICORN and the cities of Central and Eastern Europe such as Prague, Bratislava or Vilnius, and to strengthen in the international space the voice of cities as actors who, in times of migration crisis, are particularly responsible for protecting human rights defenders who can no longer live and work in their countries of origin. Above all, however, I am keen to strengthen the role and image of Krakow as a city that is open and able to share its many experiences of effectively managing the migration crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine. I am very much looking forward to working with international specialists in human rights, civil liberties and freedom of expression and to continuing to work for Krakow in this context. - says Dominika Kasprowicz.


International Cities of Refuge Network ICORN was founded in 2005 in Norway on the initiative of Salman Rushdie - author of the famous ‘Satanic Verses’, which sparked violent protests in the Islamic world. ICORN is an independent organisation of cities and regions offering refuge to persecuted male and female writers, promoting freedom of expression and defending democratic values. The aim of the organisation is to provide safe living and working conditions for people of letters whose work has been the cause of political persecution in their countries of origin. ICORN forms a dynamic network of nearly 70 cities, and its work is one of the world's strongest voices in defence of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and international solidarity. In its dozen or so years of activity, the Network has managed to find a place of temporary refuge for several hundred male and female writers, intellectuals and intellectuals, artists and artists, and human rights activists and activists.

The group of cities cooperating within the network includes: Amsterdam (Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain), Bergen (Norway), Brussels (Belgium), Copenhagen (Denmark), Frankfurt (Germany), Lucerne (Switzerland), Malmö (Sweden), Mexico City (Mexico), Molde (Norway), Norrköping (Sweden), Nörrköing (Sweden), Norwich (United Kingdom), Oaxaca (Mexico), Oslo (Norway), Paris (France), Pittsburgh (United States) or Reykjavik (Iceland).

Krakow in ICORN

Krakow was the first city in Poland and the first city from Central and Eastern Europe to join the ICORN network under the Resolution of the Krakow City Council of 25 May 2011. The Programme of the International Network of Cities of Refuge ICORN in Krakow is organised by the City of Krakow, the Krakow Festival Office and the Villa Decius Institute of Culture, which runs a scholarship programme and provides space for creative work and care for writers. Since our city joined the ICORN network, 12 writers and writers persecuted in their countries of origin have found safe refuge in Krakow at Villa Decius. In cooperation with the city's representatives, Villa Decius offers persecuted authors not only safe shelter, but also scholarship support, combined with various activities to involve male and female authors in local literary life and to promote their work in Poland. The election of Dominika Kasprowicz to the ICORN Governing Board is a great honour and at the same time a confirmation of the international recognition of the activities of Krakow and Villa Decius in favour of persecuted artists and creators and in defence of freedom of expression and democratic freedoms.

In 2015, Poland's representation in the Network expanded to include Wrocław, in 2017 Gdańsk was added to the ICORN network, in 2019 Katowice and in 2023 Warsaw. Thanks to Krakow's efforts, Prague and Vilnius have also recently joined ICORN.
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