2 June 2011 Krakow in the ICORN network

Krakow will join the ICORN International Cities of Refuge Network, a body assisting writers who cannot live and work freely in their own country due to persecution. A resolution to that effect was adopted on the 25th of May by members of the Krakow City Council. An agreement with ICORN will probably be signed in mid-October.

ICORN was established as a result of joint initiative of various organisations, including PEN International, International Publishers Association and International Federation of Library Associations. It is also cooperating with Amnesty International. The organisation is based in Stavanger, Norway. Krakow is the first CEE city to have been invited to join the network, due to its history, literary tradition and immense potential. “We believe that Krakow will be a very important member of ICORN,” said Helge Lunde, ICORN’s Executive Director, during the session of the Krakow City Council. Prague was a candidate city as well, but Krakow was ultimately chosen. One reason for the decision was that is was easy to contact people willing to help to organise the stay of resident writers in the city.

Marie Amelie, a writer from Ossetia deported from Norway, is currently in Krakow, assisted by the Villa Decius Association. For Krakow, becoming part of ICORN is important not only for the sake of prestige, but also because the network comprises bodies which grant the title of the UNESCO City of Literature which Krakow has applied for.