1. Battling dictatorship, living in exile

    - The Belarus Free Theatre is not your average theatre company but a collective that operates under the last dictatorship in Europe. The BFT was founded in 2005 as an artistic act of protest against the dictatorial regime of President Lukashenko in Belarus. Prohibited since the beginning, the theatre company has no other option than to perform underground. All performances are illegal and both actors and audience have experienced violence and been thrown in jail. Since 2010, its founders live in exile in London. Nevertheless, they continue to do their work. They put on unique performances addressing repression, violence and censorship all around the world. Even in Belarus, where the audience is secretly invited by text message.

    During the Forum on European Culture 'Act for Democracy!', the exiled artistic directors of the courageous Belarus Free Theatre - Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin - will together give the 23rd Freedom Lecture. Drawing on personal experiences, actor Nicolai Khalezin will evoke what it means to live under a dictatorship in a unique performance. Artistic director Natalia Kaladia will speak about how BFT addresses pressure and censorship and fights for democratic freedom.

    Democratic and artistic freedom is at stake not only in Belarus but all over Europe. After her lecture Natalia will be joined by Márton Gulyás, an artistic and political activist who publicly opposed the Hungarian government and has been denounced by Orbán as national security risk. How should we safeguard democratic and artistic freedom in Europe? How can artists express themselves freely and critically in their work and oppose those forces who are trying to restrict this?

    Moderator: Naeeda Aurangzeb

    Freedom Lecture

    Over the last couple of years many incredible speakers have shared their personal and inspiring stories during the Freedom Lecture, including the exiled Turkish journalist Can Dundar, the Egyptian writer and activist Nawal el Saadawi, Eva Schloss, the stepsister of Anne Frank, opposition leader Andrei Sannikov from Belarus and Patrice Cullors & Janaya Khan (co-founders Black Lives Matter).

    This programme is a part of the second edition of the Forum on European Culture: “Act for Democracy!”. At a time when the future of Europe is more uncertain than ever before, we bring together leading and inspiring artists, thinkers, economists and politicians during a 4-day interdisciplinary programme to discuss Europe and its future.

    More information:
    cultureforum.eu/program/freedom-lecture-belarus-free-theatre
    cultureforum.eu

    Livestream 2018-05-31

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    N E D E R L A N D S :

    Tijdens het Forum on European Culture ‘Act for Democracy!’, zullen de verbannen artistieke leiders van het moedige Belarus Free Theatre –Natalia Kaliada en Nicolai Khalezin – gezamenlijk de 23ste Vrijheidslezing geven. Gebaseerd op zijn persoonlijke verhaal, vertelt acteur Nicolai Khalezin tijdens een unieke voorstelling wat het betekent om in een dictatuur te leven. Artistiek leider Natalia Kaladia spreekt over hoe het BFT blijft vechten voor democratische vrijheid.

    Democratische en artistieke vrijheid is in veel delen van Europa niet vanzelfsprekend. Na De Vrijheidslezing sluit Márton Gulyás aan, een artistieke en politieke activist die openlijk kritiek leverde tegen de Hongaarse overheid en door Viktor Orbán een ‘nationaal veiligheidsrisico’ werd genoemd. Hoe kunnen wij de democratische en artistieke vrijheden in Europa verdedigen? Hoe kunnen artiesten zichzelf vrij en kritisch uitdrukken in hun werk en strijden tegen hen die deze vrijheden proberen te beperken?

    Lees meer over het Belarus Free Theatre:
    debalie.nl/agenda/podium/freedom-lecture%3a-belarus-free-theatre/e_9783310/p_11770893/

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  2. Europe likes to see itself as a safe space for freethinkers of all identities. But what happens to LGBT+ refugees when they arrive here? Is the expectation the same as the reality? And how difficult is it to find your identity in a new country and a new culture while also hold on to your heritage? Mahmoud Hassino fled from Syria and now lives in Berlin. From there, he raises awareness for the position of Syrian LBGTI refugees. On the 26th of march Mahmoud Hassino will give the 22nd Freedomlecture.

    Several news outlets have pointed out that there is still a lot of violence against LGBT refugees in asylum centers across the country. Queer refugees are often encountered with the same prejudices that they have been trying to flee from. For this reason, Mahmoud Hassino is an outspoken advocate for separate asylum centers for refugees, but is this really a solution? Should European governments, NGO’s and individuals do more to improve the situation? And where do we start? We will talk about this with Mahmoud Hassino, Tofik Dibi and Boris van der Ham.

    Bo Hanna gives an introduction to the lecture of Mahmoud Hassino. He was born in Sweden, has Coptic-Egyptian roots and grew up in the Netherlands. He studies French and Middle-Eastern studies at the University of Amsterdam. Bo started writing after he struggled with personal questions on identity, ethnicity, sexuality and the societal pressure to conform to the ruling norm. He is a freelance journalist and focuses on intersectional themes such as ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

    Tofik Dibi is widely known for his presence in Dutch politics, but has also written an autobiography in which he shows the struggle with his own queer identity.

    Boris van der Ham is the chairman of the Humanist Association. This association stands up for equal rights for all, and is concerned about the position of atheist and LGBT+ refugees in the Netherlands.

    Moderator: Naeeda Aurangzeb is a Dutch host. Aurangzeb came to Holland from Pakistan when she was three years old. She is well-known because of the NTR-program De Halve Maan and the NPO Radio 1-programma Lijn 1.

    Livestream 2018-03-26

    This video is also at:
    vimeo.com/debalie/gaysyria
    youtu.be/UGqGGpLyt7A

    N E D E R L A N D S :

    Europa ziet zichzelf graag als een veilige haven voor vrijdenkers in alle soorten en maten. Maar hoe vergaat het LGBT+ vluchtelingen als ze hier aankomen? Is de verwachting gelijk aan de realiteit? En hoe moeilijk is het om je identiteit te vinden in een nieuw land met een nieuwe cultuur, terwijl je ook je achtergrond niet wil verloochenen? De LGBT+ activist Mahmoud Hassino vluchtte uit Syrië en woont nu in Berlijn. Vanuit daar vraagt hij aandacht voor de positie van LGBT+ vluchtelingen uit Syrië. Op 26 maart geeft Hassino de 22e Vrijheidslezing.

    Dit programma is tot stand gekomen in samenwerking met Movies that Matter.

    De Vrijheidslezing wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door het vfonds en Stichting Democratie en Media.

    Meer info:
    debalie.nl/agenda/podium/de-vrijheidslezing%3a-mahmoud-hassino/e_9783309/p_11770892/

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  3. Kim Kyung-Mook will give the 21th Freedom Lecture in De Balie. Kyung-Mook is a South-Korean filmmaker. When he was a teenager, he was placed in a psychiatric hospital because of his homosexuality. Cinema was something that he could use to express himself and to process his experiences.

    Kyung-Mook mixes autobiographic elements, documentary and fiction in order to shape a new world. In his first film, Me and Doll-Playing, he stages a cinematographic coming out to explain the feeling of being different, and in Faceless Things he tries to answer the question whether or not we wear masks to accept our own sexuality. Through his personal stories, Kyung-Mook creates a platform to discuss bigger, societal questions. His films explore the uncertain lives of marginalized groups of people, such as homosexuals, transsexuals, sex workers, North Korean defectors, and others. On January 27th, Kyung-Mook will speak in De Balie on the importance of giving the unheard a voice and what it means to generate societal impact through film and images.

    His films have been selected for and received awards in numerous international film festivals, such as the Venice Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, the BFI London Film Festival and the Museum Of Modern Art.

    After his lecture, Kyung-Mook will speak with Mischa Blok. Blok is born in South-Korea and adopted by her Dutch parents when she was two. Four years ago she made a documentary about her search for her biological father. She will travel to Pyeongchang during the Olympic Winter Games to search for her Korean identity. She wonders: how Korean am I?

    Arjen van den Berg is Deputy Director and head of East-Asia Cluster, Asia and Oceania Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He will join the conversation and tell us more about the international relations between the Netherlands and South-Korea and the challenges of the region.

    Moderator: Esther van Rijswijk.

    This programme is a collaboration with IFFR: International Film Festival Rotterdam.
    iffr.com/en/persons/kim-kyung-mook
    iffr.com

    Live stream 2018-01-27

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    vimeo.com/debalie/KyungMook
    youtu.be/u_IM0XDoQPc

    debalie.tv

    debalie.nl/agenda/podium/de-vrijheidslezing%3a-kim-kyung+mook/e_9783266/p_11770692/

    N E D E R L A N D S :

    Kim Kyung-Mook geeft de 21e Vrijheidslezing. Kyung-Mook is een Zuid-Koreaanse filmmaker. Toen hij een tiener was werd hij in een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis geplaatst, vanwege zijn homoseksualiteit. Hij gebruikte film om zich uit te drukken en om zijn ervaringen te verwerken.

    Kyung-Mook combineert autobiografische elementen, documentaire en fictie om een nieuwe wereld te scheppen. In zijn eerste film, Me and Doll-Playing, ensceneert hij bijvoorbeeld een cinematografische coming-out om zijn gevoel van anders-zijn uit te leggen. In Faceless Things probeert hij de vraag te beantwoorden of we wel of niet maskers dragen om onze eigen seksualiteit te accepteren. Door zijn persoonlijke verhalen creeërt Kyung-Mook een platform waarop hij grotere, maatschappelijke vragen kan stellen. In zijn films onderzoekt hij de onzekere levens van gemarginaliseerde groepen, zoals homoseksuelen, transseksuelen, seks werkers, Noord-Koreeanse ‘overlopers’ en vele anderen. Op 27 januari vertelt Kyung-Mook in De Balie over het belang van een stem geven aan hen die niet gehoord worden en over wat het betekent om maatschappelijke impact te generen door film en beeld.

    Zijn films zijn wonnen vele prijzen in verscheidende filmfestivals, zoals het Venice Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, the BFI London Film Festival en het Museum of Modern Art in New York.

    Kyung-Mook gaat in gesprek met Mischa Blok. Blok is in Zuid-Korea geboren en op tweejarige leeftijd geadopteerd door haar Nederlandse ouders. Vier jaar geleden maakte ze een documentaire over de zoektocht naar haar biologische vader. Binnenkort gaat ze weer terug naar PeyeongChang om, tijdens de Olympische Winterspelen, op zoek te gaan naar haar Koreaanse identiteit. Ze vraagt zich af: hoe Koreaans ben ik nog?

    Arjen van den Berg is Deputy Director en hoofd van het Oost-Azië Cluster, Azië en Oceanië departement van het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken. Hij zal met ons in gesprek gaan over de internationale relaties van Nederland en Zuid-Korea, en de uitdagingen van de regio in het algemeen.

    Dit programma is tot stand gekomen in samenwerking met IFFR: International Film Festival Rotterdam.
    iffr.com/nl/personen/kim-kyung-mook
    iffr.com

    De Vrijheidslezing wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door Stichting Democratie & Media en het Vfonds

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  4. Anabel Hernandez will give the 20th Freedom Lecture in De Balie. Hernandez is a journalist and writer, who had an international breakthrough with the book Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and their Godfathers. On December 12, Anabel Hernandez will speak in De Balie on the importance of freedom of press, the way in which drugs cartels operate and the many sacrafices she had to make in order to be free and safe and to continue her work as a journalist.

    Her work on the drugindustry, and the connections it has with the government, immediately became a bestseller in Mexico. Due to the revelations in the book, Hernandez received dead threats and had to be permanently guarded. Her family was in danger as well, as a resolut her father was murdered. It has been an unresolved murder ever since. Anabel Hernandez had to live abroad for a couple years for safety's sake, but now she is back in Mexico City.
    In Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and their Godfathers Hernandez describes Mexico as a ‘mafiocracy’, a country with a government that started to support and protect the Guadalajara Cartel in 1980 and stayed involved with several drugs cartels ever since. At this moment, El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel is under government protection. A lot of politicians, businessmen and police officers from the book are still in function at this moment. As long as these people stay in power, Mexico will always be Narcoland, according to Anabel Hernandez.

    Jos Bartman will be joining us during this Freedom Lecture. Bartman is a PhD candidate at the Department of Politics, University of Amsterdam, and a team member of the ERC-funded project Authoritarianism in a Global Age. His PhD research focuses on how subnational authoritarian regimes make use of repression. For his current research he has conducts fieldwork in Veracruz (Mexico) where he has interviewed targets and executors of political repression.

    Teun Voeten will also be joining us on stage, he is an international photojournalist specializing in war and conflicts. He wrote books on the underground homeless in New York, the war in Sierra Leone and the drug violence in Mexico. Currently, he is writing a PhD dissertation on the Mexican Drug War.

    Merijn de Waal is foreign editor at the Dutch newspaper NRC and is specialized in Latin-America.

    On the 10th of December, Hernandez will also give the Freedom Lecture at Het Nutshuis Den Haag. Click here for more info & tickets.

    This programme is in collaboration with SMX collective and sponsored by Stichting Democratie en Media and vfonds.

    Language: English

    Editors: Anne- Marijn Epker & Sophie Rutenfrans

    Livestream 2017-12-12

    This video is also at:
    vimeo.com/debalie/narcoland
    youtu.be/BuVBNDm2yKc

    debalie.tv

    N E D E R L A N D S :

    Anabel Hernandez geeft de 20e Vrijheidslezing in De Balie. Hernandez is journalist en schrijver, en werd internationaal bekend met haar boek Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and their Godfathers. Op 12 december spreekt Anabel Hernandez in De Balie over het belang van persvrijheid, de manier waarop drugskartels in Mexico opereren en de offers die ze heeft moeten brengen voor haar journalistieke vrijheid en veiligheid.

    Haar boek over de drugsindustrie en verwevenheid daarvan met de overheid werd meteen een bestseller in Mexico. Vanwege de onthullingen die ze deed in haar boek werd Hernandez met de dood bedreigd en moest permanent bewaakt worden. Maar ook haar familie werd ernstig bedreigd, en haar vader is zelfs vermoord. Het is tot op heden een onopgeloste moord gebleven. Anabel Hernandez woonde een aantal jaar in het buitenland voor haar eigen veiligheid, maar ondertussen is ze terug in Mexico City.

    Lees meer:
    debalie.nl/agenda/podium/de-vrijheidslezing%3a-anabel-hernandez/e_9783129/p_11770230/

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  5. Can Dundar has decided to give the 19th Freedom Lecture in De Balie, despite the risks he is facing.

    The local government of Amsterdam, guaranteed that Mr. Dundar will not be arrested during his visit to De Balie. A Turkish prosecutor had appealed to Interpol, to issue an arrest waarant for Dundar. Dundar decided Wednesday morning, that he will come to De Balie to raise awaireness for the current situation in Turkey and Erdogan’s politics, and make the case for press freedom.

    Can Dundar: ‘Erdogan wants to use Interpol as his personal police force in Europe. If Interpol and the European governments want to help him, that’d be their choise. We will challenge it. Thus I decide to come to De Balie, whatever the risks are.’

    In May 2016, Dündar has been sentenced to more than five years in prison, shortly after surviving an attack by a gunman who attempted to shoot him outside the courthouse. The assailant shouted "traitor" before firing at least three shots in his direction. After that, he resigned from his position as chief-editor, and fled the country. Turkish authorities confiscated the passport of his wife, Dilek Dündar while she was boarding a plane to Europe, and banned her from travelling abroad. They are living separated from each other for over a year now.

    After the Freedom Lecture, we will have a conversation about the responsibility of Europe with regard tot he current situation in Turkey, Erdogan’s increasing influence and power, and the impact that the situation in Turkey has on Turkish communities here in the Netherlands. We will discuss the questions above with member of the European Parliament and special rapporteur on Turkey, Kati Piri, and journalist, columnist and writer Erdal Balci. We will also speak with Marcel Gelauff, editor-in-chief of NOS and chairman of the Dutch Society of Editors-in-Chief. He will speak about the importance of press freedom in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Fidan Ekiz, who interviewed Dundar last year, provides an introduction to his Freedom Lecture. Meral Polat provides musical intermezzo’s during the evening.

    Moderator: Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal

    Language: English, only the panel discussion is party in Dutch.

    Live stream 2017-11-01

    This video is also at:
    vimeo.com/debalie/dundar
    youtu.be/9XAFJCcWoSw
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    debalie.nl/agenda/podium/de-vrijheidslezing%3a-can-d%c3%bcndar/e_9783063/p_11769941/

    debalie.tv

    N E D E R L A N D S :

    Can Dündar, voormalig hoofredacteur van de oudste en meest invloedrijke krant van Turkije, Cumhuriyet (‘De Republiek’), geeft de 19e Vrijheidslezing. Ondanks de veiligheidsrisico’s heeft Can Dündar besloten toch naar De Balie te komen om de Vrijheidslezing hier te houden.

    Een Turkse officier van justitie had een oproep gedaan aan INTERPOL om een arrestatiebevel uit te vaardigen voor Dündar. Can Dündar besloot woensdagochtend zich ondanks de veiligheidsrisico’s strijdbaar op te stellen en toch naar De Balie te komen om juist nu te spreken over de situatie voor journalisten in Turkije en zich uit te spreken voor persvrijheid.

    Voertaal: Engels, alleen het panelgesprek is gedeeltelijk in het Nederlands.

    Lees meer:
    debalie.nl/agenda/podium/de-vrijheidslezing%3a-can-d%c3%bcndar/e_9783063/p_11769941/

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