A broad demonstration in front of the Parliament this Saturday.
Following a four month evolving case after the theatre production "Ways of Seeing" at Black Box Theatre in Oslo in November, the companion of Norway's Minister of Justice, Laila Bertheussen, last week was suspected of committing arson by setting the couple's car on fire outside their home. This following a series of harassing attacks at the couples home.
The theatre performance included some pictures of the homes of major politicians and other powerful people in Norway, and as a follow up the director of Black Box Theatre and three artists behind the play was charged with violating privacy after being reported to the police by Mrs Bertheussen. The case was however put aside by the police, and then tabled again at the request of the public prosecutor in Norway. Then, last Sunday again the case towards the theatre director was put aside.
The theatre production also led to the right wing 'Progress Party' in Oslo suggesting to draw the funding for Black Box Theatre. This did not go through.
This case has caused a major debate on artistic freedom in Norway, also including statements from both the Norwegian Prime Minister and Minister of justice. The Prime Minister commented that artists behind plays like "Ways of Seeing" should be careful what they may cause by putting up political plays. This was before the news cracked about Mrs. Bertheussen possibly being responsible for the car-fire. But the Prime Minister still do not want to make an excuse demanded by artists, commentators and media.
In addition there is another case in Norway going on these days. Dancer and choreographer Mia Haugland Habib have reported the web-based news service Resett to the police for distributing racist comments on their website. This following an article by Resett on Haugland Habib being granted a four year 'basic funding' for her company from the Norwegian Arts Council.
This coming Saturday there will be a broad political demonstration in Oslo organized by artists' organizations, demanding respect for artistic freedom of expression, and also for expressing concern connected to politicians' statements that can cause limiting freedom of artistic expression in Norway.
SafeMUSE is supporting this demonstration, and will take part.
WHEN: Saturday 23 March, CET 11:00–12:00
WHERE: Eidsvolls plass, Oslo, Norway
The event at Facebook HERE