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Creativity and free expression are some of the greatest threats to authoritarian rule. Through their soft power, art, music, and film can expose abuses and injustices perpetrated by dictators and rally civil society around a cause. For this reason, the Oslo Freedom Forum has become a natural home for musicians, performers, filmmakers, and visual artists who creatively challenge tyranny.

Join us on June 3-5 in Oslo, Norway, to honor creativity and free expression at the Oslo Freedom Forum.


Join us for two film screenings before the Forum. Space is limited and will be granted to Oslo Freedom Forum attendees on a first-come first-served basis.

Bobi Wine: The People’s President

June 1 at 6:00 p.m. at Vega Scene

This film follows Ugandan opposition leader, activist, and musical star Bobi Wine. He used his music to fight the regime led by Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power in the country for over 35 years. A Q&A with Wine will follow the screening.

Invisible Nation

June 2 at 6:00 p.m. at Cinemateket

With unprecedented access to Taiwan’s sitting head of state, this film investigates the election and tenure of Tsai Ing-wen, the first female president of Taiwan. A Q&A with the film’s director, Vanessa Hope, will follow the screening.


En todo tiempo (“At all times”), Nadia Hernández

En todo tiempo (“at all times”) is a sound-based art installation that unites voices from the Venezuelan community in Miami, Fla., inviting participants to recite, sing, and express lyrical phrases from a historical and evolving archive of Venezuelan protest songs. Hernández is a Venezuelan artist and HRF Art in Protest resident artist.

Song Byeok

For seven years, Byeok painted propaganda posters for the North Korean regime, depicting utopian scenes while simultaneously experiencing famine, torture, and abuse. Since escaping North Korea in 2002, he has used art to draw attention to the dark realities of the country.

“We Are Products of the Same Factory,” Atena Farghadani

Farghadani is an Iranian artist and human rights activist who has been arrested and tortured for criticizing the Iranian regime through her cartoons. This installation honors Farghadani’s enduring power of creative expression.


Gulka is a multi-sensory installation recreating the conditions of a “gulka,” or a barbed, restricted space within a detention center. Curated by Aida Sulova, Gulka features Central Asian artists-activists Altyn Kapalova, Rita Karasartova, Timur Nusimbekov, Zhanel Skakhan, Ermina Takenova, and Tatyana Zelenskaya.

Music & Performances

Carlos Vives

Vives is a multiple Grammy-winning singer, composer, and author from Colombia, and founder of the Tras la Perla de la América Foundation. Vives’s art is influenced by Latin America’s Indigenous and Afro-descendant cultures. He is best known for the popularization of traditional music styles from the region.

Ariana Vafadari

Vafadari is a prominent French-Iranian opera singer and composer who supports Iran’s women-led pro-democracy protests through music and dance. Her performance will bring together her heritage and passion for classical music. Vafadari will be accompanied by French classically-trained pianist Julien Carton.

Joshua Roman

Roman is an acclaimed musician and former principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony. He has performed with leading orchestras around the United States and the world. Roman frequently travels to Uganda, performing in schools, HIV/AIDS clinics, and displacement camps.