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We are looking forward to seeing you in just a few days at the 2022 Oslo Freedom Forum!

Art, creativity, and free expression are some of the greatest threats to authoritarian rule. Through its soft power, art 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, comedians, and visual artists who are using free expression to promote human rights and challenge tyranny.


Stand With Ukraine: An ArtLords Community Mural

Courtesy of ArtLords

Guests are invited to contribute to a community mural designed by ArtLords co-founders Omaid Sharifi and Kabir Mokamel. The community mural pays tribute to the children of Ukraine by exploring the simple and innocent act of children drawing.

Location: Oslo Konserthus Courtyard

Art in Protest Residency: Transmuting Borders

A scene from “Neglection” by Lilia Kvatsabaya

Transmuting Borders is a digital installation featuring works from HRF & Gray Area resident artists: Sudanese political cartoonist Khalid Albaih, Syrian contemporary artist Tammam Azzam, exiled Chinese dissident artist Badiucao, and Belarusian illustrator Lilia Kvatsabaya. This year’s exhibition honors Cuban performance artist and dissident, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who was arrested shortly after his artist residency started with Art in Protest. His 2011 sculpture — Los Héroes No Pesan — will be exhibited for the first time outside Cuba.

Location: Art in Protest Lounge


Courtesy of PaykanArtCar

Iranian dissident artist Alireza Shojaian transformed a historic 1974 Paykan automobile — once owned by the brutal dictator of Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu — into a daring piece of art that advocates for human rights and dignity in Iran, and challenges contemporary treatment of LGBTQ+ people in Iran.

Location: Oslo Konserthus Courtyard

Memory Gates

“Memory Gates” by Armenian-Sryrian artist Kevork Mourad, at the Cantor Art Gallery of the College of the Holy Cross

Memory Gates is a 3D art installation by Armenian-Syrian artist Kevork Mourad, who grew up in Aleppo, Syria. Suffused with culture and heritage, but also destruction and loss, Mourad’s work explores the complexities and connections between memory and place.

Location: Art in Protest Lounge

Pillar of Shame Unveiling

Getty Images

The Pillar of Shame sculpture in Hong Kong, created by Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt, was one of the last iconic memorials to the martyrs of Tiananmen remaining on Hong Kong soil before it was dismantled in December 2021. HRF, Amnesty International Norway, and the Hong Kong Committee in Norway will unveil the Pillar of Shame in Oslo, to serve as a reminder of how precious freedom is, and to stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers and all those living under the Chinese Communist Party’s unrelenting repression.

Location: University of Oslo Garden


Alongside our daytime programming, we are excited to announce our first-ever FilmFest, taking place at the Vika Kino Movie Theater, in the evenings throughout the Forum.

Sunday, 22 May @ 17:30 – The Hong Konger, directed by Ron Holwerda
When Hong Kong’s basic freedoms come under attack, media tycoon Jimmy Lai finds himself in the crosshairs of the state and must choose between defending Hong Kong’s long-standing liberties, or his own freedom. Q&A with the director to follow.

Sunday, 22 May @ 20:30 – The Dissident, directed by Bryan Fogel
Produced by the Human Rights Foundation, The Dissident investigates the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and the attempted coverup by the Saudi Regime.

Monday, 23 May @ 20:30 – The Story Won’t Die, directed by David Henry Gerson
The Story Won’t Die examines a young generation of Syrian artists who use their work to protest and process what is currently the world’s largest and longest ongoing displacement of people since World War II.

Tuesday, 24 May @ 20:30 – True North, directed by Eiji Han Shimizu
True North, an animation feature on North Korea, tracks nine-year-old Yohan as he is forcibly relocated to a notoriously cruel political prison camp in North Korea with his mother and sister.

Wednesday, 25 May @ 20:30 – A La Calle, directed by Maxx Caicedo and Nelson G. Navarrete
A La Calle is a firsthand account of the extraordinary efforts of ordinary Venezuelans to reclaim their democracy from the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro, whose corrupt and brutal policies have plunged the country into economic ruin. Q&A with the director to follow.