Magnus Ag

Senior Programme Officer, Freemuse (DK)

International human rights and freedom of expression advocate.


Magnus Ag is an international human rights and freedom of expression advocate. Prior to joining Freemuse in 2015, Magnus spent five years with the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York, most recently as the organisation’s Assistant Advocacy Director. He has previously worked in government for the Danish Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation, in journalism at the Danish news agency Ritzaus Bureau, and as a researcher on a book project about the Arctic. In 2007, Magnus developed the first social media strategy for the Mayor of Auckland in New Zealand. He has been a regular commentator for Radio 24syv in Denmark and has appeared in the Huffington Post, DR Orientering, Politiken and on Harvard University’s HPCR Blog. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Copenhagen.

Mona Askerød

Publisher and CEO at Musikkultur (NO)


Musikkultur is a specialized magazine
for professional musicians, owned by the Norwegian Musicians’ Union.

Marianne Bremnes

Mayor, City of Harstad (NO)

Ola Bremnes

Artist, singer songwriter (NO)

One of Norway’s most popular sought after singer/songwriters with strong ties to Harstad and Northern Norway.

Care Gospel

The only adult gospel choir in Harstad (NO)


Care Gospel is aiming at spreading joy and enthusiasm through singing. The choir’s 30 members share a common passion for gospel music as well as Christian values, human respect and solidarity. Every year the choir donates the income from one concert to charity, among which the Childrens’ Burn Care Foundation is central.
Care Gospel’s choirmaster is singer and voice teacher Dominique Guyot. Together with the choir’s own soloists and their music band of four, she contributes to the high quality and warm presence that characterize Care Gospel’s concert performances.

Jan Lothe Eriksen

Projectmanager, SafeMUSE (NO)


A former musician and cellist of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, vice president of the Norwegian Musicians' Union, administrative director of the Norwegian Traditional Music and Dance Association/ Norwegian Traditional Music Agency, and initiator and first director of Riksscenen, national venue for traditional music and dance.  

Jan initiatied SafeMUSE together with the Norwegian Musicians' Union in 2011 in close cooperation with Freemuse.  



Feelgood, melancholy, burlesque lyrics and a good pinch of North Norwegian madness. These are some of the ingredients in the music of Fotefar (Footprints). The trio consists of three distinctive musicians, that all represent the same good vibe of music. Together they play, improvise and keep the musical expression from the north alive; catchy beats and playful melodies based on lyrics and melodies gathered by the famous traditional music collector from Harstad, Edvard Ruud.

Some of the tunes are from a time when religion had a strong hold of the Norwegian society, folk music and dance was frowned upon, and fiddles were burned.


Julie Alapnes - fiddle / vocal

Lena Jinnegren - keyboard / vocal

Bendik L. Haanshus - guitars / vocal



El Haqed



More information at News & Documentation  


Abazar Hamid

Artist and peace singer, human rights activist and first guest musician in the City of Harstad (SD/NO)

Abazar A. Bagi Hamid grew up in the cultural belt between Sudan and the Gulf, and his music is both rooted in traditional Sudanese and African music characteristic of the Gulf area, and heavily inspired by reggae and Afro-Latin music. Abazar Hamid started singing for peace in Sudan at an early age, and formed his fi rst band, “Balsam”, at university. In 1997, he became well-known at regional level when he joined “Igd Elgalad Band”, and in 2005, he quit his job as an architect to start his solo career, launching the project “Rainbow Songs”. The project brought together musicians from across Sudan, aiming to slip lyrics about Human Rights and dignity past the music monitoring committee. Abazar Hamid released his fi rst solo album, “Sabahak Rabah” (“Good Morning Home”) in 2007 but experienced increasing censorship in his home country. Songs dealing with social and political issues riding Sudan were especially scrutinized, and after severe censorship and verbal threats, Abazar chose exile and moved to Cairo in 2008. In 2009 he established the project “democratizing music” in collaboration with other Sudanese and Egyptian musicians, as a forum to share resources rather than fi ghting each other. Abazar arrived, as Norways first guest  musician in Safe Music Haven Harstad the 10th of december 2014.


Since his arrival in harstad he has been most active in developing music as a tool for integration and understanding amongst people of different backgrounds, including through development of the concept Music4All, now with groups in Harstad, Paris, Oslo, Kyev, Kairo, Catalunia..., and more to come.

Khaled Harara

Rap artist from Gaza and former guest artist in Gothenburg, Sweden, under the ICORN Cities of refuge program, now a music student and art project initiator. Part of the Holyland project. (PS/SE)


Khaled Harara, born 1987 in Yemen, is a renowned Palestinian hip-hop artist who has lived as a refugee in Gaza. His texts discuss the political situation in Palestine from a humanitarian and social perspective and criticise the lack of freedom of expression and the suff ering in Palestine under the Hamas rule. In Gaza, Khaled Harara was the fi rst to organise hip hop workshops for youth, focusing on writing texts and on diff erent ways of expressing oneself. As a result of his artistic expression, and his participation as a soldier of the PLO forces, Harara is considered an “enemy of the state”. More than once, he has been to prison, tortured and subject to rough interrogations. In fear of continuing reprisals, Khaled Harara stayed on in Denmark after participating in the festival “Rapolitics”. Khaled Harara was Gothenburg City of Refuge’s guest writer – and the fi rst musician that ICORN accepted – from 2013 to 2015. During his stay in Gothenburg Khaled Harara has taken part in several public events, debates and workshops. He released two new singles with the jazz rock band Makten & Härligheten in May 2015.

Anders Hovind

SafeMUSE chair and Vice President of the Norwegian Musicians’ Union (NO)

Kartellet (The Cartel)

A dance company initiated by choreographer Sigurd Johan Heide (NO)


«Choreographer Sigurd Johan Heide succeeded in creating a performance extensive masculinity in its entirety. Within a short time he succeeded to show competition, power, conflict, play, sexuality, friendship, strength and weakness, and other real concept in men’s lives. And he succeeded without the use of words, texts and everything else a dance.»
Barbara Lesz, Utropia Friday 3. May 2013.



Inge Martin Helgesen

Lars Frihetsli

Sigurd Johan Heide



Mariann Torset

Julie Normann Alapnes


More at  News and Documentation

Deeyah Khan

Fuuse AS, founder and CEO (NO/UK)

A critically acclaimed music producer and Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director, whose work highlights human rights, women’s voices and freedom of expression.


Deeyah Khan, is a critically acclaimed music producer and Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director, whose work highlights human rights, women’s voices and freedom of expression. Her skill as a multidisciplinary artist led her to use music and film as the language for her social activism. Born in Norway to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi ancestry. The experience of living between different cultures, both the beauty and the challenges, dominates her artistic vision.


Her 2012 film Banaz: A Love Story won several international awards. This documentary, chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman killed in 2006 in London on the orders of her family in a so-called honour killing.  Deeyah is also the recipient of several awards for her work supporting freedom of expression and in 2012 she was awarded the Ossietzky prize by Norwegian PEN.  The focus of her work and access to voices that are often overlooked and misunderstood has led to increasing demand as a speaker at international human rights events and platforms including the United Nations.

Mark Andrew LeVine

Producer, guitarist and arranger (Grammy 2005), writer, researcher and documentary film producer. (US)

Professor of Middle Eastern History at University of California, Irvine, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Lund University.

Ulrika Lind

Independent researcher and advisor (SE)                       

Author of the report ‘My power is the people’ on Ramy Essams’s first year as guest musician in the City of Malmö, Sweden.

Through various assignments Ulrika is

one of those leading the development of the cultural sector and the positions of music and arts in society. Accessibility to the arts and digital venues are two areas covered by current assignments, as well as artistic freedom, cultural diplomacy and new approaches to traditional environments for arts and culture. With a background in music, education and production she has previously worked at the Swedish Arts Council, Musikalliansen for freelancers and as an expert for the Nordic Culture Fund and the Nordic Council of Ministers' grant programmes. On behalf of the City of Malmö Ulrika has reported on the implementation of the Malmö’s first guest program and safe haven for musicians at risk.

Salome Mc

Hip Hop/Multi-Media Artist (IR/JP)

Iran’s first and foremost female rapper, awarded Japan’s MEXT academic scholarship in 2010 and now living in Japan. 

Salome Mc is an Iranian Hip hop and multi-media artist. She has released three albums online, along with self-made music videos and gained recognition as the first female rapper of Iran. She expanded her field of work to audio/visual art projects after moving to Japan, and had various performances, exhibitions and screenings in around the world. She has a B.A. in textile design from Iran and an M.A. in audio/visual arts from Japan.

Marita Muukkonen

Co-founding Director of Perpetuum Mobile; previously Curator at HIAP (FI)


Marita Muukkonen is Director of Perpetuum Mobile; previously Curator at HIAP – The Helsinki International Artists-in-Residence Programme; Curator at FRAME – The Finnish Fund for Art Exchange; 2001-2005 at NIFCA The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art. Recent projects, among others, have included the Perpetual Romani Pavilion (Venice 2009), The Arts Assembly (Manifesta 8), The Nordic Pavillion in the Dak’art Biennale (2012) and The School of the Displaced in the Kiev Biennial (2015). Since 2011 Marita is co-curating thematic RE-ALIGNED taking place in several cities in Europe among other curatorial projects. She has worked with establishing residencies for visual art practitioners and musicians at risk (On the Move / The Nordic Fresh Air) since 2011 in collaboration with HIAP.


Refugees Of Rap

Yaser Jamous & Mohamed Jamous (PS/FR)


R.O.P. is a Syrian-Palestinian pioneer Hip Hop band addressing social and political problems of young people, poverty and the new generation of the revolution and the war. They focus on sending messages of peace and bringing Arabic Rap to the rest of the world. They have performed in concerts all around Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, France, Germany, Sweden and Denmark, and have been featured in Rolling Stone, Le Monde , BBC World, The Guardian, TRT TÜRK, Al-Jazeera TV, MBC and Syrian channels.


Their demand for freedom and peace in Syria caused increased threats of violence, and their voice was forced to silence. They eventually had to flee Syria to continue their dream and their music career.


Photo Eric Larrayadieu 

Jamila Raqib

Executive Director, Albert Einstein Institution (US)

The mission of the Albert Einstein Institution is to advance the worldwide study and strategic use of nonviolent action in conflict. Jamila joined the Albert Einstein Institution in 2002.


Jamila Raqib is the Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution, which promotes the study and strategic use of nonviolent action worldwide.  For over thirteen years she has worked closely with Dr. Gene Sharp, the world’s foremost scholar on strategic nonviolent action.  Together, they developed a curriculum titled Self-Liberation: A Guide to Strategic Planning for Action to End a Dictatorship or Other Oppression.  The publication is intended to provide in-depth guidance for planning a strategic nonviolent struggle.


She represents the Institution at a number of domestic and international forums such as the Oslo Freedom Forum and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.  Her work centers on presenting a pragmatic approach to nonviolent action to activists, human rights organizations, academics, and governments.  She travels throughout the world conducting consultations and workshops for individuals and groups seeking to achieve diverse goals such as opposing dictatorship, combatting corruption, attaining political rights, economic justice, environmental protection, and women’s empowerment.


She serves as a Research Affiliate of the Center for International Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Ferdinand Richard

Chairman Roberto Cimetta Fund (FR)

The Roberto Cimetta Fund, is an international non-profit making organisation created in 1999 to respond rapidly and directly to individual artists and cultural managers wishing to travel in order to develop contemporary artistic cooperation projects in the Euro-Arab geographical zone and beyond. Since 2014, RCF is also providing sustaining support grants for venues, platforms and networks in the Arab geographical zone exclusively.

The Chairman of the Fund is Ferdinand Richard. He is the founding Director of AMI in Marseilles that was set up in 1985 and co-founder of the Friche de la Belle-de-Mai. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Cultural Policies Observatory in Grenoble, expert of the Agenda 21 Culture Commission of the Cities and Local Governments United Network, expert for UNESCO and lecturer on various cultural management training courses (University L.Senghor, Alexandria, Institut d\'Etudes politiques de Grenoble, Lyon-2, Paris-8, UniSavoie, etc...).

Jowan Safadi

Artist, singer songwriter (PS)

Jowan Safadi started his career as a Palestinian singer, songwriter and frontman of “Lenses”, a project that he collaborated with Israeli musicians, and was active until late 2007 producing 3 studio albums of experimental rock. Jowan's solo breakthrough kicked off in 2008 when his single Ghool topped local radio charts, captivating underground audiences with its fuzzy electro rock sound. This was followed by a series of enticing singles until his debut solo album Namrud was finally released. Smoothly fusing punk-rock aesthetics with Arabic grooves and intonations, it included songs such as “Electricity” and quirky parody "Poor Infidels" which rapidly became an anthem for fans across the Arab world. Poor Infidels also subsequently led to his detention in Jordan, for which Jowan was accused of blasphemy. While Jowan’s lyrics can be controversial, subtly toned with his personal reflections on a wide range of issues related to politics, religion and philosophy, sexuality, this fundamental component is what gives his work a rare and revealing authenticity, making him one of the most influential contemporary artists in the Arabic scene. Jowan made headlines recently and reached Israeli, Palestinian and international media with his controversial song "To Be an Arab', that he sings in Hebrew for the first time, carrying a strong message to the racist Israeli society.

Jowan is starting off a residency in Helsinki (HIAP/Perpetuum Mobile) by visiting Music freedom Day Harstad.

Johanna Sydänmaa

Johanna Sydänmaa is a Councillor in Helsinki City Council (the Greens) and a member of the Culture and Library Board. She is working as a PE-teacher in upper secondary school. (FI)

Marthe Valle

Artist, singer songwriter (NO)

Also a social commentator and nurse working among refugees. Awarded the ‘Norwegian Grammy’ Spellemannprisen 2005 for her debut album. Part of the Holyland project.

Voodoo Sound Club

Backing band for the ‘From Zombies to Revolutionalries’ (IT)

GUGLIELMO PAGNOZZI - sax, keyboards, voice

REDA ZINE - electric guitar, guembri, voice

DAVIDE ANGELICA - electirc guitar

SALVATORE LAURIOLA - electric bass

DANILO MINEO - percussions



Voodoo Sound Club’s music, with its explosive mix of jazz, funk, Afrobeat and psychedelic styles - better, Voodoo Jazz - brings jazz back to all the black music expressions which made entire generations dance: funk, Afrobeat , bringing them all back to their original, mystical African matrix.

The band's music, comprised of haunting original tracks as well as surprising cover songs from artists like Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti and Jimi Hendrix is entirely dedicated to energy and to the dance itself.  At the same time, it perks up the ears of the most discriminating and experienced audiophiles.

Pagnozzi's torrential sax improvisations, together with their hypnotic repetitiveness of rhythmic progressions that draw from many traditional spiritual music traditions, explode in a more ritual and ancestral dimension which inescapably draws listeners into new physical, emotional, and intellectual heights. It is truly Voodoo for the 21st century.



Voodoo Sound Club - Afroderick  - 2011 - Cinedelics Records.

Voodoo Sound Club - Mamy Wata - 2013 - Brutture Moderne.


Photo: Francesca Mara

Reda Zine


(@afnorock) is a moroccan filmmaker, activist and professor at The Spring Hill College Bologna where he teaches Audiovisual Production for Human Rights Issues. He is co-founder of the first open source community @CCMorocco @Openataqafa. He studied Arabic media and semiotics at the Sorbonne, Paris and script & direction in Cineteca di Bologna, Italy.
    He's the artistic director of transnational musical P2P project “It Will be Wonderful,” produced by Creative Commons (2011-2013) which won best #CC10 Korea 2012. As a filmmaker, he directed 4 documentaries on Awareness on Migration, Development and Human Rights called “This is My Story, Or Ours?” (Bologna, Bucharest, Seville, Riga) - 2012.
He is also director and producer of  a full length documentary film The Long Road To The Hall of Fame ( on NFL Hall of Famer, actor and activist Tony King aka Malik Farrakhan, the long-time Chief of Security of Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame seminal hiphop group Public Enemy. He also produced the original soundtrack, involving production in Italy and the US. The Film has been premiered at the Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles and won, best jury price at Human Rights Nights Festival 2015.
    His strong interest in fighting censorship in the Arab world and Middle East started late 90’s when he was among the founders of the Moroccan heavy metal scene, with his first band Carpe Diem and at the same time founded L’Kounache Magazine.” In 2003, after his friends and comrades where jailed and prosecuted on accusations of Satanism he helped lead the struggle for their freedom and helped create the now famed grassroots Boulevard Festival. He founded Cafe Mira in Paris, from 2004-2008 and which saw its first release on the historic compilation of Middle Eastern rock, metal and hiphop, Flowers in the Desert (EMI 2009). He then co-founded Voodoo Sound Club (since 2011), Fawda Trio (Gnawa free jazz) and co-founded and teaches at the “Laboratorio Social Afrobeat”. in Morocco where he is still involved with the Boulevard Festival workshops.
    His new project, >From Zombie to revolutionaries, is an extension of his work as an art director and executive producer with creative commons p2p, DIY philosophy, work with artists struggling with freedom of movement. He was also, most recently, co-curator of the celebrated Hiphop, Du Bronxe aux Rues Arabes at the Institut du Monde Arabe Paris and  has also curated the Art Festival Costante Cambiamento in Florence.

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Look who is coming…

Artists and speakers for Music Freedom Day Harstad 2016


Draft - To be supplemented

© 2016 SafeMUSE

Adress: c/o Sentralen, Pb. 183 Sentrum

0102 Oslo, NORWAY


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Photo view/sun:  T.I. Bergsmo/

Photo Harstad view:  Stian Klaussen (

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