A Week of Silence in Lund 2 – 9 December


An enormous Freedom of Expression cube will be turned on and a week of activities will kick-off outside of Lund Cathedral on Dec. 2 at 12:30 to commemorate Sweden’s 250-year anniversary of freedom of speech.

Lund is commemorating “The Week of Silence”, a week of activities, including the launch of a human rights cube and film, a silent minute, and a concert and panel discussion on freedom of expression.

Emma Berginger, the Deputy Mayor of Lund, Anna Ringborg, project leader at the Raoul Wallenberg Academy, and Rolf Ring, Deputy Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, will speak at the kick-off.

“Freedom of expression has witnessed dramatic setbacks in recent years in Europe and around the world,” says Morten Kjaerum, the director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. “Europe must once again become a beacon in the protection of freedom of expression if it wants to fight back the rising authoritarian and anti-democratic tide threatening people’s enjoyment of human rights,” he says.

“The Week of Silence” is a cooperation with the Raoul Wallenberg Academy, the Swedish Institute, Lund municipality, and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. It is a part of Vinterlund, an array of activities planned in the city of Lund from the first of advent to Valentine’s Day.

The event in Lund takes place at the same time as several other events around the world to commemorate the anniversary, including in Paris, Stockholm, Budapest, Belgrade and New York City. Jan Eliasson, the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, will inaugurate the freedom of expression cube at the UN Headquarters in New York City, in cooperation with the Consulate General of Sweden in New York, The Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations, the Swedish Institute and the Raoul Wallenberg Academy.


Human Rights Cubed

The Freedom of Expression cube is 3x3x3 meter’s large, and it will stand next to the Lund Cathedral 24 hours a day for a whole week. Inside the cube, a film will run continuously on Freedom of Expression. Both the film and cube were created by the artist Michel Östlund. “Fantasy is the way to knowledge,” he says.

The Freedom of Expression cube is one of 30 cubes that the Raoul Wallenberg Academy, based in Stockholm, has designed to increase knowledge on human rights. This December, they have teamed up with the Swedish Institute to bring the project abroad. The cube that comes to Lund, will also be placed in New York and Stockholm.


A minute of silence

On December 3, a moment of silence will be observed in Lund from 21.00-21.05 to honor all things that have never been said. The Cathedral of Lund will ring its bells to mark the occasion from 21.00 to 21.05.


Concert at Lund Cathedral Forum

A concert, “On Silence”, featuring Saxophonist Carl-Henrik Fernandi and singer Sanna Hogman will take place at the Cathedral of Lund at 21.00 to 22.00 on December 4.

The concert, free and open to all, gives the audience a chance to reflect on the billions around the world who do not enjoy the right of freedom of expression.


A Panel Discussion on Silence at Kulturen

On December 5 at 19:00, a panel discussion will take place to explore and reflect on the different aspects of freedom of expression in our world today. The speakers will discuss the most important issues from a historical, journalistic, artistic, and legal perspective.

The panel consists of:

The panel will be moderated by Mona Masri, host of Swedish Radio’s P1 Cultural program that broadcasts from Malmo.

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