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Erik Fosse and Mads Gilbert honoured with the Freedom of Expression Tribute

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Erik Fosse og Mads Gilbert

The Freedom of Expression Tribute is being awarded to the physicians Erik Fosse and Mads Gilbert for their outstanding, unflagging eye witness accounts of the suffering sustained by the civilian population during the bombing of Gaza.

Erik Fosse and Mads Gilbert provided vivid details to western and Arab journalists about the impact of the bombing of Gaza during first 10 days of 2009. They reported on what they saw with their own eyes at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, based on their medical experience. Their first-hand accounts and their medical efforts were motivated by their strong commitment to the civilian population.

The humanitarian organisation Norwac (The Norwegian Aid Committee) decided to send them to Gaza on 28 December 2008. Erik Fosse and Mads Gilbert, both physicians who work for Norwac, crossed the border on 31 December 2008. For several days, they were the only western witnesses to the events that unfolded. Other health care workers began to enter the area on 8 January 2009, and Fosse and Gilbert left Gaza on 10 January 2009.

Fosse and Gilbert both have long experience of providing medical services in war-torn areas and conflict zones in the Balkans and the Middle East. They have worked in Gaza on several occasions over the past 20 years.

Otherwise, Erik Fosse is a professor and chief physician at the Intervention Centre at Rikshospitalet, the National Hospital, University of Oslo. He is also the director of Norwac. Mads Gilbert is a professor, department manager and senior medical officer at the Emergency Medical Treatment Ward at University Hospital Northern Norway in Tromsø.

Fosse and Gilbert are currently writing a book about the events that took place in Gaza. It will be published in Norwegian, English and Arabic in autumn 2009.

The tributes will be awarded to them on Tuesday, 24 February 2009, at 11 a.m. in Institusjonen Fritt Ord's premises at Uranienborgveien 2, Oslo. The Freedom of Expression Tribute acknowledges remarkable efforts to promote free speech, often in connection with current events. The tribute is accompanied by a crystal vase and NOK 50 000 to each winner.



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Supported projects – examples

Support for journals
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Five journals figure on the list of recipients of the Fritt Ord Foundation's minor grants in June 2014. The journal Manifest Tidsskrift received support for a series of articles "Piketty to the People", and the philosophical journal Agora for a themed issue on racism. Seismopolite received a grant for its publication about freedom of expression in photography, film, theatre and performance art, while the Association of 2007 for the Promotion of Artistic Reflection and Debate received a grant for next year's issue of the art journal Second-Class Mail. Support was also granted for magazine Fanfare's #4 on the concept of "bullshit".

A list has been published of the minor grants awarded by the Freedom of Expression Foundation in June 2014 (in Norwegian).

Who is your hero?
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The Fritt Ord Foundation Competition for Pupils in Upper Secondary School will continue with a new topic in the upcoming school year: "Freedom of expression's heroes and anti-heroes".

To help the participants get started, we would like a contribution from you. Send in a short film clip in which you answer the question about who is your hero or anti-hero, and state your reason why in one sentence. Send the film to post@fritt-ord.no or as ‪#‎frittordhelt‬ on Twitter.

Manuscript support for new books
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The Fritt Ord Foundation's round of major allocations in June 2014 included grants for 20 Norwegian writers to support the creation of new factual prose. For example, Sidsel Wold received NOK 150 000 for a book project with the working title "How to understand Syria?", while Sølvi Wærhaug received NOK 100 000 for a book on the history of the school of home economics that takes its point of departure in its founder Minna Wetlesen. NOK 150 000 were awarded to Ola Henmo for his documentary book about Karen Friele. Håvard Rem was awarded NOK 125 000 for the book ”Norwegian lyrics”, an historical literary review of Norwegian-language lyrics from 1945 to 2015, and Kjetil Jakobsen was granted NOK 150 000 to work on the second and third volume of the work "The World Citizenry's History of Ideas".

See the entire list of the major grants made by the Fritt Ord Foundation in June 2014.

Contributions to blog projects
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The minor grants in May 2014 include two journalistic projects based on blogs as a means of communicating information. Through a blog and a newspaper column in the newspaper Dagsavisen, musician and journalist Aslak Borgersrud will report from the corridors of Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament, under the title "A Lout in Parliament". In their project "The Identity of Ukraine", the young journalists Eskil Wie and Frode Nagel Dahl will communicate news items from Ukraine through blogs, websites, exhibitions and books.

A list of the minor grants awarded in May 2014 has been posted.

Festival support
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When processing applications for major grants in April 2014, support was given to seven festivals. The Bollywood Festival Norway 2014 and the project "Nobel-Myanmar Literary Festival: Literature: for Peace" were among the recipients, along with the Non-fiction Festival in Oslo and the Festival University at the Oslo Book Festival. Grants were also awarded to the Oslo International Poetry Festival, the Trondheim Documentary Festival and the Literary Festival Words in the Borderland in Fredrikstad. Most of the festivals are scheduled for autumn 2014.

See the list of the major grants awarded by the Fritt Ord Foundation's in April 2014.