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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

Amanda Prize to Light Fly, Fly High
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On 16 August 2014, the Amanda Prize for the best documentary film was awarded to Fri Film for the documentary "Light Fly, Fly High". The film is about the young Indian boxing talent Thulasi and her struggle against discrimination, corruption and sexual oppression. Beathe Hofseth and Susann Østigaard have directed and produced the film. Warm congratulations to Fri Film!

The Fritt Ord Foundation provided NOK 295 000 for the development and production of "Light Fly, Fly High".

Danish distinction to the NJP #1

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The first edition of the Norwegian Journal of Photography has received yet another distinction, this time from a Danish jury. Under the title "Best Book Works of 2013", the Danish Book Crafts Association named last year's best books. The winning books are being exhibited at the Royal Library in Copenhagen before being sent on a book tour around Denmark.

NJP #1 earned distinction in the category “periodica”, and the jury writes, among other things: “Using a subtle, modern layout, 10 Norwegian photographers are presented objectively and clearly. Single navy blue dividing sheets mark the introduction and the transition to/between the individual players whose series of photos are vastly different, but are kept in precisely the same tight rein within a set framework.”

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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.