International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN)

ICORN is an independent organisation of cities and regions offering shelter to writers and artists at risk, advancing freedom of expression, defending democratic values and promoting international solidarity. ICORN member cities offer long term, but temporary, shelter to those at risk as a direct consequence of their creative activities – usually artists who are persecuted, forced to remain in hiding or whose works are banned in their home countries. The aim of the network is also to form, together with sister networks and organisations, a dynamic and sustainable global network for freedom of expression.

The network encompasses several dozen cities from Europe, USA, Canada and Latin America. Wrocław joined it in 2015, as the second Polish city (after Kraków). Other ICORN members from Poland are Katowice, Gdańsk and Warsaw.

So far, over 200 artists found refuge in ICORN cities. The most famous of them is undoubtedly Svetlana Alexievich, winner of Nobel Prize in Literature in 2015, who was an ICORN writer in residence in Gothenburg from 2006–2008.

More information on the network available at