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IMMIGRATION CLINIC FOR CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS

Seminar

Day 1: 28 April 2022, Kulturhuset, Oslo. 10:00-15:30 Boksen at Kulturhuset, Youngs gate 6, 0181 Oslo, Norway

Open to the public. If you are attending in-person RSVP or REGISTER HERE for online version

Day 2: 29 April, 2022, closed working session

PROGRAMME

Developed out of a collective ongoing practice of mutual support for non-EU/EEA artists and creative professionals based in Norway, Verdensrommet is thrilled to present Immigration Clinic for Creative Professionals (IC). The seminar is inspired by a similar format launched in 2020 by the Centre for Art Law in New York, USA.

IC is a two-day seminar that brings together artists, trade union representatives, lawyers, and politicians to discuss, for the first time in Norway, the gaps between the immigration regulations (of self-employment in particular) and the working conditions in the cultural and creative sector and its impact on the livelihood of international artists.

Many surveys and studies on the artist economy in Norway have shown that the working conditions in the cultural and creative sector can be characterised by:

  • a mix of multiple sources of income with income from artistic work forming only a small component
  • a mixed income where artists work as self-employed and as employees
  • a patchwork economy where artists earn income from work in and beyond the cultural sector
  • fluctuating income based on the cycles of artistic production.

For non-EU/EEA artists, the immigration regulations determine their labour conditions which are often at odds with the prevalent working conditions described above. For example, artists on a self-employment visa can either be employed or self-employed and must earn a 100% of their income from their artistic work. Moreover, the financial threshold for renewing the visa is currently 265998 NOK, almost 100% more than what local and EU artists earn from their artistic work.

The seminar’s core purpose is to identify and contextualise the different systemic relations that give rise to migrant artists’ common struggles. It also aims to guide artists and creative professionals through the process of obtaining a visa to Norway. Furthermore, this discussion will lay the foundations for developing a strategic plan for proposing concrete policy changes that have the potential to create more sustainable socio-economic conditions for self-employed artists.

This seminar is particularly important in light of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity signed by Norway in 2005. The agreement obliges member states to give artists and cultural workers priority in visa applications and to recognize artists to be human and cultural rights defenders. Thus, the Immigration Clinic for Creative Professionals will examine, through critical artistic and legal frameworks, the immigration, cultural, and economic restrictions by which some dominant structures regulate, catalyse, and perpetuate systems of oppression and othering. These systems restrict minority groups and cultural workers' access to the country’s fullest cultural and economic life.

The seminar's two main commitments are:

i) To help non-EU/EEA creative professionals in the process of obtaining a visa to/in Norway through sharing knowledge and experiences of the immigration regulations, social rights of the self-employed and labour rights of artists.

ii) To create a public dialogue between the three key governing concerns – immigration, labour and welfare – that shape the living and working conditions of non-EU/EEA creative professionals. By doing so, the seminar hopes to ensure a fertile ground for sustainable creative practices.

At a time when culture has been recognised by the Norwegian government and EU Parliament alike as an irreplaceable pillar in the making of a climate and socially just society, a seminar with a focus on finding ways to safeguard the invaluable contributions of international creative professionals to society is our humble way of saying: all hands on deck! .

Confirmed participants include:

  • Vidar Hegge, Senior advisor/ Department coordinator, Skilled Worker visa permits, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI)
  • Ruben Steinum, Chair of Board, Norske Billedkunstnere (NBK)
  • Christine Thomassen, Vice President, Creo
  • Kristine Karåla Øren, Union Leader, Norske Dansekunstnere
  • Lisa Digernes, lawyer, senior partner, Bull & Co
  • Hans Marius Graasvold, lawyer, partner Advokatene Graasvold & Stenvaag & board member OCA
  • Steffen Handlykken, Chair of Board, Unge Kunstneres Smafund (UKS)
  • Kjetil Larsen, Professor of Law, University of Oslo
  • Diego Praino, Associate Professor of Public Law, Oslo MET
  • Jonas Ekeberg, Senior Advisor, Kulturåddet
  • Christoffer Pederssen, former political adviser in the Ministry of Justice and Public, FRP
  • (TBD), youth politician, Sosialistisk Venstreparti
  • Nora Milch, research assistant, Department of Law, University of Oslo
  • Øystein Flø Baste, research assistant, Department of Law, University of Oslo

Hospitality signal:

  • Coffee and tea will be served during the event.
  • The language of the presentations and discussion will be in English and a few contributions in Norwegian. Translations back and forth will be possible.
  • The entrance of Kulturhuset is wheelchair friendly. Please contact us at info@verdensrommet.network if you require any other special attention.

We look forward to welcoming you into this space at the intersection of art and law. Remember that your support makes Verdensrommet’s efforts to improve working and living conditions for artists possible.

The event attendance is free of charge, however, you are welcome to encourage our work by making a voluntary entrance fee contribution at the seminar venue upon your arrival.

*Immigration Clinic for Creative Professionals is supported by KORO - Public Art Norway, Eckbos Legat and Norske Dansekunstnere *

Programme

DAY 1: 28. April 2022 | Kulturhuset (open to the public)

Co-Chairs:

• Kjetil Larsen, Professor of Law, University of Oslo

• Diego Praino, Associate Professor of Public Law, Oslo MET

Notetakers:

• Nora Milch, research assistant, Department of Law, University of Oslo

• Øystein Flø Baste, research assistant, Department of Law, University of Oslo

10:00–10:20 Reception, registration and coffee/tea

10.20-10.50 Introduction by Verdensrommet Working Group (Sarah Kazmi & Prerna Bishnoi)

10:50-11:20 Immigration Regulations for Skilled Worker Visa with Company in Norway (Self-employment permit) by Vidar Hegge (UDI)

11:20-11:50 5’ chair response + 30’ Q&A with Vidar Hegge (UDI)

11:50-12:20 Working Conditions of Creative Professionals by Ruben Steinum (NBK)

12:20 - 12:35 5’ chair response + Q&A with Ruben Steinum

12:35 - 13:05 Lunch break

13:05–13:40 Social Rights of Self-Employed, Freelancers and Employees by Espen Andreas Eldøy (Creo) (pre-recorded)

13:40–13:50 5’ chair response + 5’ Q&A

13:50–14:00 Break

14:00–14:15 Summary by Verdensrommet

14:15–15:30 Panel discussion

Participants:

•Ruben Steinum, Chairman of board, Norske Billedkunstnere

•Steffen Håndlykken, Chairman of board, Unge Kunstneres Samfund

•Christine Thomassen, Vice President, CREO

•Kristine Karåla Øren, Union Leader, Norske Dansekunstnere

•Lisa Digernes, lawyer, senior partner, Bull & Co.

•Hans Marius Graasvold, lawyer, partner Advokatene Graasvold & Stenvaag

•Christoffer Pederssen, member FRP, former political adviser in the Ministry of Justice and Public Security and Progress Party’s Parliamentary Group

*Moderated by: Kjetil Larsen & Diego Praino

DAY 2: 29. April 2022 | Christian Kroghs gate 2 (closed working session)

PARTICIPANTS: Verdensrommet working group, Kjetil Larsen, Diego Praino, Ruben Steinum, Steffen Håndlykken, Christine Thomassen, Lisa Digernes, Mah-Noor Baig, Nora Milch, and Øystein Flø Baste

10:30 - Roundtable discussion begins

11:30 - What are the possible political strategies to deploy towards a policy change? Who are the actors involved in these next few steps and what role can they play? Drawing a timeline and working plan of the next steps

1300 - Lunch and drinks Conclude the day