«No Platforming and Free Expression» 6th and 7th of May 2019, OsloMet

Venue: Athene1, Pilestredet 46


No Platforming has been much debated across the world due to instances, where individuals have been barred from participating as university speakers, in public panels, and other fora. Opponents to No platforming highlight the dangers of muting controversial voices and fear it can undermine free expression. This conference attempts to address some of the controversies in open and constructive exchanges, and has invited speakers and panelists from several countries, representing a variety of views and experiences.




09.00 – 09.30:  Welcome

Hege Newth, Norwegian PEN

Knut Olav Åmås, Free Expression Foundation

Elisabeth Eide, JMIC


09:30-1045: Keynote: Eric Heinze, Professor at the School of Law, Queen Mary University of London: An anti-libertarian defence of free speech

Discussants: Lars Gule, Associate Professor at OsloMet; Nora Mehsen, writer/freelancer. Moderator: Ingrid Fadnes


1030-1045: Coffee/Tea break


1115-1230: Panel 1: Sense and sensitivity: Freedom of expression and discrimination: borderline areas (Norwegian)

Arguments have been raised defending No Platforming for people who issue threats and discriminate people of minority; but will such practices undermine freedom of expression?

Camara Lundestad Joof, writer, artist; Shazia Majid, journalist, VG; Lena Andersson, writer and journalist; Mina Adampour, medical doctor & writer; Moderator: Anne Birgitta Nilsen


1230-1320: Lunch break


1320-1350: Shortnote: Niels Ivar Larsen, journalist at Information, Denmark: No Platforming: From Weimar Republic Germany to the Millenials

1350-1440: The conversation: Emergence from Dictatorship to Democracy & the Rise of Extremisms. In both these countries, with a long history of dictatorship, the transition to democracy has opened the door for extremist mobilization and recruitment. How to face these dilemmas?

Associate professor and journalist Ade Armando, Indonesia; journalist/writer Essia Atrous, Tunisia. Moderator: Lars Gule, OsloMet


1440-1500: Coffee/Tea break


1500-1600: Panel 2: Gender trouble: Platforming, gender, and #metoo (Nordic languages). Discussions of the #metoo campaign addressed many issues, such as ‘outing’ or how much platform should be given to the accused. Are aspects of this campaign questionable?

Ane Stø from Ottar Feminist group; Maren Fuchsia Celius-Blix, writer, commentator; Lena Andersson, writer and journalist; Niels Ivar Larsen, journalist at Information, Denmark; Moderator: Tine Eide, OsloMet

1600 – 1630: Refreshments


16.30 – 19.00:  Afternoon event: The largest platforms (social media) on Earth.

Screening of movie “The Cleaners”, which shows how young workers in the Philippines moderate social media with little contextual knowledge and immense time pressure; what are the consequences?

Peter Münster, Facebook Norway. Moderator: Bente Kalsnes, OsloMet




0900-1000: The conversation: Platforms for which extremists? In countries with ongoing war and/or violent conflict: Do reporters give voice to the extremists responsible for the violent acts?

Quatrina Hosein, activist/journalist, Karachi, Pakistan; Ahmedur Rashid Chowdury (‘Tutul’), Editor of Shuddashahr Magazine, Bangladesh/Norway (Ossietzky Award winner 2018). Moderator: Atta Ansari, reporter, NRK


1000-1030: Coffee/Tea break


1030-1200: Panel 3: From fields of violence: How to deal with violent extremists when reporting? Sometimes their statements are readily available, sometimes reporters are offered an ‘embed’ with them.

Afshin Ismaeli, reporter, Aftenposten; Abeer Saady, reporter & Ph D fellow, Egypt and Germany; Dr. Anna M. Grøndahl Larsen, OsloMet; Pål Refsdal, documentary filmmaker; Moderator: Ingerid Salvesen, OsloMet


1200-1300: Lunch break


1300-1415: Panel 4: Discrimination and moderation. Media institutions have been criticized for offering platforms to speakers considered as extremists. Where do editors draw the line? (Norsk)

Hans Rustad, editor, Document.no; Mari Skurdal, editor-in-chief, Klassekampen; Ingeborg Senneset, journalist, author, board member, Norwegian PEN, Ervin Kohn, deputy director, The Norwegian Center against Racism: Moderator: Elisabeth Eide, OsloMet


1415-1445: Coffee/Tea break


1445-1615: Panel 5: Literature, art and borderlines: Literature and art meet religious and political resistance. Free literature and art meet with resistance in many countries of the world, some for being too ‘explicit’ and some for being explicitly close to known reality.

Andina Dwifatma, writer, Indonesia; Anne-Cécile Sibué-Birkeland, Theatre Director at Black Box; Knut Olav Åmås, Director, Free Expression Foundation;  Moderator: Andreas Delsett, Artistic Director, Oslo House of Literature


1600-1630: Short roundup (two invitees, assigned as ‘reporters’?)