Freedom festival: DeBalie 2019

Victoria is delighted to announce that she has been invited as a keynote protest artist with the interactive piece, #99RedBalloons, to this historic event, championing freedom of thought and expression. Featuring 50 artists and important activists from over 30 countries, DeBalie is an historic conference for activists across the planet, and takes place at DeBalie, Netherlands from 31st August - 1st September.

Tickets available here.

The festival Celebrating Dissent honours freedom: freedom to think differently, freedom not to believe and freedom to be yourself.

Don't miss it!

Full Schedule Breakdown Below:

This interview marathon offers an in-depth and intimate conversation with some of the keynote speakers of Celebrating Dissent. They share their personal stories. What drives them in their professional lives and how are they trying to make a difference through their work? 

All of the speakers have made huge sacrifices in order to live their lives according to their own ideals. Their believes have cost them their personal safety and the possibility to live in the country where they were born. Nonetheless, they continue their fight against oppression, for equal rights and women’s rights. 

Every hour one speaker will be interviewed by a programmemaker of De Balie. During the marathon it is possible to stretch your legs and walk in and out. Guests are invited to bring food and drinks from De Balie’s restaurant to the interviews.


Inna Shevchenko is the leader of FEMEN, topless activists against various manifestations of patriarchy, including dictatorship, religion, and the sex industry. She was kidnapped and threatened by the Belarus KGB in 2011 and was given political asylum in France. During her speech on 14 February 2015 a terrorist opened fire in the lobby of where the debate took place. Surviving the attack, Shevchenko later said, “Liberal voices should be louder than Kalashnikovs”.

Maryam Namazie is an Iranian-born writer and activist. She is the Spokesperson for Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. The Islamic regime of Iran’s media outlets has called Namazie ‘immoral and corrupt’ and she has been barred and no platformed for speaking out against Islam and Islamism and defending the right to apostasy and blasphemy.

Taslima Nasrin is an award-winning writer, physician, and activist, known for her powerful writings on women oppression and unflinching criticism of religion, despite forced exile and multiple fatwas calling for her death.

Zineb El Rhazoui is a Moroccan-born French journalist. She used to be a journalist of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where she was absent on the day of the murderous attack. After that she became the most protected woman in France. She is a passionate critic of Islam and a prominent secularist.

Saif-Ul-Malook is Asia Bibi’s lawyer. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was on death row for eight years accused of blasphemy after a quarrel with Muslim neighbours. Saif ul-Malook successfully defended Ms Bibi and she was released on appeal in 2018. After her release, he received death threats and had to flee.

31 AUGUST 2019

11:00: A Conversation on Women’s Dissent with Inna Shevchenko, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasrin and Zineb El Razoui. Music by Shelley Segal. Keynote interactive Protest Art by Victoria Gugenheim.

14:00: Touching the Holy Subject with Nadia El Fani, Saif Ul Malook and Sarah Haider. Music by Veedu Vidz.

16:00: Comedy, the Sacred and Islamophobia with Shabana Rehman, Ali Rizvi and Armin Nabavi.

19:00: Separation of Religion from the State with Afsana Lachaux, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Elżbieta Podleśna, Homa Arjomand and Marieme Helie Lucas.

21:00: Women against Gods with Gita Sahgal, Houzan Mahmoud, Ibtissame Betty Lachgar, Mineke Schipper and Rana Ahmad. Performance by Atoosa Farahmand.


10:00: Film Screening Neither Allah Nor Master by Nadia El Fani followed by a conversation with Hind Bariaz, Ismail Mohamed, Karrar Al Asfoor, Wissam Charafeddine and Zara Kay.

12:00: Film Screening No Longer without You by Nazmiyeh Oral followed by a conversation with Cemal Knudsen Yucel, Fauzia Ilyas, Mimzy Vidz, Omar Makram, Rishvin Ismath, Sohail Ahmad and Zehra Pala.

16:00: On Identity with Kenan Malik, Harris Sultan, Jimmy Bangash, Rahila Gupta and Yasmin Rehman. Poetry by Halima Salat.

20:00: Between Islamists and the Alt-Right with Halima Salat, Maryam Namazie, Mohamed Hisham, Muhammed Syed, Rishvin Ismath, Sadia Hameed and Sami Abdallah. Music by Shelley Segal.

There will also be artwork by Mahshad Afshar and Jenny Wenhammar.

The official logo of DeBalie’s Freedom of Expression festival. Get tickets  here .

The official logo of DeBalie’s Freedom of Expression festival. Get tickets here.