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Writer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo Receives Refuge in Reykjavik / 14ymedio,
Luz Escobar
Posted on September 25, 2015

14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Mexico, 24 September 2015 — The writer and
photographer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo has received refuge in the capital
city of Reykjavik, Iceland, through the Network of International Cities
of Refuge (ICORN), he himself confirmed to 14ymedio. The Cuban artist
also received guarantees of housing and the freedom to create.

He is the second writer received by the city of Reykjavik city under
these conditions – the Palestinian Mazen Maarouf was awarded refuge in
2011 – and the second Cuban to be welcomed by ICORN. Before Pardo Lazo,
the poet and narrator Carlos Alberto Aguilera, former editor of
Diaspora(s) and editor of the website InCubadora, was granted refuge;
today he lives in Prague.

This network of cities, created in the mid-nineties by Salman Rushdie –
then under the protection of Scotland Yard from the fatwa pronounced
against him by Ayatollah Khomeini – Wole Soyinka and Vaclav Havel, among
others, seeks to help and protect writers who cannot live in their
homelands.

Pardo Lazo was born in Cuba in 1971 and graduated as a biochemist from
the University of Havana, although he also worked as a journalist and
social activist. With extensive work as a photographer, he developed
several digital spaces, among them the blogs Boring Home Utopics and
Lunes de Post-Revolution (Post-Revolution Mondays). On the island he
edited the independent digital magazines Cachorro(s), The Revolution
Evening Post and Voces (Voices).

In February 2013, following changes in Cuba’s laws regarding travel and
immigration, the writer left the country and would have had to return
before 24 months in order to maintain his right to live in Cuba. As he
explained to this newspaper, it was at that moment that he chose “no
return” and, since then, he has lectured at several universities in the
United States on social activism in Cuba and literary censorship.

Until a few months ago he was a member of the International Writers
Project at Brown University, where he also served as adjunct professor
of creative writing in the Department of Hispanic Studies.

How did the blogger take the news of his refuge in Reykjavik? He
answers: “When I was in my country, I was a writer in exile; therefore,
now from exile I am much less so.” He concludes: “I have come to the end
of the world to reconnect with the intimate and intimidating memory of
my sentimental Cuba.”

Source: Writer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo Receives Refuge in Reykjavik /
14ymedio, Luz Escobar | Translating Cuba –
http://translatingcuba.com/writer-orlando-luis-pardo-lazo-refuge-in-reykjavik/

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