The City of Reykjavík has officially welcomed a displaced writer from Cuba and will ensure he has a safe place to live and financial security.
The City of Reykjavík became a member of ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network) in 2010. ICORN is an organization of cities around the world which provide shelter to writers who are unable to live in their own homelands. This is the second writer Reykjavík has welcomed.
The writer is called Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, born in 1971 in Cuba. Lazo graduated as a biochemist at the University of Havana in 1994 and worked as a molecular biologist at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology from 1994-99, until he was sacked for political reasons. He is an author, journalist, blogger, editor, photographer and social activist.
He is he editor of website Boring Home Utopics and runs the blog Lunes de eftir revolución, the Revolution Evening Post and Voces.
In 2013 he was forced to leave his homeland and has since given lectures at many American universities on social functions of Cuban civil society and literary censorship by the Cuban state.
In 2014-2015 he was a member of the International Writers’ Project at Brown University, where he was also adjunct in Hispanic Studies.
Lazo wrote the book Boring Home, which was awarded the Czech Literary Award in 2014, and wrote and edited the short story collection Cuba in splinters; Eleven Stories from the New Cuba.
Reykjavík’s Human Rights Office will keep track of the project, as before, along with a working group appointed by the mayor in June 2014.