In recent weeks, the #MeToo campaign has led to considerable attention being paid to sexual harassment and abuse in the Nordic countries. The many testimonies from much of the cultural sector suggest that these are not isolated incidents. Rather, they are indicative of a systemic pattern - one that we must all take responsibility for breaking. We are disgusted by the abuses that the large number of reports have brought to light, and we unreservedly express our support for all of the victims.

The Nordic Culture Fund takes a very grave view of the unacceptable imbalance that has emerged in the cultural sphere. Like the rest of the world, the Nordic Region is currently going through a period of upheaval and faces a range of social challenges. We consider the inviolability of human dignity as a prerequisite for development and progress in a period of change, particularly one in which art and culture operate in borderless and open communities. The Nordic Culture Fund will, therefore, continue only to support and finance forces that actively work to ensure diversity of expression and equality for all.

Art and culture offer unique opportunities to empathise with other people and their reality. It is through art and culture that we develop creativity, mutual understanding and resilience. As such, everybody who participates in a Nordic project must be able to do so without fear of harassment and abuse. All future stakeholders in Nordic cultural co-operation will be expected to play a vital role in creating the preconditions for ensuring automatic respect for the inviolability of human dignity - regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

#MeToo will help change existing structures and draw attention to past and present incidences of harassment and abuse. The culture of silence must be broken - sexist language cannot be tolerated. Abuse must never be excused, but reported and dealt with by the national legal systems in the Nordic countries.

#MeToo has shown that everybody in the cultural sphere must take greater responsibility and champion the inviolability of human dignity as an important prerequisite for development and progress.

Copenhagen, 5 December 2017
The Board

Paavo Arhinmäki (FI)
Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Board

Riitta Kaivosoja (FI)
Department for Cultural, Sport and Youth Policy, Ministry of Education and Culture, Director General 

Valgerður Gunnarsdóttir (IS)
Member of Parliament, board member

Aðalsteinn Ásberg Sigurðsson (IS)
Writer and musician, board member

Kristin Danielsen (NO)
Direktor, Arts council Norway, board member

Jorodd Asphjell (NO)
Member of Parliament, board member

Mogens Jensen (DK)
Member of Parliament, board member

Per Voetmann (DK)
Sector manager for culture, leisure and citizen services, Lolland Municipality, board member

Peter Johnsson (Substitute) (SE)
Peter Johnsson, Member of Parliament, substitute

Staffan Forssell (SE)
General Director, Swedish Arts Council, board member

Martin Næs (FO)
Head of Department, Mentamálaráðið, board member

Mikael Staffas (AX)
Member of Parliament of Åland, board member

Johan Lund Olsen (Substitute) (GL)
Political advisor, substitute