Thursday, 13 May 2010

Festival - Punk Illegal, Munkedal, Sweden

Punk Illegal is an autonomous group in the religiously- and politically independent network No One is Illegal (Ingen människa är illegal, IMäI, in Swedish). The No One is Illegal Network is voluntarily run and works to provide practical support to people who are forced to live illegally after having their applications for asylum refused. No One is Illegal demand permanent right of residence for all people who have arrived in the EU and wish to remain. No One is Illegal believe in a world without borders, a world where No One is Illegal.

Issues regarding oppression and the current social climate is and has always been present in the punk culture, ever since it emerged in the 70’s. Over the years, these issues have disappeared from the focus as punk culture has been commercialized. The essence of punk is still there, but needs to be addressed yet again, because the issues are equally, if not more, relevant today and subcultures are required to conserve and expand the diversity.

With politics as a starting point, the music has always been a common platform for punk, and a natural arena to promote a message. A loose-knit group of people saw that ability, both to spread IMäI’s message and to re-awaken the interest in politics in the punk scene. Punk Illegal was born.

In 2005 we organized the first benefit gigs for IMäI in Gothenburg and we also organized some bigger one-day festivals at Musikens Hus in Gothenburg.

To contribute financially does not , however, end this oppression. Therefore we need to go about this problem from another angle. To spread information and raise awareness and understanding amongst people, is a vital part of the struggle for equality and freedom. Therefore, we organized a two-day festival in Munkedal during the summer of 2008, to reach as many people as possible with our message.

After the success in 2008, we decided to return in 2009 to Folkets Park in Munkedal for a second edition of the Punk Illegal Fest. This time around, Punk Illegal had grown and more people found their way to the festival which, in the end, generated in more money to IMäI as well as a well needed boost to continue the work with the biggest diy hardcore punk festival in Sweden.

We intend to carry on as an annual event and we now have our eyes set on this year's festival in Munkedal.
We know that the 2010 edition will be the best one so far.

We have an ambition that everybody should enjoy, feel safe and included at all our events. We will try to do what we can to make our events accessible for everyone irrespective of sexuality, sex, ethnicity, functionality, class etc. But this is a work we cannot do ourselves and we hope that you as a participant will help out! Together we have to pay attention to the oppressive structures and actively strive to dismantle them. It's everybody’s responsibility to support each other and make a great event!

Thanks everyone for supporting the work to improve the conditions for hidden refugees, it’s appreciated so much.

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