Interactive Programming at OFF 2024

Explore our diverse panels and workshops featured at the 2024 Oslo Freedom Forum.

Movie Screenings

Bobi Wine: The People’s President

June 1, 2024

6:00 p.m.

This film follows Ugandan opposition leader, activist, and musical star Bobi Wine. He used his music to fight the regime led by Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power in the country for over 35 years. A Q&A with Bobi Wine will follow the screening.

Bobi Wine: The People’s President

Invisible Nation

June 2, 2024

6:00 p.m.

With unprecedented access to Taiwan’s sitting head of state, this film investigates the election and tenure of Tsai Ing-wen, the first female president of Taiwan. A Q&A with the film’s director, Vanessa Hope, will follow the screening.

Invisible Nation

Panels

Defeating the Enablers

June 3, 2024

15:00-16:00

This panel will dive into all the ways so-called "enablers" in democracies — lawyers, accountants, public relations specialists, consultants, and more — help authoritarian regimes launder their money, access policy-makers in democracies, and avoid sanctions. As we know, modern kleptocracy and corruption aren't limited by national borders. Instead, kleptocrats rely on ""enablers"" to do their bidding, strengthen their regimes, and threaten democracies in the process.

Moderator

Casey Michel

Director, Combating Kleptocracy Program, Human Rights Foundation

Silencing Critics: Authoritarian Hostage-Taking

June 3, 2024

15:00-16:00

Hostage-taking has become a favored foreign policy tool of authoritarian regimes to silence dissidents. Hostage-taking can involve enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and numerous other human rights violations. It’s an issue at the nexus of security and human rights, and democracies must develop viable deterrents. Hear from people on the front line of this struggle, including former hostages and a member of the US government, to discuss best practices and solutions moving forward.

The Race for Automated Warfare

June 4, 2024

16:30-17:30

AI poses new risks to methods of warfare, from unmanned autonomous vehicles to AI-driven decision-making algorithms on the battlefield. This panel will explore the technological, ethical, and geopolitical issues of using AI in armed conflict, focusing on how authoritarian regimes may utilize AI to further destruction.

Achieving Justice with a Global Gavel

June 4, 2024

15:00-16:00

Courts in authoritarian regimes lack judicial independence and repeatedly violate due process. As a result, those who are arbitrarily detained must seek justice and freedom beyond their domestic legal systems, through international legal mechanisms and diplomacy. Lawyers and experts in the field will discuss the best methods to seek international justice, from UN treaty bodies and special procedures to regional human rights mechanisms, universal jurisdiction, and international diplomacy.

Threads of Repression: The Complicity of the Global Supply Chain

June 4, 2024

15:00-16:00

More and more people are learning of the fashion industry’s complicity in the ongoing Uyghur genocide. But, they may not learn that numerous other industries, from automobiles and fishing to technology and aluminum, may be implicated in forced labor. Learn from experts in the field how to eliminate forced labor from your home.

The Path Backward: Authoritarianism & Trafficking

June 5, 2024

10:30-11:30

This panel will explore the intersection of migration and human trafficking, focusing on how policies in authoritarian countries worsen migrants’ circumstances and create an environment conducive to human trafficking. Experts will dive into these dynamics in North and West Africa and discuss the role of European countries in handling migration.

Defying Gender-Based Violence in Authoritarian Regimes

June 5, 2024

12:00-13:00

This panel will explore the intersection of gender-based violence and women’s rights activism in countries ruled by authoritarian regimes. Panelists will reflect on the violence perpetrated by regimes against women and LGBTQ+ individuals, and the ways in which civil society has resisted — from Uganda, to Cuba, to Kazakhstan and Russia. The panel will shed light on the critical role women have played and continue to play in global movements, paving the way for a more just future.

Sports & Dictators: Weaponizing Sports for Soft Power

June 5, 2024

12:00-13:00

This panel will explore the evolution of sports as a tool for statecraft within authoritarian regimes. Panelists will reflect on the various ways autocrats weaponize sports, drawing from examples in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Rwanda, among others. Panelists will also discuss the shortcomings of terms such as “sportswashing” and how activists can better confront this concerning trend.

The Power of the Moving Image

June 5, 2024

12:00-13:00

How can we fight authoritarian regimes with the moving image? What are the challenges? What promises and power do these films hold? This panel discussion will explore the need for programming on urgent issues, focusing on regions where human rights abuses are rampant, while exploring the hurdles intrepid filmmakers and activists face.

AI, Deepfakes, & Surveillance

June 5, 2024

16:00-17:00

This panel will explore the various ways AI threatens democracies globally and the tools available to tackle these threats. It will discuss tactics such as AI-powered surveillance methods, silencing of political opponents and human rights activists, and the use of AI-generated images, or deepfakes, particularly during election time.

Firesides

Anti-Dictatorship Diplomacy: Fireside Chat with Luis Almagro

June 4, 2024

16:30-17:15

Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro has exhibited extraordinary pro-democracy leadership for a decade. Before Almagro was elected to the OAS, the organization had a poor record invoking and enforcing the "democracy clause" under Article 9 of the OAS Charter and Articles 17-21 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Join HRF Chief Legal & Policy Officer and international democracy law expert Javier El-Hage in conversation with Almagro about his achievements, and the OAS's prospects after his departure in 2025.

Oppression by Economic Threat

June 5, 2024

10:30-11:15

Corruption is wielded not just by heads of state but by actors at every level of bureaucracy. The media covers high-profile examples, but less known are the untold millions navigating informal markets, which comprise as much as 60% of the world's workers, who are unprotected and vulnerable to government plundering, bribery, and arrest. This fireside chat will explore the harsh realities in the informal sector, telling the stories of its victims and discussing proven methods for fighting back.

Invisible Island Dictatorships: Challenges Facing Haiti and Madagascar

June 5, 2024

15:00-15:40

This fireside discussion will explore the obscured realities and challenges of authoritarianism in the islands of Haiti and Madagascar. Nestled in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, respectively, both islands have recently experienced escalating human rights violations and authoritarianism, while both struggle to attract global attention due, at least in part, to their isolated nature.

Defending the Defenders: Attacks on Environmental Activists

June 5, 2024

15:00-15:40

Global Witness reported 177 killings of environmental activists in 2022 and 1,910 total murders since 2012. Many of those murders occurred under authoritarian regimes, which also imprison and intimidate activists who threaten their lucrative exploitation of natural resources. Hear from activists continuing to advocate for a sustainable future and learn their tactics in the face of suppression.

Inside Hotel Rwanda (Live Podcast)

June 5, 2024

16:00-17:00

Paul Rusesabagina and Carine Kanimba join HRF’s Casey Michel and Elisha Maldonado for a live Dissidents & Dictators podcast recording to tell the story of Rusesabagina’s heroism during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. They'll discuss his recent release from prison after being abducted by Paul Kagame's regime and sentenced to 25 years on false terrorism charges, as well as Kagame’s constant tactics of reputation laundering and whitewashing to remain in power.

Workshops

Base58’s Bitcoin Live Action Role Play

June 3, 2024

15:00-17:00

In this two-hour workshop, attendees will role play the bitcoin network and see how transactions are made, how they get to miners, the work a bitcoin node does, and how it helps secure the network.

Building a Grassroots Alliance for Freedom

June 5, 2024

10:30-11:00

In this workshop, Venezuelan democracy advocate Leopoldo López will guide activists in organizing a cohesive global movement for freedom. Drawing on his experience as an opposition leader and former prisoner of conscience, Lopez will discuss shaping one’s activist narrative, effectively using new technology, and rekindling the global enthusiasm for freedom and democracy.

Counter-Speech: A Toolkit for Tackling Dangerous Speech

June 4, 2024

16:30-17:30

June 5, 2024

12:00-13:00

Public discourse has become more polarized and poisonous, especially for human rights defenders facing online harassment and smear campaigns. In this workshop, participants will discuss the importance of counterspeech and learn about The Future of Free Speech's toolkits on hate speech and disinformation. They also can try out the soon-to-be-launched AI-powered app (The Freequalizer), which helps social media users respond to online hate speech with counterspeech methods.

Dilemma Actions: Using Humor and Creativity to Save Democracy

June 5, 2024

15:00-16:30

The dilemma action is a nonviolent civil disobedience tactic that provokes a ""response dilemma"" from an authoritarian regime. If crafted effectively, dilemma actions put the regime in a lose-lose scenario: ignoring the tactic or harshly responding will benefit the pro-democracy movement. These actions tap into widely held beliefs or norms in society and use unpredictability, humor, and creativity to force opponents to choose between suboptimal reactions.

Getting Real with AI: Election Deepfakes and Detection

June 3, 2024

16:30-17:30

June 5, 2024

14:30-15:30

Join us for an interactive workshop on how deepfakes and deceptive synthetic media are being used in the world — to ridicule, deceive, communicate and attack — grounded in WITNESS' ongoing “Prepare, Don't Panic” initiative on generative AI (gen-ai.witness.org)

How to Set Up and Run a Democratic Government in Exile

June 5, 2024

10:30-11:30

In response to the rise of authoritarianism, we must reimagine democracy as a dynamic and formidable challenge to autocracy. Lobsang Sangay, who served as president of the Tibetan government in exile from 2011–2021, will explain how to run a democratic government in exile. Sangay will present the Central Tibetan Administration, located in Dharamshala, India, as a successful model for other opposition leaders to set up governing bodies abroad.

Lightning Talks: HRF Freedom Fellows

June 3, 2024

16:30-17:15

Through HRF’s Freedom Fellowship program, 10 dissidents from authoritarian regimes worldwide receive hands-on mentorship from experts in nonviolence movement-building. Fellows from Bolivia, Cuba, Hong Kong, Nigeria, and the Uyghur Region will deliver five-minute Ignite lightning talks about their activism and visions for the future.

Meta & The Community: Cybercrime Laws in the Middle East & Africa

June 3, 2024

15:00-16:30

This workshop, organized by Meta, will discuss research into cybercrime laws in the Middle East and Africa region, commissioned by Global Partners Digital and conducted by Article 19. Lead researcher, Jacquie Rowe, will discuss the effect of digital regulations on freedom of expression in the region. Discussion will focus on efforts to stifle online speech, platform moderation strategies, and international and regional policy processes. Participants can share successful advocacy strategies that will inform the ongoing research project.

Meta & The Community: Office Hours

June 3, 2024

16:30-17:30

June 4, 2024

16:00-17:30

Activists and attendees can meet with Meta representatives to voice concerns and discuss the most effective ways to use Meta platforms for activism.

Meta & The Community: Advocacy with Big Tech

June 4, 2024

15:00-16:00

This workshop, organized by Meta and featuring Suay Ergin from Article 19 Turkey, delves into the complex dynamic between civil society, tech companies, and governments through real-life examples from Turkey. Participants will explore strategies to balance government pressure, maintain platform accessibility, and advocate for digital rights. The workshop aims to generate actionable approaches empowering civil society, big tech, and policymakers to promote an open, inclusive, and democratic internet despite political challenges.

Spyware Surveillance Check with the Citizen Lab

June 3, 2024

15:00-17:30

June 4, 2024

15:00-17:30

June 5, 2024

10:30-13:00, 15:00-17:00

Activists and dissidents face significant threats from digital surveillance. Join researchers from Citizen Lab as they share advice and tactics for digital security tailored to the threats that cell phone users face. Citizen Lab representatives will also offer free iPhone checks for signs of hacking from programs like Pegasus.

Sustaining Well-Being: Caring for the World and Ourselves

June 5, 2024

10:30-11:30, 16:00-17:00

This workshop will focus on mental health and well-being for activists, dissidents, and those engaged in the struggle for freedom. Meditation and mental health experts will offer guidance on methods for self-care in the midst of the trauma and stress that accompany activism.

“The Untold Stories of the Middle East”: Book Signing with Ideas Beyond Borders’ Faisal Al Mutar

June 4, 2024

15:00-15:40

Join the founder and president of Ideas Beyond Borders (IBB) and OFF 2024 speaker Faisal Al Mutar for a book signing event for "Untold Stories of the Middle East." IBB's newest book chronicles the vibrant stories of individuals who have been impacted by IBB's Innovation Hub Program and are empowering their local communities through small businesses.

Understanding and Healing from Trauma with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

June 5, 2024

14:30-15:30

The violence and oppression that dissidents, activists, and opposition leaders experience creates trauma that can leave a lasting impact on the body and brain. Join pioneering trauma researcher and clinician, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk to uncover methods for understanding and recovering from trauma. Author of New York Times bestselling book, “The Body Keeps the Score,” Dr. van der Kolk will share his expertise on trauma and pathways to healing in this workshop.

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