3 May is Press Freedom Day - VUB-ULB Honorary Title for Freedom of Expression

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This year’s award highlights journalism in warzone (Ukraine) or under autocratic regime (Belarus)

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 — On Monday 2 May - Bozar Centre for fine Arts - Ravensteinstraat 23 - 1000 Brussels

Dear journalist

Each year on International Press Freedom Day, 3 May, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) organise Difference Day. It’s a way for the two universities to draw attention to the importance of press freedom, free speech and the often dangerous work of journalists.

The war in Ukraine, the work of journalists there and the fight for press freedom in the surrounding autocratic and dictatorial regimes, such as Belarus, are the focus of this year’s programme. VUB and ULB therefore award the annual Difference Day Honorary Title for Freedom of Expression to:

The Belarus Association for Journalists (BAJ). For 26 years, BAJ has been fighting for the rights and support of Belarusian journalists and independent media threatened and persecuted by President Lukashenko’s autocratic regime.

The Fix , an international organisation established by and for journalists, which since the beginning of the war has been at the foundation of a consortium that offers help to journalists in Ukraine.

Russian cartoonist Victoria Lomasko

Also present on Difference Day is Russia’s most famous cartoonist, Victoria Lomasko. She fled to Brussels in March with the help of Clin d’Oeil Films, a production house that makes documentaries about female cartoonists. She will exhibit her latest work - a contemporary Guernica - during Difference Day at Bozar.

Programme: European Gala Award Ceremony for Freedom of Expression

Monday 2 May, Bozar Centre for fine Arts, Ravensteinstraat 23, 1000 Brussels

Host: Annelies Beck (VRT)

18.00 Registration & networking reception

19.00 Welcome to Difference Day by former VUB rector Caroline Pauwels

19.15 Guest speaker: Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Markets / Vera Jourova, European Commission Vice-President Values & Transparency (tbc)

20.00 Guest speaker: Bruno Beeckman, journalist, EBU

20.50 Presentation of the Difference Day Honorary Title

  • Belarus Association for Journalists: Barys Haretski, deputy chair
  • The Fix: Jakub Parusinski, editor

You are cordially invited to attend the ceremony. Please register with the press office. For press questions and requests for interviews with Barys Haretski, Jakub Parusinski or Victoria Lomasko, please contact Lies Feron, VUB press relations, via email ( Lies.feron@vub.be ) or 0484 59 05 50.

Difference Day 2022: 2-5 May

Difference Day 2022 is organised by Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université libre de Bruxelles, Erasmushogeschool Brussel, Bozar and the Evens Foundation. They are supported by the Flemish and French-speaking media, Bertelsmann, EBU, EPC, the European Parliament, the EC, the European Democracy Endowment fund and the media ministers of both regions. V iew the full programme here and send questions about the programme to itsdifferenceday@gmail.com. A short summary of the highlights is attached.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig - The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People , because that’s what it-s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership , VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré , the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an -urban engaged university-, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.

www.vub.be/dewereldheeftjenodig



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