From 2nd to 4th December 2021, the eighth edition of the annual Safe Havens conference took place, gathering over 194 participants from all over the world. With six ‘live’, physically present editions behind us since 2013, organisers and participants put to use learning from the last two years of pandemic-required online digital conferencing. While nothing compares to human presence, we found that the face-to-face intimacy of a camera or smartphone can still move us, especially when we see the extent to which those living outside of major centres or in difficult conditions make the effort to connect, despite all the odds.
The 2021 conference was yet another Safe Haven evolution in creating formats to be ever-more inclusive, in terms of territory, language, context and orientation, not to mention artistic discipline and practice. We hope that this short analytical report of our three days of sharing will convey the openness, the urgency of artists to be with others, the invisible cord that binds us in our solidarity and on our journey to best uphold our belief in the power of art and the strength of each another.