Cities of Asylum

An Introduction

In 1993, a group of writers led by Salman Rushdie formed what would become the Cities of Asylum, and governments in several European cities agreed to provide one to two years of support for endangered writers in exile. These Cities of Asylum aimed to protect not only freedom of speech and publication, but also the physical safety of writers.

Today, over 70 Cities of Asylum across the world have adapted this mission to their local contexts to engage and enrich the hosting community. In the US, they lead grassroots efforts to renovate homes, sponsor community-based public art, build artist-designed green spaces, and publish magazines.

City of Asylum Detroit opened its doors in 2020. Since then, they’ve brought feminist Burmese poet Pencilio, queer Nigerian novelist Pwaangulongii Dauod, Haitian photojournalist Dieu-Nalio Chery, and Haitian videographer Mathide Chery Debel to safety in our city, where they are thriving and contributing to Detroit’s cultural life.

Rushdie recently survived a brutal, targeted stabbing at a City of Asylum event, underscoring this mission’s continued relevance as well as its fragility.

–Laura Kraftowitz, Co-Founder & Co-Director, City of Asylum Detroit

Read The Majority by Dmitry Bykov

View an image gallery by Pedro X. Molina

Read Africa’s Future Has No Space for Stupid Black Men by Pwaangulongii Dauod

Founded in 2020, Three Fold is an independent quarterly based in Detroit that presents exploratory points of view on arts, culture, and society in addition to original works in various media, including visual art, literature, film and the performing arts. We solicit and commission contributions from artists, writers, and activists around the world. Three Fold is a publication of Trinosophes Projects, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Three Fold recognizes, supports, and advocates for the sovereignty of Michigan's twelve federally-recognized Indian nations, for historic Indigenous communities in Michigan, for Indigenous individuals and communities who live here now, and for those who were forcibly removed from their Homelands. We operate on occupied territories called Waawiiyaataanong, named by the Anishinaabeg and including the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottawa), and Bodewatomi (Potawatomi) peoples. We hold to commit to Indigenous communities in Waawiiyaataanong, their elders, both past and present, and future generations.