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Morten Traavik is a Norwegian director and artist working across a wide spectrum of artistic genres and international borders.
It is with great surprise and even greater sorrow that we learn that our dearest friend, close collaborator, senior coordinator of our visits and cultural exchanges with the DPRK, and fellow nolsae Mr. Ri Yong Man has passed away from cancer in January this year.
Our most heartfelt condolences go out to all of his near and dear ones, especially to his wife as well as his daughter—the apple of his eye—for whom his boundless fatherly love and pride was for everyone to see.
Also, our thoughts are with his comrades of the DPRK Committee for Cultural Relations for Foreign Countries, who have lost not only a loyal friend and indispensable workhorse but also an experienced and caring mentor to its younger staff as well as a constant source of easy-going good humor and amusement.
For all of us—from near and far, from the fields of culture, medicine, and journalism—who have been lucky enough to get close to him through our common efforts and shared experiences in successfully promoting cultural exchange and understanding between people, the memory of Mr. Ri as both a proud Korean and a true friend of the people of the world will live on in our hearts.
In a fashion exemplary and inspirational to all of us, in his work he combined a firm and unwavering loyalty to and pride in his country and people with an unfailing and open-hearted generosity, patience and lightness of touch towards whoever and whatever he had to deal with in the course of our collaborations.
Ri Yong Man’s life achievement remains a towering contribution to cultural diplomacy in its truest form: that which brings people together through shared efforts, overcoming challenges, forming friendships and, at the end of the day, over a cold pint of Pyongyang draft beer.
We honor and salute him.
Chukbae and rest in well-deserved peace, our Korean soul brother, colleague, and friend.
YONGWONHAN IL SIM DAN GYOL.
Morten Traavik, director, Norway
Johanna Väpnargård, project manager, Sweden
Tage Väpnargård Traavik, soul nephew, Norway/Sweden
Jean Emmanuel «Valnoir» Simoulin – visual artist, France
Tor Jørund Føreland Pedersen, photographer and associate professor, Norway
Sun Kim, cultural advisor, South Korea/USA/Belgium
Luba Kuzovnikova, artistic director Pikene på Broen, Russia/Barents Region
Anders Jormin, musician and professor, Gothenburg Music University, Sweden
Daniel Miller, music producer and Mute label founder, United Kingdom
Michael T Nartey, tailor and clothes designer, Norway / United Kingdom
Uģis Olte, film director and editor, Latvia
Valdis Celmiņš, cinematographer, Latvia
Ivan Novak, artistic director, Slovenia
Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, actor, Iceland
Bjørnar Simonsen, IT security manager, Norway
Geir Iversen, clinical psychologist, Norway
Stefan Langerman, researcher, Belgium
Rune Rafaelsen, mayor Sør-Varanger municipality, Norway/Barents Region
Inger Blix Kvammen, founder Pikene på Broen, Norway/Barents Region
Vivi Stenberg, film director NRK, Norway
Mina Špiler, singer, Slovenia
Milan Fras, singer, Slovenia
Aleksander Melli, writer, Italy
Geir Stray Andreassen, medical doctor, Norway
Gorm K. Gaare, photographer, Norway
Frode Berg, border inspector, Norway/Barents Region
Anna Nilsson, circus artist and director, Sweden/Belgium
Boris Benko, singer, Slovenia
Primož Hladnik, composer, Slovenia
Lena Thorsmæhlum, designer, Norway
Per Oddvar Johansen, drummer, Norway
Frode Haltli, musician, Norway
Luka Jamnik, musician, Slovenia
Rok Lopatic, musician, Slovenia
Gregor Musa, tour manager, Slovenia
Nils Christian Fossdal, singer, Norway
Uldis Cekulis, film producer, Latvia
Janez Gabrič, musician, Slovenia
Kjetil Traavik Møster, musician, Norway
Marius Engan Johansen, artist, Norway
Mona Danielsen, chairwoman, Pikene på Broen, Norway/Barents Region
Sašo Pušnik, stage technician, Slovenia
Per Ananiassen, artistic director Rosendal Theatre, Norway
Tomislav Gangl – motion graphic designer, Slovenia
Bent Skjærstad, TV journalist, Norway
Paal Schaathun, cameraman, Norway
Nazneen Khan-Østrem, literary editor and writer, United Kingdom
Tomaž Čubej, light engineer, Norway
Catrine Gangstø, Peacepainting managing director, Norway
Tommy Gulliksen, film director, Norway
Sven-Erling Brusletto, cinematographer, Norway
Gatis Belogrudovs, film editor, Latvia
Sigurd Sandmo, museum director, Norway
Jørgen Knudsen, performing arts advisor, Norway
Matej Gobec, sound engineer, Slovenia
Leon Mathisen, animation designer, Norway
Per Zanussi, musician and composer, Norway/Italy
Mai Elise Solberg, singer, Norway
Ingeborg Staxrud Olerud, lighting designer, Norway