Literary Corner
Drugačnost bogati
Sovražni govor je vojna napoved
Drugačnost bogati
Sovražni govor je vojna napoved

v knjižnici že dva tisoč let knjige načrti
v plamenih liste odnaša iz spomina veter
črke in strani zleplja kri v otrplih prstih


Veno Taufer: VUKVAR

I had an apparition of Vukovar and I took a walk for a few
    streets -
around the block - with my hands frozen - up to the tobacco shop
and on returning I thought so that's the way they used

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Slovene PEN centre

Slovene PEN was founded in 1926; its first Chairman was Oton Župančič. The founding members included Izidor Cankar, Josip Vidmar, France Stele, Janko Lavrin, Fran Saleski Finžgar, France Bevk, Prežihov Voranc and France Koblar. During World War II the Centre was inactive. Its activities were re-launched in 1962, and the Centre established its role of the meeting point of the East and the West by organising the PEN World Congress at Bled in 1965. Since 1962 the Presidents of the Slovene PEN have been Matej Bor, Mira Mihelič (later also Vice-President of International PEN), Filip Kumbatovič-Kalan, Milos Mikeln, Drago Jančar, Boris A. Novak (since 2002 Vice-President of International PEN), Marko Kravos, Veno Taufer, Tone Peršak, Marjan Strojan. The actual President is Evald Flisar.

Before World War II Slovene PEN was successfully defending the persecuted writers from Primorska, and was among the initiators of the first international accusation of fascism and nazism at the Dubrovnik Congress in 1933. In the post-war period one of the important events was the 33rd World Congress held at Bled in 1965: writers from the former Soviet Union attended for the first time in the role of observers. Let us also mention the traditional Bled Meetings, which - in the forty years of existence - became one of the most prominent literary gatherings in the world. Since its foundation the Slovene PEN has stood in defence of those whose freedom of expression was violated, supported the persecuted authors in former Yugoslavia, and paid special attention to Slovenian minorities in the neighbouring countries. In the period when Slovenia was gaining independence Slovenian PEN was keeping the world informed via the network of International PEN, and during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina it was gathering and forwarding international aid for writers in that region. International reputation of the Slovenian Centre is further strengthened by the fact that the chair of the Writers for Peace Committee - founded in 1984 on the initiative of the then President of the centre Milos Mikeln, who was also the first Chairman of the Committee - is situated in Ljubljana. During the wars in the territory of former Yugoslavia the Committee was chaired by Boris A. Novak. He was followed by Veno Taufer and Edvard Kovač. Since 2013 it is Chaired by Tone Peršak. 


Adopted at the 79th World PEN Congress in Reykjavik, September 2013
Bled Manifesto of the Writers for Peace Committee
PEN International,the world’s leading association of writers, promotes a culture of peace based on freedom of expression, dialogue, and exchange. PEN is dedicated to linguistic and cultural diversity and to the vibrancy of languages and their cultures whether spoken by many or few.  PEN International’s Writers for Peace Committee has therefore approved this Manifesto calling for the universal right to peace, based on the Lugano Declaration for Peace and Freedom (1987), on the  Appeal of Linz Protesting Against the Degradation of the Environment (2009)  and on the Belgrade Declaration of the Writers for Peace Committee, approved at the 77th Congress of PEN International (September 2011).1. All individuals and peoples have a right to peace and this right should be recognised by the United Nations as a universal human right. 2. PEN promotes discussion and dialogue between writers from countries in conflict and across regions of the world where wounds are open and political will is unable to address tensions. 3. PEN seeks to bring together people from around the world through literature and discussion amongst writers and with the broad public. 4. PEN considers one of the world’s greatest challenges to be the transition from violence to debate, discussion and dialogue. We aim to be active participants in this progress promoting where necessary the principles of international law. 5. In order to achieve the conditions for peace, freedom of expression and creativity in all its forms must be respected and protected as a fundamental right so long as it respects all other basic human rights in accordance with the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.6. PEN acknowledges that it is of primary importance to be permanently committed to creating conditions that can lead to ending conflicts of all kinds. There is neither freedom without peace, nor peace without freedom; social and political justice is inaccessible without peace and freedom. 7. In order to achieve sustainable conditions for peace, PEN calls for the respect of the environment in conformity with the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992). We condemn the excesses of technology and financial speculation that contribute to the impoverishment of a large part of the world’s population.  8.  PEN respects and defends the dignity of all human beings. PEN opposes injustice and violence wherever they are found, including oppression, colonisation, illegal occupation and terrorism.  9. In accordance with the principles of freedom of expression and justice, every individual or group involved in conflict has the right to demand non-violent solutions to conflict and should be free to petition and appeal to  international institutions and government authorities. 10. All children have the right to receive a comprehensive peace and human rights education.  PEN promotes the implementation of this right.
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