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NEWS AND EVENTS

Learn about the news and events that are organized in Slovenian center P.E.N.

Sameer Sayegh in Špital za prjatle Club in Celje, Slovenia, Tuesday, 23rd May, at 19h.

Špital za prjatle is a culture club in Celje, Slovenia for young and for 'young at heart'. This Tuesday it will host the ICORN writer in Ljubljana Sameer Sayegh from Iraq who will read his poems in Arabic and English. Sameer has fled Mosul and is hosted by the city of Ljubljana since February 2016. During his time in Slovenia Sameer wrote many new poems, also putting in regard his 'new temporary homeland'. At the poetry evening he will be joined by two Slovene artists: Robert Simonišek from Celje who is a poet, writer and an awarded essaysit and Ifigenija Simonović, a poet, writer, an awarded essayist and designer. Robert is Vice Chair of the Slovene PEN and Ifigenija Simonović is the new Chair of the Slovene PEN that is also coorganizing this event. Guests will speak about the role of the Slovene PEN and the work and experience of the exiled writer, journalist and poet Sameer Sayegh in Slovenia (foto Domen Jan).
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48th international Writers' meeting at Bled

11. -  14th of May  2016: The 48th international Writers' meeting  and the literary festival Faces of Peace will again take place in Bled. For the first time,  the official meeting of the IPWWC will take place under the auspices of Mrs. Jennifer Clement, the president of PEN International.  We will host many distinguished authors form around the globe. They will share their views on global developments and problems of our time at our three public panels: The Treasure of the Other, How Stupid can we get (Stupidity as the foundation of our civilisation)and We are all Migrants – Terrorism Everywhere.
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The PEN Community calls for a Peaceful Resolution of the Current Crisis in Ukraine

PEN International, the Writers for Peace Committee, Polish PEN and Russian PEN have each published statements calling for a peaceful, negotiated solution to Ukraine’s current crisis and for respect for Ukrainian citizens’ rights to free expression, assembly and peace.   Please read these statements below:   PEN International    We, PEN International, the worldwide association of writers is deeply concerned by the escalating political situation in Ukraine with Russian forces now in de facto control of much of Crimea.   All individuals and peoples have a right to peace, free expression and free assembly. Military action rarely solves conflict, which should instead be resolved by peaceful dialogue and full respect for freedom of expression, in line with the PEN Charter. We urge all sides in the conflict to begin, as a matter of urgency, meaningful discussions towards a peaceful solution which respects the rights of all in Ukraine.   As outlined in PEN International’s Girona Manifesto on Linguistic Rights, respect for all languages and cultures  is fundamental to the process of constructing and maintaining dialogue and peace in the world. [1]   Every linguistic community in Ukraine – whether Ukrainian, Russian or Crimean Tatar – should have the right for its language to be used as an official language in its territory.[2]   Additionally, we call on the governments of Ukraine and the Russian Federation to ensure that freedom of expression and access to information is fully protected.   John Ralston Saul International President PEN International    
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Ukraine: Public call of the Writers for Peace Committee

To all relevant authorities,    The Writers for Peace Committee of PEN International is deeply concerned by the political crisis, the rise of political passions, intolerance and violence in Ukraine and the disintegration of its  unity and sovereignty.    WfPC calls all Ukrainian writers and other intellectuals in Ukraine to do everything they can to assert the principles of a democratic dialogue about the situation in and the future of Ukraine.    The Committee calls upon the new government of Ukraine, the leaders of political parties and other interest groups, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and all responsible political and opinion leaders to do everything in their power to calm their people, respecting at the same time  freedom of speech and thought, and, above all, to strive for a peaceful dialogue between all political groups in Ukraine. We also urge the Verkhovna Rada to pay special attention to the linguistic rights of those speaking Russian and other languages and the fact that the rights of all ethnical minorities in Ukraine are to be recognized.   The Committee also urges all responsible state representatives in Europe, and particularly in the Russian Federation, not to get involved in conflicts and to avoid any attempt to take  advantage of the situation in Ukraine for their own benefit. We strongly appeal to all sides to decline any violence or military intervention. We call upon them to respect the territorial unity and sovereignty of Ukraine, the right of Ukrainian people to decide their own future and to respect the freedom of expression of all people in Ukraine and in their own countries.     For the Writers of Peace Committee   Tone Peršak
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Presentation of the Bled Manifesto of the WfPC

Thursday, 16th of January was a big day for the WfPC and a first public presentation of a more than two year's work of a worldwide communitity of writers, striving for Peace.  WfPC of PEN International launched its Bled Manifesto of the Writers for Peace Committee longside the presentation of the 2014 Oxfam Novib/PEN International Free Expression Award to freelance journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, journalist and activist Oksana Chelysheva and journalist and human rights defender Dina Meza for their continued work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution in The Hague on Thursday, 16th of January 2014.   The Manifesto, which was adopted at the 79th PEN International Congress in Iceland in September 2013, recognises the key role of writers in creating the conditions necessary for building and maintaining peace through dialogue and intellectual exchange and calls for the recognition of a universal right to peace. 
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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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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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Declaration in support of the pro-European option of the Ukrainian people

The PEN centers from Central-East Europe and the Balkan countries – members of the global writers’ association PEN INTERNATIONAL – express their solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are demonstrating these days in Kiev and in other cities in favor of the pro-European integration of their country. Among those demonstrating in the ”Euro wasteland” in Kiev are many writers, journalists, and creative people whose values of liberty and democracy we share. The place of Ukraine is undoubtedly in the European family, where it already belongs by virtue of its culture and age-old traditions. On November 29, 2013, at the summit of the Eastern Partnership in Vilnius, the Republic of Moldavia and Georgia signed a covenant of association and free trade with the European Union. The Ukraine, which had previously initiated these negotiations, should have signed its own agreement of association with the EU at the same time. Unfortunately, it appears that the chances of a European integration of Ukraine have been hijacked by the interests of its leaders, as well as by pressures from Russia, which appears is ready to use any means, be they political, economic or military sanctions, in order to maintain the ex-Soviet republics in her sphere of influence. The PEN centers from Central-East Europe and the Balkan countries are supporting the peaceful protest of the people gathered on the “Euro waste land” in Kiev as well as the right of Ukrainians to choose freely and democratically their way of development. The victory of the pro-European option in Ukraine will also facilitate the process of integration into the European Union of other countries of the Eastern Partnership – the republics of Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Belarus and Azerbaijan – and will accelerate the reforms and the modernization of these societies as they seek to be rid of the remnants of their Soviet past. Opportunities thus will be created for solving the separatist conflicts inherited from the Soviet period and continued by the Russian Federation in places such as Abkhazia and South Osetia in Georgia, Transnistria in the Republic of Moldova, and Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The PEN centers from Central-East Europe and the Balkan countries condemn the use of force by the police and the security forces in Kiev against peaceful protesting people, among whom are Ukrainian and foreign journalists. We also condemn the campaign of persecution in schools and universities against young people who are participating in the protests. We are against any form of violence. A real dialogue is needed between protesters and authorities that will allow the best political solutions for placing Ukraine on the way to European integration. We call upon the governments of the EU countries and of the candidate states to manifest their support for the European aspirations of Ukraine. We call upon the political parties, the civil society, the media organizations and the unions of artists from the countries that are members of the Eastern Partnership, but we also call upon the civil society and the independent press of the Russian Federation to join the Ukrainian people in its wish to belong again to the family of free and democratic nations – a situation which concerns also other people from the ex-Soviet Union that are wishing to break free from the totalitarian past. We call upon the writers and the PEN centers from all over the world to support the aspirations of freedom and Europeanism of our fellow writers  in Ukraine.   P.E.N. Moldova (Vitalie Ciobanu president) P.E.N. Romania (Magda Carneci president) P.E.N. Montenegro (Mladen Lompar president) P.E.N. Slovenia (Marjan Strojan, President)
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A public call to the relevant authorities

The poets, writers and journalists Rodney Sieh (Liberia), Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang (Tibet), Dina Meza (Honduras), Fazil Say (Turkey), Zahra Rahnavard (Iran), the poet Aron Atabek (Kazakhstan) and many others have in the 21st century been imprisoned, tortured or even killed simply because they publicly expressed their beliefs and their views of the political conditions in the country of which they were/are citizens.In striving for the consistent respect of one of the fundamental human rights, the freedom to express one’s opinions and convictions, which should not be denied to a single person on the planet and without respect for which there is no future for culture and civilisation, only a path back to slavery, on behalf of the Slovene PEN Centre and the Writers for Peace PEN International Committee we call upon the authorities of the states in which this is happening to forthwith release the imprisoned poets and writers and all those others whose freedom has been taken away simply because they publicly declared their opinions or political stance. We also call upon the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as all the governments of the democratic states which do respect the aforementioned fundamental freedom, to use in their direct contacts with the governments of the states in which infringements of this freedom are taking place and in the UN bodies, every opportunity to do all that is in their power to compel these states to consistently respect this right, even if this means upsetting those in power. Tone Peršak, President of the WfPC of PEN International   Marjan Strojan, President of the Slovene PEN   Read more ...
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PEN International launches anthology Write Against Impunity for International Day to End Impunity (23 November)

London - This exciting anthology incorporates the work of some of the most eminent Latin American writers and journalists, including: Claribel Alegría, Homero Aridjis, Gioconda Belli, Lydia Cacho, Ariel Dorfman, José Emilio Pacheco, Elena Poniatowska, Sergio Ramírez, Gloria Guardia, Carmen Boullosa, Victor Terán and Luisa Valenzuela. The works included in the anthology vary in style and approach, but all are steadfast in their support for the murdered writers and journalists in Latin America who are denied justice.In the first six months of 2012, more reporters were murdered in Latin America than in any other region worldwide.  Mexico was the second most dangerous country in the world in which to be a writer or journalist, with Honduras and Brazil coming close behind.The Write Against Impunity anthology, launched today to mark tomorrow’s International day to End Impunity, represents a culmination of PEN International’s focus on the issue of impunity in 2012, and its protest against the impunity enjoyed by those who attack and kill writers in Latin America.The Argentinian novelist Carlos Gamerro, whose work is included in the anthology, said “In solidarity with all the Latin American writers and journalists who have suffered violence in the past or who are now living under threat, I want to express my support for PEN International’s vitally important campaign Write Against Impunity.”PEN’s previous initiatives on the issue included the Day of the Dead Campaign in November 2011 and an international delegation which travelled to Mexico City in January 2012 to raise the issue of impunity with Mexican government officials.The anthology was produced with the support of IFEX, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, for the International day to End Impunity. To access the download, visit: http://www.pen-international.org/write-against-impunity-2012-2/For more information contact:Literary Manager, James Tennant:James.Tennant@pen-international.org +44 (0)20 7405 0338Africa and Americas Researcher, Tamsin Mitchell:Tamsin.Mitchell@pen-international.org +44 (0)20 7405 0338Executive Director, Laura McVeigh:Laura.McVeigh@pen-international.org +44 (0) 78 246 40527       +44 (0)20 7405 0338www.pen-international.org |@pen_intNote to Editors:PEN International celebrates literature and promotes freedom of expression. Founded in 1921, our global community of writers now comprises 144 Centers spanning more than 100 countries. Our programmes, campaigns, events and publications connect writers and readers for global solidarity and co-operation. PEN International is a non-political organization and holds consultative status at the United Nations and UNESCO. http://www.pen-international.org. 
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John Ralston Saul: Opening speech at the 78th PEN International Congress

This is a remarkable city.  I have been coming to Gyeongju for fifteen years.  It is a city not only of history but of ideas; a city built on the idea of a humanist civilization, both Buddhist and Confucian.  I think often, wherever I am in the world, of The Divine Bell of the Great King Seong Deok from the 8th Century, which sits a short distance from here.  It is covered in script: the philosophy of the day.  “The Absolute Truth”, it says, “embraces all of creation, here and beyond.  We cannot see its real form, nor can we trace the path to its origin”.  Here is a profoundly anti-ideological idea; an idea of doubt and of creativity, which writers can embrace today.  And then this line: “The people [of the Silla Kingdom] admired literature and art over gold and jade”. Here is an idea which would mystify many of those who control policy around the world today – the belief that the imagination needs to trump mere self interest.PEN is stronger in its 91st year than is has ever been. Why?  Because  we function on the fundamental principle of the Divine Bell.  Creativity, imagination, language may be forbidden, battered, turned into propaganda in the short term.  But creativity, the imagination, prevail.
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