It gives us enormous pleasure to announce that imprisoned Kurdish poet Ilhan Sami Çomak has agreed to become our first Honorary member. Ilhan received many cards from Irish PEN members following our recent PEN Friends event. These were translated and brought to him by Ipek Ozel. Thank you, Ipek!
Category Archives: Uncategorized
GEZI PARK EXPLAINER: Link to a podcast from The Guardian newspaper
This will be of special interest to those of you who took part in our recent PEN Friends event.
Victoria Amelina essay in today’s Irish Times online
Thanks to Martin Doyle for republishing this fabulous essay by Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina, “Nothing Bad Has Ever Happened” … it was first published on the website of Arrowsmith Press.
“Record of war”
“Records of war” is a collection of memories of people directly affected by the Russia-Ukraine war. The editors started collecting diaries from their friends and the project grew to include other people who are not necessarily artists, journalists or professional writers; contributors can choose to remain anonymous. The continuously updated archive aims to give a “voice” to the people who either have experienced the war themselves or through people they are close to.
“Records of war” doesn’t rely on social networks and has no censorship. The texts are not edited. They can be translated into English and other languages if needed.
The project seeks to support the authors (Ukrainians who are displaced, lost their jobs or their normal lives) and pay for their submissions by collecting donations and applying for grants.
“Records of war” is a non-profit that is maintaining the publishing platform – the scouting of authors, selecting, editing and translating the texts. The editors, Ukrainians themselves, are volunteering for the job. A charity fund accepts donations and distributes them among the authors.
Website is https://february24.net
Donation options: https://february24.net/donate
“The Russian War on Ukraine Has Always Been a War on Its Language” by Askold Melnyczuk, via LitHub
“The Russian War on Ukraine Has Always Been a War on Its Language”
Read Askold Melnyczuk on the Assault on a Country’s Literature on LitHub (11th May 2022)
(With thanks to Gabriel Rosenstock for directing us to this piece)
PEN TURKEY PROTESTS THE GEZI VERDICT – (Osman Kavala & Co-Defendants)
Statement from PEN Turkey https://www.pen.org.tr/ 27/04/2022
GEZİ IS OUR FREEDONM OF THOUGHT AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSİON
We are addressing not to those without conscience, but to those with conscience.
We are addressing not to despots, but to democrats.
not to the lawless but to those who respect law.
not to obeyers of despotism but to citizens.
We are addressing not those who keep acting against the Constitution,
but to those who take the definition in our constitution seriously:
‘The Republic of Turkey is a secular democratic social state based on human rights.’
The Gezi Park Protests in 2013 were peaceful and constitutional reactions of environmentalist citizens who demanded democracy and human rights. They were our reactions. Gezi is us. Gezi is hope. Gezi is solidarity. Gezi is freedom of thought and expression. Gezi is the right to choose your life style. Gezi is the possibility of co-habitation of differences. Gezi is our richness. Gezi is well and alive, because our demand for democracy and law is well and alive.
We stand by all our friends convicted in the Gezi Protests. Life long sentence and 18 years of imprisonment, is the result due to the lack of independent justice and lack of division of powers. It is yet another slur on jurisprudence in our country at this stage.
Totally ignoring the numerous vitally serious issues we face in our country, totally disregarding human rights, laws & justice, these sentences are handed down in acts of plain vengeance about a civil resistance movement which took place ten years ago & involved millions of people.
This is what We, as PEN Turkey would like to say on this subject:
We are calling to account all those who ignore our constitution; ignore independent justice; those who misuse their authority by cheating on every level; those who destroy our forests, rivers, lakes, shores, render our cities uninhabitable; those who thrive on tensions brought on by divisive acts, vengeance & strife. Those who incite atmospheres of tension & terror should be made well aware that “TOMORROW” and “HOPE” , “ JUSTİCE” and “DEMOCRACY” are not very far away for our beautiful country.
To learn more about the defendants on Bianet: https://m.bianet.org/english/human-rights/261038-who-are-the-eight-convicts-of-the-gezi-trial#
Books for Ukraine
At a recent “Dialogues on War” event organised by PEN International, in a conversation between Andreiy Kurkov and Philippe Sands, Kurkov was asked what people could do to support Ukrainian writers. “Read their books”, was his reply.
Sands’ own incredible, brilliant, East West Street, illuminates Ukraine’s extraordinary role in European history and international Human Rights law. Part memoir, part family history, part legal analysis, the book reads like a thriller.
Here is a link to a list of recommended titles by Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian authors, put together by PEN International. The list was edited by Diana Delyurman, Iryna Rodina and Myroslava Mokhnatska.
And here’s a selection from that list, with additions from people who were on that and later calls:
Applebaum, Anne Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine (History)
Hnatiuk Ola Courage and Fear (History: Lviv during WWII)
Kurkov, Andreiy Grey Bees (novel; currently on the Dublin Literature Award 2022 longlist)
Kurkov, Andreiy Jimi Hendrix Live in Lemberg (Lviv)
Marynovych Myroslav The Universe Behind Barbed Wire: Memoirs of a Ukrainian Soviet Dissident
Plokhy Serhii The Gates of Europe (Historical study of Ukrainian identity and sovereignty)
Sands Philippe East West Street (History, Memoir, Family History, Human Rights Law)
Shevchenko Taras (Poetry)
Snyder Timothy Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (Non Fiction: History)
Zabuzhko Oksana Selected Poems (Poetry)
Zabuzhko Oksana “One Hundred Years of Solitude, or the Importance of a Story”(Essay: https://agnionline.bu.edu/essay/one-hundred-years-of-solitude-or-the-importance-of-a-story/ )
Zhadan Serhiy What We Live For, What We Die For: Selected Poems (poetry)
“Under Fire: Journalists in South America”
26th March 2022 @6:00 pm, as part of the Imagine Belfast festival, Irish PEN hosts Paola Ugaz, Dan Collyns, Patricia Devlin and Kathryn Johnston in conversation with Catherine Dunne and Maria MacManus.
This event organised by Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann will profile two journalists under threat in Peru. Following an interview with Paola Ugaz and Dan Collyns, there will be a discussion with Northern Ireland journalists Patricia Devlin and
Paola Ugaz, recipient of a Courage in Journalism Award 2021, (International Women’s Media Foundation), is an investigative journalist who continues to display extraordinary courage in exposing the abuse and corruption within the powerful religious organisation, Sodalitium. Paola Ugaz is the winner of Women’s Media Foundation Writers of Courage Award:
Dan Collyns, a multimedia journalist and filmmaker, covers the Andean region for The Guardian newspaper, CGTN America television and the BBC. A recent project is the film The Adventures Of Wonder Woman, a documentary investigation into illegal gold mining in Peru’s Amazon, made with colleagues for The Thomson Reuters Foundation.
View Dan Collyns’ movie here.
Kathryn Johnston: Director and DeputyEditor http://viewdigital.org/
Patricia Devlin: https://patriciadevlin.com/
Dialogues on War
Tomorrow (9th March 2022) 10am GMT: ‘Dialogues on War’ join the 4th live conversation on #Ukraine with Myroslav Marynovych, Vice Rector of Ukrainian Catholic University and Serhii Plokhii, Director of Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. JOIN: https://fb.me/e/n4rvCjWdU
SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE
PEN Ukraine together with PEN Belarus, Polish PEN Club and Open Culture Foundation is organizing a public fundraiser to support the creative community of Ukraine.
The funds will go to help Ukrainian writers, journalists, scholars, translators, and artists who have found themselves under threat as a result of the Russian war against Ukraine.
The funds will be used to alleviate the urgent needs of Ukrainian creatives, whose lives are now in direct danger:
– urgent evacuation and resettlement in the cities of Western Ukraine,
– urgent evacuation and resettlement in safe countries.
Culture is one of the chief bastions of Ukrainian freedom and we must ensure that members of the Ukrainian cultural community can continue to speak out loudly and without hindrance.
Support now: https://penbelarus.org/en/2022…