At the 44th PEN International Writers for Peace Committee conference (16 to 20 May) PEN members and guests met to address how poetry and literature can contribute to sustainable development and the protection of cultural heritage.
The Writers for Peace Committee, hosted by the Slovenian PEN Centre, has met every year since 1968 to debate and discuss current issues. This year discussion focussed on interculturality, languages and their impact on the future of literature The Conference was divided into three round tables where PEN members develop diverse topics and this year the themes were “Transformation: new paths or the decline of Western rational civilization”, “Perennial Modernity and the future of writing”, and “Sharing with others as a right to peace” organized by the Writers for Peace Committee.
The Writers for Peace Committee condemned the recent attacks that seek to harm the reputation of Slovenian writers and distort freedom of expression in the country, and highlighted Pen’s mission of opposing any form of suppression of freedom of expression. (View full statement)
“As we look to the future, Writers for Peace continue to develop new, meaningful ways of responding to, influencing and shaping key debates of our times. With the challenges of conflict across the world shifting in form yet ever prevalent, the Writers for Peace Committee provides an essential and dynamic space for shared dialogue, for challenge, for tolerance and most importantly for understanding”, said Laura McVeigh, Executive Director of Pen International.
For a reflection on the Conference from Teresa Salema, President of the Portuguese PEN Centre, click here.
To see some pictures of the 2012 Bled Conference click here
For more information on the The Writers for Peace Committee click here