PEN Regional Networks have evolved to address the global issues of literature and freedom of speech in their local contexts. The Networks facilitate skills sharing and collaboration across geographic and thematic lines, as well as strengthening the advocacy capacity of Centres in their region in order to develop a more effective response to freedom of expression issues around the world.
Iberian American Foundation
Founded in Panama in 1998, the Foundation encourages the connection of Spanish-speaking PEN Centres with the worldwide PEN community. This network includes Centres in Bolivia, Colombia, Galicia, Guadalajara, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Salta, San Miguel de Allende, Spain and Venezuela, as well as the Cubans in Exile Centre. It has provided translation assistance to ensure that PEN International’s messages and ideas are shared effectively, and that freedom of expression issues – particularly in Latin America – are brought to everyone’s attention. It hosts a stall at the Guadalajara International Book Fair every year, and regularly works with other national and international organisations on projects and campaigns.
PEN Africa Network
Created in 2001 and comprising 17 PEN Centres from northern to southern Africa, this network connects African PEN Centres to each other and to the rest of the PEN community. It meets regularly to discuss projects and campaigns as well as common concerns, and to explore the possibilities of working together on behalf of PEN International and African literature. The network has played a crucial role in establishing PEN International’s programmes in the region, and continues to play a key leadership role within them.
PEN Balkan Network
The PEN Balkan Network was formed at the 77th PEN International World Congress in 2011. It aims to promote literary and linguistic exchange across the Balkan region and to give a louder voice to Balkan literature and languages on the world stage. The Network includes PEN Centres in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey. The current seat of the Network is held by Serbian PEN.
Ural Altay Language Solidarity Network
The Ural Altay network was established in 2009 with the support of the International Programmes team and the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee to address the principal issue identified by Centres in Central Asia in particular: isolation. It encompasses the twinning of Centres across regions, and uses cultural/linguistic connections to address organisational and freedom of expression issues as well as to reflect the rich, diverse literatures of its member cultures. The network includes PEN Centres in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Hungary and Finland as well as Central Asian PEN and Uyghur PEN.