Dear PEN Centres,
Dear friends and colleagues,
At this time in history, PEN International is needed more than ever. Sadly, as Arthur Miller once stated, we won’t live long enough to see that noble day when our cherished organization won’t be needed anymore. But let us continue to strive with all our strength for this day to come and for our vision of one humanity living in peace and equality in one world to come true.
The 88th PEN International Congress in Uppsala was a truly inspiring occasion to reunite in the PEN spirit of brotherly and sisterly love and solidarity. My heartfelt thanks reach out again to all people who made this happen, especially to Swedish PEN and our London Secretariate. They have done a marvellous job, and we owe them deep gratitude.
My warm regards to all centres, and especially a warm welcome to our new members, PEN Aromanian and PEN Sri Lanka. It is good to have you with us now. Welcome to the PEN family.
A warm welcome also to the new members of the Board, Beatrice Lamwaka and Tanja Tuma, as well as to the new Writers for Peace Committee chair, Germán Rojas, and to Arne Svingen as a new member of the Search Committee. We are honoured to have two new vice presidents, Elisabeth Nordgren (PEN Finland) and Terry Carlbom (PEN Sweden). Thank you for all your devoted work for PEN.
A big thank you to those members whose terms ended, my predecessor Kätlin Kaldmaa, and Danson Kahyana. I hope that those cherished members who did not get elected this time will put up their candidacy again, and I would especially like to thank Ostap Slyvynsky for his willingness to cooperate with me in my new position.
Also, please find attached:
Contact list of delegates and participants of the Congress;
Congress report in Numbers;
Joint statement on Tomorrow Club;
Committee’s meetings’ minutes.
Links for the public events
Please find the general Congress statement here: https://pen-international.org/who-we-are/annual-congress/pen-international-closes-its-88th-congress
1. Regula Venske (PEN Germany), nominated by PEN Argentina, PEN Canada and PEN Catalan
Members of the Board at Large
Beatrice Lamwaka (PEN Uganda), nominated by PEN Uganda and PEN Nigeria
Gabriel Seisdedos (PEN Argentina), nominated by Catalan PEN and PEN Canada
Tanja Tuma (PEN Slovenia) nominated by PEN Argentina and PEN Belarus
Chairperson of the Writers for Peace Committee
1. Germán Rojas (PEN Chile, nominated by PEN Argentina, PEN Canada and PEN Catalan)
Members of the Search Committee
1. Arne Svingen (PEN Norway) nominated by PEN Afghanistan, PEN Eritrea and PEN Netherlands
Vice President of PEN International
1. Elisabeth Nordgren (PEN Finland) nominated by PEN Estonia, PEN Sydney and PEN St. Petersburg and others
2. Terry Carlbom (PEN Sweden), nominated by PEN Canada, PEN Chiapas, PEN Latvia and PEN Sweden
PEN Arman and PEN Sri Lanka were elected as member Centres of PEN International, bringing the total number of PEN Centres representing writers across the world to 147.
Congratulations to all of them and welcome to the PEN family!
Thematic and Regional Resolutions
The Assembly of Delegates of PEN International, meeting in Uppsala, Sweden at its 88th World Congress, 26 September to 1 October 2022, adopted five resolutions on the critical situation in Cuba, and the war in Ukraine, the repression of Kurdish language and culture in Türkiye, the prosecution and extradition of Julian Assange, and the threats to freedom of expression and protection of civic space.
All of the resolutions are available on the PEN International website:
Resolution on threats to freedom of expression: https://pen-international.org/who-we-are/annual-congress/pen-international-closes-its-88th-congress/resolution-on-threats-to-freedom-of-expression-and-protection-of-civic-space
Resolution on Julian Assange: https://pen-international.org/who-we-are/annual-congress/pen-international-closes-its-88th-congress/resolution-on-the-prosecution-of-julian-assange-and-certification-of-his-extradition-as-threats-to-freedom-of-expression
Resolution on the repression of Kurdish language: https://pen-international.org/who-we-are/annual-congress/pen-international-closes-its-88th-congress/resolution-on-the-repression-of-kurdish-language-and-culture-in-turkiye
We encourage all Centres to use these resolutions by sending them to the appropriate ministries and missions in your home countries as well as pursuing the recommendations through advocacy and by publicizing them through your networks.
Following this year’s congress, we’re asking you to share your observations and recommendations in order to improve our work for future Congresses replying to this letter. Please share your opinion before 1 December 2022. Remember that your feedback is the basis for our future planning!
Please let me know if you have any further thoughts or comments you wish to share or contact Congresses, Committees and New Centres Manager: Olha.Mukha@pen-international.org
Dear friends, we are all in this together, and I am yours in the struggle,