Under the title Creative Resistance – Stories from the Edge of Freedom, more than 200 writers, artists, activists, city officials and human rights defenders from all over the world will gather in Amsterdam for the joint ICORN network meeting and PEN International Writers in Prison Committee conference. The event will assess and scrutinize the present situation for freedom of expression around the world, and explore new and imaginative ways of confronting repressive regimes and authorities where basic human rights are under attack.
Additional to the separate ICORN sessions, the participants will join with their PEN colleagues and other guests in panel debates and workshop sessions among others about freedom of artistic expression, about cartooning after Paris and Copenhagen, about digital security, about short-term shelter for writers and artists at risk and about combatting impunity in Asia and Latin America.
Amsterdam’s Mayor Mr. Eberhard van der Laan will officially welcome the particpants, and they will be addressed by Human Rights Ambassador Mr.Kees van Baar and the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Mr. David Kaye. ICORN guest writers and artists, among them Fadi Hassan, Khaled Harara, Mohsen Emadi and Ramy Essam will join on stage with internationally renowned writers and intellectuals like Masha Gessen, Geert Mak, Anna Funder, Abdelkader Benali, Sjón and Samar Yazbek in an extensive public event programme running through the Creative Resistance event.
The Creative Resistance event is organised by ICORN and PEN International WiPC, hosted by Dutch PEN and the City of Amsterdam, and supported by Prince Claus Fund, the European Cultural Foundation, The Dutch Foundation of Literature, The Foundation for Democracy and Media, and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands.
PEN International promotes literature and freedom of expression. Founded in London in 1921 and now with over 140 independent centres across the globe, PEN International connects an international community of writers. It is a forum where writers meet freely to discuss their work. It is also a voice speaking out for writers silenced in their own countries through its Writers in Prison Committee, established in 1960 which also offers practical protection measures to persecuted writers. PEN International is a non-political organisation which holds Special Consultative Status at the UN and Associate Status at UNESCO.
The Writers in Prison Committee holds a biannual Conference where members from affiliated committees in its centres meet to discuss developments in freedom of expression around the world, to share experiences in campaigning and to bring public attention to egregious violations of the freedom of expression of individual writers through a programme of public and restricted events which fuse its literary and human rights work.