Each year, PEN International monitors and campaigns on behalf of hundreds of writers around the globe who are harassed, persecuted, attacked, forced into exile and even killed.
On Sunday 15 November, several ICORN cities and hosted writers and artists mark this day, in solidarity and support of the hundreds and thousands of writers who are still facing persecution and imprisonment, and to commemorate those who have been killed.
Have yourself locked away in a prison cell for 15 minutes out of solidarity with numerous writers around the world who have been imprisoned without any kind of trial. Four square metres of pitch dark and stifled surroundings symbolize Dawit Isaak's prison cell.
Everyday from 15-22 November at the Bozar/Center for fine arts, the FreeDawit organisation and Belgian PEN organize a sit-in around a Dawit Isaak prison cell. A number of writers in exile residing in Belgium will be taking part in this event, and will be reading aloud from the cell. Previous ICORN writer in Brussels Boris Korkmazov, who has faced years of threats from the Russian authorities for his interest and advocacy for the rights of the Cherkessia-Karachay people.
See more on Bozar.be
Attention to Eritrea and imprisoned boat migrants
The FreeDawit organisation works to bring about the release of Dawit Isaak and other prisoners of conscience. With a replica of Isaak's cell, the organisation wishes to raise awareness for their plight. At the same time, the prison cells offers a different look on the refugee crisis Europe is currently undergoing. After the Syrians, the Eritreans form the largest group of immigrants to reach Italy by boat. Many of them are arrested and locked away at the border.
The City of Malmö and Swedish PEN makes a stand to show that the more than 900 writers reported imprisoned, persecuted, disappeared or killed the past year are not forgotten, and not silenced. They focus on the condition of exile that many writers choose or are forced into, with a film screening and poetry readings with attention to China and Syria, and a conversation with Croatian Dubravka Ugrešić and Nigerian Jude Dibia, ICORN writer in Malmö.
See more on Malmo.se
In Barcelona and other Spanish cities like Palma and Manresa, the Day of the Imprisoned writer is recognized with a series of events organized by Catalan PEN, 7 November up to the 15 November; with artistic performances, screenings and debates, and poetry readings by among others Basem al-Nabriss and Salem Zenia, both ICORN writers in Barcelona.