Together with PEN American Center and Scandinavia House, ICORN and the EU Culture 2007 project Shahrazad - stories for life, organises a public event on Monday 22 October at 7pm in the Scandinavia House in New York.
he event will present the US premiere of Marion Stalens's film documentary Silence or Exile; while distinguished writers Anna Funder and Yu Jie will speak related to the evening's theme.
On Tuesday 23 October, there will be a workshop titled "Safe havens in the Americas: Past experiences, present status, future prospects" involving representatives from cities of refuge in Canada, the US and Mexico, and organisations like PEN International, Freedimensional and Scholars at Risk.
Anna Funder explores the destinies of persecuted German writers and intellectuals before and through World War II 'in her Miles Franklin Award winning novel All that I am. Using her novel as a backdrop, she asks how we can mobilize solidarity and hospitality for persecuted writers of today.
Yu Jie is the recipient of the 2012 Civil Courage Prize. He is known as one of Chinas most prominent essayists and critics. Following severe harassment and persecution he fled to the US with his family in January 2012. From his new point of exile, he sees his lifelong goal as achieving democracy and freedom in China.
US premiere of Marion Stalens film documentary Silence or Exile
Silence or Exile, a documentary film by Marion Stalens takes an intimate look at the lives of five exiled writers who, in their pursuit for freedom of speech, have been forced to escape their home countries and build a life from scratch in their new host cities. Through these writers, the film tells a story of a violent, absurd and unjust world. Many of them have strong ties to ICORN, Philo Ikonya (Kenya) and Mana Neyestani (Iran) are current guest writers in Oslo and Paris respectively. The other writers include Horacio Castellanos-Moya (El Salvador/Iowa City), Svetlana Alexievitch (Belarus/Berlin), and Ma Jian (China/London).
The basic intention with the workshop is to map past experiences, update current status and explore future visions for working together to protect and promote persecuted writers and their work in the Americas. Acknowledging that working with cities and municipalities differs a lot between Europe and the Americas, one vital issue to discuss is to what extent a city based shelter initiative like ICORN is viable and sustainable also outside Europe.