The Slovenia Times

PEN meet explores peace, relationship with truth

Lake Bled with the island.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA
File photo

Slovenia is hosting the 55th PEN International Writers' Meeting in Bled this week. Inspired by John Lennon's Imagine, participants will discuss what kind of social order they think would promote peace. They will also delve into literature's relationship with the truth.

The meeting is being held in hybrid format again. PEN Slovenia head Tanja Tuma says part of the reason is the finances and part visa-related issues as writers from some countries have failed to obtain an EU visa. Delegates from 40 PEN centres from around the world are expected, about 60 in person and the others remotely.

The four-day event begins on 15 May at the Cankarjev Dom arts centre with a literary evening featuring Ma Thida, Burmese writer, human rights activist and chair of PEN's Writer in Prison committee, who will talk about the current situation in Myanmar.

The opening ceremony on 16 May will be followed by two days of round-table debates. Trying to find an answer to the question of what kind of social order would promote peace, the first debate will feature Chilean author German Rojas, chair of the Writers for Peace committee, alongside Cuban writer Katherine Bisquet, Palestinian poet Hanah Awwad, French author Antoine Spire and Slovenian writer Boris A. Novak.

PEN Slovenia will dedicate its debate to literature's relationship with the truth, which seems to sometimes evade even writers in this era of disinformation. Focussing on fake news and artificial intelligence and the relationship with truth in Ukraine and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the discussion will feature Slovenia's Tone Peršak, Mexico's Alberto Escorcia, Ukraine's Iryna Starovoyt and Bosnia's Andrea Lešić.

The meeting will be accompanied by the 10th Faces of Peace festival, which will take place on 17 and 18 May. The programme includes a debate featuring four Ukrainian writers and a Slovenian diplomat.


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