where the writers are
PEN-Flanders

Last Saturday Pen-Flanders held its yearly general assembly. The meeting was open, yet well organized. The chairperson, David Van Reybrouck held the reigns and gave every one space. The authors Geert Van Istendael and Dirk Verhofstadt who gave the keynote speeches were to the point and very interesting. Marleen Teugels did preliminary research into problems of freedom of the press in Belgium. It is clear that an observatorium for the press is a necessity, just as there seems to be a need for an instance or place where complaints could be lodged. The reports about the writers flat, where authors in need have been given a refuge was heart warming. New plans, new collaborations are explored. I feel the energy and warmth of authors working for authors in trouble because of their writing. Freedom of expression is our core business, also for the WIPC – the Writers in prison committee which I will be coordinating for a while, working closely with my colleagues.As leonard Peltier writes in his book: My life is my sun dance: We do not need to be perfect human beings, but we need to be useful.