Saturday, November 17, 2012

Messages from Newtopia

 Last night was wonderful, was poweerful: authors living in Belgium and abroad shared their thoughts and writings on human rights and how the universal declaration of human rights could be improved. First there was music, spoken word, rapped with African instruments. They also had the last word. One author, journalist Fatena Al-Ghorra was not present since the terrible events in Gaza unfolded she went home to witness the situation.
Here from left to right Chris De Stoop, reading a fictional letter to Amnesty international about emotional rights. Isn't the family the most dangerous place on earth? Isn't emotional coldness by parents something that kills one souls and maims for life? Next is Dejan Anastaijevic who picked up on one of my pet peeves: Freedom of speech, as used by a finish mobil phone producer, perverting the idea of content to profit. Free movement as picked up by an American Car maker... Naema Tahir read in Dutch from her book Bruid van de dood. The choice of the girl not to accept an arranged, read forced marriage, and instead joining the army in Pakistan...
Here you see David Van Reybrouck interviewing, talking with Tahar Ben Jelloun: a wise man, thoughtful and clear. With his book L'étincelle he is a Moroccan voice about the Arab Spring and its evolution. There was a beautiful, very slow Videopoem about a wall by Moroccan  Hamza Alloubi one just sees the light change and hears the text. A great evening with many Pen colleagues present, as always ready to defend freedom of speech and to help the authors who are in danger because of using this fundamental right. Standing in the blackest night on a forlorn platform of a train station, a bittersweet melancholy lingered and ended up strengthening my commitment.

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