Presse release of June 7th, 2022
PEN Berlin. We stand by our word
We want a new PEN.
A contemporary and diverse PEN, that brings together writers and translators of all literary and journalistic genres writing in German or living in the German-speaking countries.
A PEN run by and for colleagues who stand up for freedom of expression and open discourse, without presidents and other titles, with gender-equal board.
A PEN which, in the spirit of the Charter of PEN International, opposes all forms of hatred, whose members put themselves at the service of freedom of expression and work together for a better future.
In the spirit of our namesake Berlin, the multilingual city that today stands for openness and for the overcoming of borders, we call ourselves PEN Berlin: an NGO committed to the ideals of enlightenment, diversity of opinion, tolerance, and solidarity.
Freedom of speech is increasingly threatened worldwide. More and more authors and translators fear for their lives and physical integrity. Our focus will therefore be on the material and moral support of persecuted colleagues.
We need this new PEN to give literature, poetry, and any other text-based genre the space to unfold free from fear.
We need this new PEN to denounce grievances and effectively help those who are threatened in their freedom of expression, regardless of origin and attitude.
We welcome all those who work with the word and are willing to join us in this endeavor.
We stand by our word.
We stand by our word. 232 people (as of the 7th of June) will found PEN Berlin on the 10th of June 2022.