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Theme: Battle of the Internet

Editorial

New wave of Internet censorship

What would happen if the Internet was shut down? Many of us may have played with the idea and perhaps despaired over the...

Text: Elnaz Baghlanian January 12 2020
Article

Iran’s virtual iron curtain

In Iran in November 2019 the whole of the Internet was shut down. 83 million people were suddenly isolated from the world. This was the regime’s answer to the people’s protest against rising petrol...

Text: Anonymous February 18 2020
Article

164 days without the Internet

In troubled Kashmir the Internet has recently been shut down for 164 days. This has been the longest ever shut down of the Internet in a democratic country. On January 25 the government restored the...

Text: Aakash Hassan January 29 2020
Article

An animal farm of disinformation

Today China is the digital world leader. Here we find the most Internet users and here the most advanced techniques concerning Internet censorship are being tested. How is it possible that China...

Text: Isaac Mao January 21 2020
Poetry

Uganda’s cyber laws can’t silence Stella Nyanzi

Can one be imprisoned for having published a poem on one’s Facebook page? The answer is yes—in Uganda. In August 2019 the Ugandan writer and women’s rights activist Stella Nyanzi was sentenced to...

Text: Stella Nyanzi January 13 2020
Article

Fear and laughter

“In conditions of shrinking freedom and fewer independent media, the internet became filled with jokes, anecdotes and lampoons,” says the Russian author and human rights activist Liza Aleksandrova...

Text: Liza Aleksandrova-Zorina January 13 2020

Theme: Linguistic rights

Editorial

Welcome to PEN/Opp

To have been part of the emergence and growth of The Dissident Blog as from 2011 has been a schooling in the art of the...

Text: Elnaz Baghlanian October 18 2019
Fiction

Bittersweet dreams

In the beginnings of the 1990s the dramatist and actor Petrona de la Cruz Cruz founded FOMMA (Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya), an organisation for Maya women who make use of theatre as an educational and...

Text: Petrona de la Cruz Cruz December 12 2019
Article

Self-translation as a political activity

The writer and researcher Manuel Bolom Pale belongs to the Tsotsil people, the largest indigenous group in Mexico’s southernmost state Chiapas. “Writing in Tsotsil means reviving and reconnecting with...

Text: Manuel Bolom Pale November 26 2019
Article

The mother tongue of Babel

“Globalization is without a doubt a flood that will entomb more than half the languages of the world under water during the twenty-first century,” writes Carles Torner, a Catalonian author and the...

Text: Carles Torner November 21 2019
Article

The danger of teaching Uyghur language

According to the UN more than one million Uyghurs are detained in so called re-education camps in the Xinjiang province in North Eastern China. Their crime is that they speak the ‘wrong’ language and...

Text: Abduweli Ayup November 18 2019
Poetry

In America

Writers all over the world are today subjected to daily threats for practicing their basic human rights to freely express what they want in whichever language they choose. During her term of office...

Text: Jennifer Clement November 08 2019
Article

Falling apart

The right to use the Kurdish language has been a major controversy in Turkey all through the Republic’s existence. Ciwanmerd Kulek belongs to the younger generation of Kurdish writers who out of...

Text: Ciwanmerd Kulek November 01 2019
Article

How should we break the ice of silence?

How far do our words travel? This is the question that author Simona Škrabec asks in her essay about the importance of small, marginal, and “invisible” languages. She starts off in Chiapas at a three...

Text: Simona Škrabec October 29 2019
Poetry

So beautiful are the tongues

Alfred Msdala is a poet, critic, and currently the chairperson of PEN Malawi. During his term as chairperson, PEN Malawi has established a translation committee with the aim of translating important...

Text: Alfred Msadala October 25 2019
Article

Being Jts’ibajom te jbats’I k’optik

What is it to be Jts’ibajom te jbats’I k’optik – meaning, what is it to be a writer writing in one’s indigenous language? Does it entail a certain responsibility? Resistance? Defense? Taking a stand...

Text: Ruperta Bautista October 18 2019
Poetry

“Our essence changes, fades away”

Enriqueta Lunez, born in Chiapas in Mexico in 1981, is a poet and writer who belongs to the new generation of Tsotsil writers in the country writing in Tsotsil instead of Spanish. Her poems revolve...

Text: Enriqueta Lunez October 18 2019

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