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Theme: The Unsung Heroes of Ethiopia

Editorial

Texts about Hope

In April 2015 PEN/Opp had texts about Eritrea and Ethiopia, and among the contributors was Reeyot Alemu, the much...
Text: Elnaz Baghlanian May 03 2019
Article

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Gezahegn Mekonnen is an Ethiopian journalist and filmmaker, and one of the founding members of PEN Ethiopia. He currently lives in exile in Toronto, Canada, where he edits the journal New Perspectives...
Text: Gezahegn Mekonnen May 03 2019
Article

Open letter to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia

Solomon Hailemariam, author and founder of PEN Ethiopia, had to leave his homeland Ethiopia in 2015, after repeated attacks on himself and the organization. He now lives in exile in Canada, and serves...
Text: Solomon Hailemariam May 03 2019
Article

The Unsung Heroes

It is now more than six years since Swedish journalist Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson returned home after 438 days in Ethiopian prison, accused of terrorism. Today, Martin Schibbye...
Text: Martin Schibbye May 03 2019
Poetry

Poems from Exile

Sosina Ashenafi, author and journalist, was born and raised in Ethiopia, and is known for her sarcastic essay style, short story writing and her poetry. She now works and lives in Canada, where she...
Text: Sosina Ashenafi May 03 2019
Poetry

Let Me Hear Your Truth

Chaala Hailu Abata, an Ethiopian poet who was imprisoned and tortured in his country of origin for writing poetry critical of the regime, lives in safety in Sweden today. But his thoughts remain back...
Text: Chaala Hailu Abata May 03 2019
Poetry

Salt and Metal

The metallic taste of clotted blood, like the salt from a cold sweat, seems ubiquitous. Ineradicable. Liyou Libsekal was born in 1990 in Ethiopia and currently lives in Addis Ababa. She is an award...
Text: Liyou Libsekal May 03 2019
Fiction

The Booksellers on the Street

Mohammed Selman is a journalist and freelance writer, presently working for BBC Amharic. He was previously an editor at Littmann Books, one of the leading publishing houses in Ethiopia. In “The...
Text: Mohammed Selman May 03 2019
Article

The Dawn is Not Here

In 2011, award-winning Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu was sentenced to fourteen years in prison for her writing, on an accusation of “terrorism”. Her crime was having written critical texts on...
Text: Reeyot Alemu May 03 2019
Article

Censorship and Hate Speech in Ethiopia

In this text, journalist and author Bisrat Woldemichael discusses the challenges that the freedom of expression is facing in the newly democratised Ethiopia. As hate speech is highly spreading in the...
Text: Bisrat Woldemichael May 03 2019
Article

Journalism in Ethiopia: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Woubshet Taye Abebe is an Ethiopian journalist and writer. Prior to being convicted, along with three other journalists, under the Ethiopian terror act in 2011, he served as editor-in-chief of the...
Text: Woubshet Taye Abebe May 03 2019
Fiction

There is Hope Now

Lena Bezawork Grönlund was born in 1975 in Addis Abeba and was raised in Northernmost Sweden. She is a librarian, and her first novel, Slag, was published in 2017. This issue contains a text in which...
Text: Lena Bezawork Grönlund May 03 2019

Theme: Venezuela

Editorial

Liberating Writing from Venezuela

Reading the newspapers in Venezuela or hearing the news on television or radio you may well get the impression that...
Text: Elnaz Baghlanian January 22 2019
Fiction

(the business of living)

Carlos Egaña is one of Venezuela’s most prominent poets. Like many other poets of his generation he mainly publishes his poetry online. Internet has become a second home since traditional media are...
Text: Carlos Egaña January 22 2019
Interview

“We’re Living under a Systematic Censorship”

President Nicolás Maduro was recently sworn in for a new six-year term of office. No democratic country recognises him as the legitimate leader of the country, but that doesn’t stop the regime. The...
Text: Henrik Brandão Jönsson January 22 2019
Article

The Testimony of a Political Prisoner

Venezuela still has a long way to go concerning LGBT rights. For example, Venezuelan law does not recognize same sex marriages or partnerships. When Rosmit Mantilla, politician and LGBT activist,...
Text: Cristina Raffalli January 22 2019
Fiction

Caracas—the City of Flies

The flies of Caracas have taken control of the journalist Luz Mely Reyes’ life. Over the past year a great amount of garbage is seen to litter the neighbourhood where she lives. The inevitable flies...
Text: Luz Mely Reyes January 22 2019
Article

On Fascination

“How is it possible that the greater the amount of nonsense the more passive is my spell state?” asks the Venezuelan writer and architect Federica Vega in his essay where he explores how a fascination...
Text: Federico Vegas January 22 2019
Article

The Censor’s Evil Dream

In February 2018 a delegation from PEN International visited Caracas to examine the state of the freedom of speech in the country. The outcome of this visit is a report by the Mexican writer and...
Text: Alicia Quiñones January 22 2019
Fiction

The Country of Broken Mirrors

The crisis in Venezuela is worsening. The political, economical, humanitarian, and social developments in the country have in the year 2018 forced two million people to flee their homes. “The country,...
Text: Fedosy Santaella January 22 2019
Article

Waking up to Everyday’s Nightmare

Amnesty International reports that in Venezuela between 2015 and June 2017 more than 8 200 people were executed without trial. In his text the Venezuelan writer and editor Héctor Torres describes the...
Text: Héctor Torres January 22 2019
Fiction

Super-Cheap Scenes

With her blog called Escenas baratonas (Super-Cheap Scenes), the writer Margarita Arribas Zamora has renewed the well-known Venezuelan genre costumbrismo (depictions of daily life). Here we are...
Text: Margarita Arribas Zamora January 22 2019
Article

“I Came Here to Remind You that Our Freedom Ends”

In February 2018, the journalist and chairman of Venezuelan PEN, Milagros Socorro received Oxfam Novib/PEN Award for Freedom of Expression. Here, we publish her moving acceptance speech.
Text: Milagros Socorro January 22 2019

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