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PEN International Day of the Imprisoned Writer

When

Writers and journalists are often among the first citizens targeted and punished by autocratic leaders. With creeping authoritarianism and instability in many regions around the world, it’s an increasingly dangerous time for writers of all kinds.

On the eve of PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer, we’ll hold a special panel event as part of our Writers in Exile series to discuss old and emerging threats to literary freedoms today.

Host Sami Shah will welcome back the three writers who have shared their personal stories of exile  – journalist Roza Germian, playwright Samah Sabawi and playwright and poet Mammad Aidani – for the last conversation in the series. They’ll discuss their own experiences and their knowledge of press and literary restriction in their respective home countries. They’ll talk, too, about the role Australia can and should play on the international stage with regards to protecting and protesting the freedom of writers here and overseas.  

Join us as we talk free minds, free words and free expression today.

Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Featuring

Sami Shah

Sami Shah is a multi-award winning comedian, writer, journalist and broadcaster. Sami’s comedy has won the Best Local Act at the 2013 Perth International Comedy Festival, and Best Comedy at 2016 Fringe World. He’s performed multiple sold-out runs at comedy festivals across Australia, as well... Read more

Roza Germian

Roza Germian was born in the second year of the eight year-long Iran-Iraq war, in the city of Kirkuk under the Baathist rule. The majority of Kirkuk’s population were of Kurdish background and regularly targeted by the Baathist regime. In 1991, during the first Gulf War, her family along with four... Read more

Samah Sabawi

Samah Sabawi is an award-winning playwright, author and poet. Her critically acclaimed play Tales of a City by the Sea was selected for the 2016 Victorian Certificate of Education Drama Playlist, won two Drama Victoria awards for best new Australian publication and best performance for VCE and w... Read more

Mammad Aidani

Mammad Aidani is a human rights advocate, acclaimed poet, playwright, theatre director, and distinguished psychosocial researcher investigating the violence, torture and trauma experienced by Iranians and Middle Eastern immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have resettled in Australia and the... Read more

Location

The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.