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Arnold Karskens

(Beemster, 1964) as a child listened spellbound to the stories of adults about World War II. It didn't come as a surprise that he decided to become a war correspondent after his journalism study. Since then he has visited some thirty places of conflict. Karskens never goes as an 'embedded' journalist but insists on his independence. That's why he received the honorary prize "Journalist for Peace" of the Humanistisch Vredesberaad (Humanist Peace Council). The jury praised him for being 'one of the few' in the news coverage on Iraq and Afghanistan who declines to see everything through western eyes but shows how the actions of the west form the breeding ground for embitterment in the Islamic world against the West. In addition he was recipient in 2008 of the Clara Meijer-Wichmann medal of the League for Human Rights and J'Accuse. Karskens wrote several books, Reizen langs de frontlijn (travelling along the frontline), "A handbook for journalists, relief workers and adventurers". In his latest book Rebellen met een reden (Rebels with a cause) he probes what it is that people inspires in choosing the life of a rebel – from deserter Poncke Princen to FARC-rebel Tanja Nijmeijer. Karskens worked as a freelancer for fifteen years, worked part-time for Nieuwe Revu and now works with daily newspaper De Pers.

(nov 2010)

Archive available for: Arnold Karskens

  • Winternachten 2011

    Oxfam Novib - PEN Awards

    With: Andrei Nekrasov, Arnold Karskens, David Van Reybrouck, Joris Luyendijk, Lionel Veer, Tom van der Lee, Xandra Schutte

    Winternachten is pleased that Oxfam Novib and Dutch PEN are announcing the winners of the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards at the festival. One of the laureates will come to The Hague to collect his or her prize.

    The Oxfam Novib/PEN Awards are given out annually. Prizes are awarded to writers and artists who refuse to remain silent but instead dare to make their opinions heard and get into difficulty as a result. Lionel Veer, the Dutch human rights ambassador, will present the awards.

    Straight after this the PEN Dispute starts, organised by Writers Unlimited in cooperation with Dutch PEN. In times of war, under dictatorial rule, and in extreme circumstances the governments involved try to control and manipulate news coverage. Propaganda and censorship are well-known methods to influence public opinion, but nowadays technological manipulation of the news is within the bounds of possibility. How are these novel methods of manipulation put into action and why must they be exposed? And how does manipulation of the media work here in the West? Raoul Heertje talks to writers and journalists Joris Luyendijk, Arnold Karskens, Xandra Schutte and David van Reybrouck about these issues. Award ceremony in English. PEN Dispute in Dutch.