(India) is an award-winning Indian investigative journalist and contributor to the independent news website scroll.in.
Until recently, Subramaniam was based in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, where she sought to shine a light on the plight of those living in a region rocked by insecurity and Maoist insurgency, reporting on the alleged torture of journalists, allegations of sexual violence committed by the security forces in Bijapur, and on alleged human trafficking, among other topics. In February of this year, after a vigilante group began protesting outside her home, demanding, "Death to Malini Subramaniam" and attempted to incite her neighbours to attack her home. Later the same evening unidentified assailants threw stones at her house. Subramaniam and her family were forced to leave their home after the local authorities not only failed to defend her, but intimidated her maid and put pressure on her landlord to evict her. Subramaniam's experience has exposed the situation in the state to international scrutiny. Journalists in Chhattisgarh are under sustained pressure from the authorities and rebels alike. A recent fact-finding mission by the Editors Guild of India reports that not one journalist feels safe. At least two other journalists have fled the state, while four have been detained by the authorities. Subramaniam is the recipient of CPJ (Committee to protect journalists) 2016 International Press Freedom Award.
Archive available for: Malini Subramaniam
With: Anass Habib, Celal Altuntas, Farah Karimi, Ian Buruma, Jennifer Clement, Kamal Hors, Lex Bohlmeijer, Malini Subramaniam, Michaïl Sjisjkin, Peter Abspoel, Sjoerd de Jong, Ton van de Langkruis, Vonne van der Meer
On the festival's Opening Night, the focus is on freedom of speech. The evening started with Mikhail Shishkin, one of the most prominent representatives of contemporary Russian literature, delivering the Free the Word! speech. Next, the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards were handed out. The debate ''Writing in times of super-diversity' with writers Ian Buruma, Celal Altuntas and Peter Abspoel closed the evening.
The Opening Night is an English spoken programme organized in collaboration with Oxfam Novib, PEN International and PEN Nederland.
Free the Word!-speech by Mikhail Shishkin
Shishkin is the author of four widely acclaimed novels Pismovnik (2010), Maidenhair (2005), Taking of Izmail (2000) and Larionov´s Memoirs (1994), Shishkin is admired as a refined stylist whose fiction engages Russian and European literary traditions and forges an equally expansive vision for the future of literature. Shishkin has worked as a teacher and journalist. His novels have earned him the three most prestigious Russian literary awards: the Russian Booker Prize in 2000, the National Bestseller Prize in 2005, and the Bolshaya Kniga (Big Book) Prize in 2006 and 2011. His works have been translated into thirty languages.
Oxfam Novib PEN Awards
Afterward, the presentation of the prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards honoured today's writers who risk their freedom and even their lives to seek out and publish the truth. The winners were be announced: the Palestine poetr Ashraf Fayadh, who is imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, and the Indian journalist Malini Subramaniam. The latter was able to come over to The Hague to receive the award from Farah Karimi, director of Oxfam Novib.
Debate with Ian Buruma, Celal Altuntas and Peter Abspoel
The debate 'Writing in times of super-diversity' followed, featuring writer and essayist Ian Buruma (New York Times, Guardian, NRC), writer Celal Altuntas (a.o. Het dorp van zeven broers / The Village of Seven Brothers) and anthropologist/writer Peter Abspoel (a.o. Zingeving in het Westen / Giving meaning in the West) as well as moderator Sjoerd de Jong, journalist and ombudsman with NRC Handelsblad newspaper. The subject was "Writing in times of super-diversity."
Host and music
This program was presented by Lex Bohlmeijer, with musical accompaniment by Kamal Hors (oud, voice) and Anass Habib (deff, voice).