Free the Word Night - Oxfam Novib PEN Award
Festive programme with Free the Word! speech and awarding of the Oxfam Novib PEN Award - English spoken
The evening programme will be opened by poet Asha Karami. Her performance will be followed by the introduction of the Free the Word!-speech by PEN International Chair Jennifer Clement. The speech, with a focus on the freedom of expression, will be held by Syrian writer and journalist Samar Yazbek.
Yazbek, born in Jableh, Syria, is the recipient of the PEN Pinter award, the PEN Tucholsky award, and the PEN Oxfam Novib Award for her book A Woman in the Crossfire (2011). Her book The Crossing received the 2016 Best Foreign Book award in France. Her books have been translated into more than 15 languages, and in 2018 Yazbek was shortlisted for the Prix Femina for her novel, La marcheuse, that was recently published in Dutch translation as De blauwe pen by Orlando Uitgevers in collaboration with Oxfam Novib.
The prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Award, given out by Oxfam Novib director Michiel Servaes, honours authors who currently risk their freedom and their lives to seek out and publish the truth.
After the ceremony, Palestinian poet Asmaa Azaizeh and Turkish writer and journalist Barbaros Altuğ will be interviewed, on behalf of PEN Netherlands, by Hassnae Bouazza and Liesbeth Staats. Azaizeh and Altuğ will also read from their works.
The evening will be enhanced with performances by classical accordeon player Oleg Lysenko and will be hosted by Hassnae Bouazza. The Free the Word - Oxfam Novib PEN Award Night is a collaboration between Oxfam Novib, PEN International, PEN Netherlands and Writers Unlimited.