Writing in Exile: PEN International Day of the Imprisoned Writer


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Photograph of Sami Shah, Samah Sabawi, Mammad Aidani and Roza Germian

Sami Shah, Samah Sabawi, Mammad Aidani and Roza Germian at the Wheeler Centre

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 held 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 welcomed 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 discuss their own experiences and their knowledge of press and literary restriction in their respective home countries – as well as the role Australia can and should play on the international stage with regards to protecting and protesting the freedom of writers here and overseas.

Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne.

33 episodes