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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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Celebrating Literature

 
  • Heart and Soul: The Uighur Poets

    BBC World Service 16 July 2021 Uighur poetry is and has been for centuries a fundamental part of the culture and members of the community write poetry and often recite part poems that have been passed down the generations and learn off by heart. As the community face widespread persecution by the Chinese authorities and at a time of great despair and fear for them, Uighurs speak to us about the ways in which poetry offers ways of support, succour and resistance. The programme features the voices and works of Uighurs, poets and experts from across the world.

     
  • “But a thorn was left in our tongue …”

     by Aziz Isa Elkun 25 June 2021  Brussels Morning Newspaper London (Brussels Morning)  The Uyghurs love poetry, which is very special to them. It is an essential part of Uyghur cultural heritage and expression, and plays an important role in the continuation of creativity and developing the Uyghur language and literature.  The poet Adil Tunyaz shocked the Uyghur world with his poem, written in 1992, “Qeshqerdiki yershari” (The earth of the city of Kashgar). It was read by many Uyghurs, and he became one of our most celebrated poets, with a special place in the hearts of the Uyghurs.  يۇلتۇزلار پەرۋاز قىلار تاڭ سەھەردە، پەسىللەر پەرۋاز قىلار دەرەخلەردە، بۇ شەھەر پەرۋاز قىلار چۆچەكلەردە. بۇ يەردىكى ئادەملەر، پەرۋاز قىلار يۈرەكلەردە. The stars are soaring at dawn, The seasons are flying in the trees, The city is soaring in legends. The people here, Soar in our hearts. Who is Adil Tunyaz?  He was born in 1970 into a teacher’s family in Qaghiliq County of Kashgar Prefecture.  After graduating from the Literature Faculty of Xinjiang University in 1993, he worked as a reporter for the Xinjiang People’s Radio Station in Urumchi.   I first met Adil in September 1989 when both of us were studying at Xinjiang University. I studied Russian at the Foreign Languages Department, and Adil studied Literature at the Literature department. These two departments were located inside a two-storey Soviet-style building; we called it “seriq bina” (the yellow building) because its walls were painted yellow. In those years, our student lives were full of turmoil; we had experienced a series of demonstrations and protests in the fast-changing political landscape of China before the Tiananmen Student movement was brutally oppressed.  Though we were university students, our daily life was regimented; we had two compulsory evening self-study sessions after dinner.  Adil was interested in learning […]

     
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  • The Poetry of Trauma – Webinar

    Uyghur poetry reading  –  مۇشائىرە –  Mushaira   ئۇيغۇر شېئىرىيىتىئۈرۈمچى 5-ئىيۇل قىرغىنچىلىقىنىڭ 12 يىللىقىنى خاتىرىلەش ۋە 2021- يىلى ئۇيغۇر قىرغىنچىلىقى بىلەن ياشاش Remembering the 12th anniversary of the 5 July Urumchi Massacre, and living with Uyghur Genocide in 2021 ئازابقا تولغان نەزمىلار The Poetry of Trauma ۋاقتى: 2021-يىلى 4-ئىيۇل لوندون ۋاقتى 15:00Sunday 4 July 2021, 15:00 London time PEN Uyghur Centre promotes literature, freedom of expression, and the right to use mother tongue, and works to sustain Uyghur culture in the diaspora.  We celebrate PEN International Centenary 2021 !100 years of celebrating literature and protecting freedom of expression ! • Date and time: Sunday 4 July 2021, 15:00 London time • Topic: Uyghur poetry • Platform: Webex Webinar  • Language: Uyghur  • The Webinar will be shared live on Uyghur PEN’s Face Book.  
Registration on the Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-poetry-of-trauma–tickets-160995633273 Moderators:  Aziz Isa ElkunDirector of Uyghur PEN Online Revitalisation Project 
Poets:  Medinay Bawudun (USA)Omerjan Imin (Germany)Aygul Yusuf (Norway)Rahile Kamal (Sweden)Abduljan Aznibaqiev (Kazakhstan)Kunduzay Hamut (Sweden)Mustafa Halil (United Kingdom)Aziz Isa Elkun (United Kingdom) On July 5, 12 years ago in Urumchi, thousands of Uyghurs, led by the relatives of the dead workers and university students, took to the streets to ask the authorities to investigate the incident that took place in Shaoguan, Guangdong province of China on 26 June 2009, and bring the perpetrators to justice. In this incident around 20 Uyghur factory workers were killed and many others were injured when a mob of Han Chinese workers raided the dormitories of Uyghur workers. The peaceful Uyghur protestors asked the government not to remain indifferent to the incident and commission an independent delegation to investigate. However, Chinese police used tear gas and heavy weapons and opened fire on the protestors.  According to Uyghur sources and witness accounts, at least 500 people, most of whom were Uyghurs, were killed on July 5 and the […]

     
  • Keeping the Uyghur Culture Alive in Exile

    by RUTH INGRAM 03/03/2021 Non-Chinese culture is repressed or reduced to a tourist attraction in Xinjiang. But exile and sorrow have produced a flurry of poetry and creativity among the diaspora. Strange bedfellows; tear gas and poets, tasers and writers, electric cattle prods, handcuffs and artists; folklorists and pepper spray. But when orders come down from the top to break Uyghur lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins, and CCP procurement figures for a secret network of transformation through education camps include instruments of torture, the pieces of the puzzle start to make sense. No one willingly walks into the annihilation of their culture. Unreasonable force will be part of the deal. Not content with rounding up so-called “holy warriors,” “splittists” and “the politically dangerous” for Beijing’s euphemistically named “vocational training” program, more than 400 academics have also been dragged into the black hole of internment and the disappeared since the start of a program of cultural annihilation, which began in 2017. Unlike most Uyghurs who were corralled into 24/7 Chinese language classes and political indoctrination, these university professors, writers, poets, singers, and dancers are fluent Mandarin speakers and often loyal Party members. Accused of being two-faced traitors and half-hearted supporters of the regime, these intellectuals’ only crime is their love for Uyghur history and culture, and their desire to see their nation flourish. They have all without exception vanished, and with them a vital bridge to the intangible cultural heritage they embody. Uyghur writers, poets, and academics gathered online last week to commemorate UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day and the 100-year anniversary of PEN International, a worldwide association of writers, founded in London in 1921 to promote literature and defend freedom of expression worldwide. Members of the Uyghur PEN Centre, one of more than one hundred and fifty mother tongue groups around the world, […]

     
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  • For PEN’s Poets: reflections by Jennifer Clement, President of PEN International

     
  • Keeping the Uyghur Culture Alive in Exile

     
  • How to sustain Uyghur culture in the diaspora?