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Uyghur PEN Centre Conference in Crimea 19 July 2012.
 

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

    PEN International Sat 20 March 2021 Today the world marks World Poetry Day, an opportunity to celebrate and promote poetry and the power and creativity of language. Each year on this day, PEN International highlights the case of poets who face great challenges across the globe simply for their work, and asks its members and supporters to take action on their behalf.  When I think of the poets incarcerated in the world and punished, I think of poetry. Poetry is almost the only thing that has no monetary value. You cannot sell a poem. Nobody wants to buy a poem. Poems are not for sale in the market by the apples and peaches, or in the auction houses by sculptures and paintings. I confess that it gives me a strange wonder and shock to think that a poem is so powerful and so dangerous that a poet can be locked up and sentenced to death for rhymes and couplets, for metaphors and symbols. When contemplating how dangerous poems have become, I recall the words of British poet and novelist Thomas Hardy: ‘If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the Inquisition might have let him alone’. In our times, if Galileo had inked his discoveries in free verse with stanza breaks, he might be looking at the sky- his round, telescope-shaped sky- from a prison cell.    Mahvash Sabet, imprisoned in Iran in 2008 and freed 10 years later in 2017, penned impassioned poems to Fariba with whom she shared a cell at the beginning of her incarceration. Sabet wrote: ‘O my companion in the cage! How many cruelties we saw together; how many favours too and blessings in our isolation. […] They tied your wings to mine, feather to feather, and you rested your head beside mine every night’. The poet Li Bifeng, […]

     
  • Celebrating World Poetry Day & Nowruz Festival with Uyghur poetry

    دۇنيا شېئىرىيەت كۈنى ۋە نوۋرۇز بايرىمىنى كۈتۈۋېلىش: ئۇيغۇر شائىرلار مۇشائىرەسى پائالىيەت ۋاقتى: 2021-يىلى 21-مارت لوندون ۋاقتى ئەتىگەن سائەت 10 دا تورى ئارقىلىق ئېلىپ بېرىلىدۇ Webex پائالىيەتئالدىدىن تىزىملىتىش ئارقىلىق بۇ پائالىيەتكە قاتنىشالايسىز: تىزىملىتىش www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrating-world-poetry-day-nowruz-festival-with-uyghur-poetry-tickets-145845055487 پائالىيەت خەلقئارا قەلەمكەشلەر ئۇيغۇر مەركىزى بىلەن خەلقئارا قەلەمكەشلەر جەمىيىتىنىڭ ھەمكارلىغىدا ئۆتكۈزۈلىدۇ Sunday 21 March 2021, 10 am London time PEN Uyghur Centre promotes literature, freedom of expression, and the right to use our mother tongue, and works to sustain Uyghur culture in the diaspora. We celebrate PEN International Centenary 2021100 years of celebrating literature and protecting freedom of expression• Date and time: Sunday 21 March 2021, 10 am London time • Topic: Uyghur poetry• Platform: Webex Webinar• Language: Uyghur and English• The Webinar will be shared live on Uyghur PEN’s Face Book.Registration on the Eventbrite:www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrating-world-poetry-day-nowruz-festival-with-uyghur-poetry-tickets-145845055487Organised: Uyghur PEN Online Revitalisation Project with the support of PEN International.www.uyghurpen.org | www.pen-international.org Celebrating World Poetry Day & Nowruz Festival with Uyghur poetry Moderators: Aziz Isa ElkunFatimah Abdulghafur Seyyah  Poetry readings by: Sabirem Anwarova (Kazakhstan)Muyesser Abdulehed (Turkey)Abdurehim Parach (Turkey)Abide Abbas Nesrin (Turkey)Gülnaz Saydullayeva (Kazakhstan)Fatimah Abdulghafur Seyyah (Australia)Vilyam Molut (Kazakhstan)Aziz Isa Elkun (England) . The “International Day of Nowruz” was proclaimed in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly. The festival of Nowruz unites the individuals and peoples of the 12 countries that together nominated the festival for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity to celebrate values of sharing and harmony. . World Poetry Day is celebrated on 21 March, and was declared by UNESCO in 1999, “with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard”. At a time of crisis for Uyghur language and culture, in the midest of China’s genocide policies towards the Uyghurs with cultural erasure in the Uyghur homeland, we celeberate the “International Day of […]

     
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  • Keeping the Uyghur Culture Alive in Exile

    03/03/2021. RUTH INGRAM BITTER WINTER MAGAZINE 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. by Ruth Ingram A #MeTooUyghur campaign organized by the anonymous @SuluArtco activist collective, set up to raise awareness about disappearing Uyghur intellectuals. 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 […]

     
  • Qurban Mamut, a retired Uyghur editor held incommunicado in China

    Published by Uyghur PEN on 15th February 2021 Qurban Mamut, a 70 years old poet, prominent journalist, and retired editor for an Uyghur language magazine the “Xinjiang Civilization”, was held in incommunicado by Chinese authority since February 2018, according to his son Bahram Qurban, who said the arrest is being used as leverage against him because he is living in exile in the U.S.  Bahram said to the Radio Free Asia on 18 October 2018 “My father never committed any crime, but the authorities regularly arrest people who have relatives living abroad [to gain leverage over them]. I believe that is why he was arrested. While it isn’t my fault, I feel that I am the reason for his arrest.”[1] After Qurban Mamut stayed incommunicado at the “Re-education Camp’ for more than three years, his son’s tirelessly campaigned and searched about his father. Finally, one Han Chinese staffer at the Xinjiang Hall of Public Culture told Bahram that she knew his father’s detainment.[2] He worked as a reporter and editor at Xinjiang Radio Station from 1976 to 1984, and Vice Editor-in-Chief at one of the most well-known magazines, Xinjiang Civilization, from 1985 to 2011. He was never a member of the Chinese Communist Party. In 2011, he retired at age 61. After he retired, he worked part-time as a requested Editor-in-Chief at Xinjiang Science Publishing house. In his more than 40 year career, he made tremendous contributions to Uyghur journalism and culture. Qurban Mamut ((库尔班 ·⻢木提), he visited his son Bahram Qurban[3] in the US in February 2017. His son, a U.S. citizen, believes that having relatives outside China is the reason behind his father’s detention. A source told him in September 2018 that Qurban Mamut had been sent to a “transformation-through-education” facility. Given his age and lack of information about his condition, there are severe concerns for […]

     
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  • Xinjiang Authorities Detain Prominent Uyghur Journalist in Political ‘Re-Education Camp’

     
  • Omerjan Hasan was arrested in April 2016 and his fate is unknown

     
  • Perhat Tursun, Uyghur poet and writer sentenced for 16 years imprisonment

     
  • New episode of PEN International’s Creative Witnesses premiered in solidarity with writers at risk in the Asia/Pacific Region

     
  • Prominent Uyghur Poet and Author Confirmed to Have Died While Imprisoned

     
  • How to sustain Uyghur culture in the diaspora?