AZIZ ISA ELKUN
Director of Uyghur PEN Centre Online Revitalisation Project
Board member of Uyghur PEN Centre
Aziz Isa Elkun is a writer, poet and academic. He was born in Shayar County in East Turkistan. He graduated from Urumchi University. He has been living in London since 2001. In London, he studied at Birkbeck University. He has published many poems, stories, and research articles in both Uyghur and and English language (www.azizisa.org). He has co-authored English language articles in Inner Asia and Central Asian Survey (‘Invitation to a Mourning Ceremony’: Perspectives on the Uyghur Internet and Islam by smartphone: reading the Uyghur Islamic revival on WeChat’). From 2013 to 2020, he worked as a Research Assistant on the “Sounding Islam China” and “Uyghur Meshrep in Kazakhstan” (www.meshrep.uk) projects based at SOAS, University of London. In 2012, he published his first book “Journey from Danube river to the Orkhun valley” in Uyghur. He is an active member of the exile Uyghur Community and founder of a Uyghur music group – the London Uyghur Ensemble. From September 2017 to October 2020, he has served as Secretary of the PEN International Uyghur Centre (www.uyghurpen.org). Since January 2021, he is working as a Director for the Uyghur PEN Centre Online Revitalisation Project.
Uyghur PEN Centre Online Revitalisation Project
As we all know, the current situation of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China is critical and deteriorating. Uyghur writers, poets, academics and artists who have tried to exercise their basic rights to freedom of expression have become primary targets and victims of China’s Xi Jinping’s genocidal policies in the region. The Uyghur PEN Centre, a subordinate diaspora PEN Centre of the PEN International family, has encountered many hurdles over the past 10 years like many other exile writers, however we are determined to continue our work and give our best efforts to maintain our centre. The Uyghur PEN Centre is one of the only Uyghur organisations that participate in international organisation, we campaign to raise awareness of the current Uyghur crisis. We are looking forward to the fast approaching Centenary of PEN International and we would like to celebrate this special occasion by revitalising our PEN Centre as a fresh and dynamic presence among the PEN Family. All your collaboration and support for our work is hugely appreciated.