Thursday, November 15, 2012

Funder, Politkovskaya on The Day of the Imprisoned Writer


Anna Funder on Courage from Australian Broadcasting Corporation on FORA.tv

Today is the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, an annual day intended to recognize and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression sponsored by PEN International. The timing is perfect for our reading of Anna Funder's Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall because it gives me a reason to share the author's thought-provoking PEN lecture made on this day in 2008. Her talk on the subject of courage takes the life and death of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya (Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy) as her starting point and moves to discuss the courage required for dissent in Germany and the relationship between courage and culture. (There's also some Q&A relating to Stasiland).  

If you haven't got time for the lecture, I recommend this little audio nugget from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a brief Funder interview where she talks about her motivation to bear witness.

Please visit the PEN International page to learn more about the imprisoned writers like poet and songwriter Ericson Acosta of the Phillipines and journalist and blogger Eskinger Nega of Ethiopia and take action on their behalf.  For an update on the never-ending investigation into Politkovskaya's murder see this recent article in the Washington Post.
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