Currently, PEN Vlaanderen has about 200 members, representing the wide variety of authors in Flanders. Flanders is the northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. (Dutch is one of the three official languages of Belgium, next to French and German. In English it is often erroneously described as ‘Flemish’, though it is the same language that is spoken in the Netherlands, albeit with a slight accent.)

PEN Vlaanderen actively defends fellow-writers around the world, both through direct and indirect support. Direct support entails:

  • receiving authors in our PEN flat in Antwerp
  • adopting authors by our Writers in Prison Committee
  • sending letters to emprisoned writers and responsible authorities
  • negotiating freedom of expression with regional, national and European policy-makers

Indirect support consists of a wide variety of activities in the public sphere such as

  • publishing reports
  • writing op-eds in newspapers and magazines
  • getting the national media involved with PEN
  • organizing regular readings for visiting authors
  • going to secondary schools to teach pupils about freedom of expression

Candidate for a residence in our PEN-flat in Antwerp?

Please contact us on penflatantwerpen@gmail.com

PEN International
PEN Vlaanderen is the flemish centre of PEN International: “In time of division between countries, PEN International is one of the rare institutions to keep a bridge constantly open” (Mario Vargas Llosa). Originally founded in 1921 to promote literature, today PEN International has 145 Centres in 104 countries across the globe. It recognises that literature is essential to understanding and engaging with other worlds; if you can’t hear the voice of another culture how can you understand it?

Our primary goal is to engage with, and empower, societies and communities across cultures and languages, through reading and writing. We believe that writers can play a crucial role in changing and developing civil society. We do this through the promotion of literature, international campaigning on issues such as translation and freedom of expression and improving access to literature at international, regional and national levels.

Our membership is open to all qualified writers who subscribe to the PEN Charter regardless of nationality, language, race, colour or religion. International PEN is a non-political organisation and has special consultative status at UNESCO and the United Nations.

The Centres are autonomous organisations that organise their own programme of activities that work towards the guiding principles of International PEN and the Charter. These include producing publications, literary prizes and public literary events as well as community programmes focusing on education and engagement with reading and writing. Centres work with International PEN through the regional programmes to develop activities and Centre capacity. The Centres can also elect to be members of the different Committees to be part of their work on freedom of expression issues, women writers, translation and linguistic rights and writers for peace.

PEN Vlaanderen est le centre belge néerlandophone de PEN International, une organisation mondiale qui promeut la littérature et défend la liberté d’expression.

C’est une association d’écrivains internationale, apolitique et non gouvernementale, fondée en 1921 par Catherine Amy Dawson Scott avec l’appui de John Galsworthy. Elle a pour but de « rassembler des écrivains de tous pays attachés aux valeurs de paix, de tolérance et de liberté sans lesquelles la création devient impossible ».

PEN Vlaanderen est l’un des deux centres PEN belges, l’autre étant le centre francophone de Belgique. PEN Vlaanderen compte actuellement 200 membres représentant la grande diversité de la littérature en Flandre, la comunauté néerlandophone de Belgique. (Le néerlandais est l’une des trois langues officielles du pays, avec le français et l’allemand.)

PEN Vlaanderen défend activement les écrivains dans le monde, et cela de manière directe ou indirecte.

Le soutien direct consiste à :

  • accueillir des auteurs dans notre appartement d’écrivains à Anvers
  • “adopter” des auteurs, c’est-à-dire leur offrir un soutien personnel par notre Comité d’aide aux écrivains emprisonnés
  • envoyer des lettres aux écrivains en prison et aux autorités responsables
  • négocier la liberté d’expression avec des politiciens régionaux, nationaux et européens.

Le soutien indirect consiste à :

  • publier des rapports sur la situation mondiale des écrivains menacés
    écrire des articles d’opinion
  • mobiliser les médias nationaux
  • sensibiliser les collégiens et les lycéens à la liberté d’expression

Vous voulez être accuelli dans notre appartement d’écrivains à Anvers?

Contactez nous:  penflatantwerpen@gmail.com