PEN Sydney - News

Censorship, surveillance, and harassment: China cracks down on critics

Censorship, surveillance, and harassment: China cracks down on critics

Hours after the Chinese Communist Party proposed a constitutional change last month to lift presidential term limits, any words or phrases that remotely suggested President Xi Jingping was seeking a life term were blocked from social media. Censors targeted everything from Emperor Xi, The Emperor’s Dream, and Dream of Returning to the Great Qing, to Winnie the Pooh, a reference to Xi’s apparent resemblance to the cartoon character, the China Digital Times reported.

Projecting a rebellious voice that gives plenty of lip

Projecting a rebellious voice that gives plenty of lip

Award-winning novelist Melissa Lucashenko will deliver the next PEN Free Voices address on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer on November 15.

Silenced in ways that no-one hears your shouts and screams

Silenced in ways that no-one hears your shouts and screams

Behrouz Boochani, 35, is a Kurdish journalist, poet and film producer. On his second attempt to make a boat crossing from Indonesia to Australia he was intercepted, detained on Christmas Island and after one month was transferred to the Manus Island detention centre in August 2013 where he remains. This is his latest report from detention. 

No Escape From Manus Island

No Escape From Manus Island

Mark Isaacs, author of The Undesirables: Inside Nauru and Nauru Burning, was commissioned to visit Manus Island last November by the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin as part of an anthology for the ‘State of Refugees’ project. 

This article is adapted from an essay he wrote for Foreign Policy.

When cartoonists are in the line of fire

When cartoonists are in the line of fire

In her Free Voices address on the 2017 Day of The Imprisoned Writer, award-winning cartoonist Cathy Wilcox looked at the ways in which cartoonists suffer and are punished, imprisoned and even killed for speaking out and drawing truths that the powerful – or fanatical - would rather not be seen. 

Boxed in and loving it: Acclaimed cartoonist Cathy Wilcox

Boxed in and loving it: Acclaimed cartoonist Cathy Wilcox

Cartoonist Cathy Wilcox considers whether she might be addicted to the news. Initially she thinks not. But after a minute or two reflection...

World Press Freedom Day: New Call for Protection of Journalists

World Press Freedom Day: New Call for Protection of Journalists

Over 250 writers, publishers and PEN members have joined a PEN International open letter to the European Commission calling for justice for Daphne ...

In a story well told, the filmmakers feel hearts and the tide changing

In a story well told, the filmmakers feel hearts and the tide changing

It has been eight years since producer Charlotte Mars and director Maya Newell began making Gayby Baby, an award-winning feature documentary starring four young people whose parents are gay. Hindsight got Maya Newell thinking. Certainly, the film caused a stir and got people talking, but what change did it make? 

Australian journalist Peter Greste to give "War on Journalism" Address at Sydney Writer's Festival

Australian journalist Peter Greste to give "War on Journalism" Address at Sydney Writer's Festival

Australian Journalist Peter Greste has been announced as PEN Sydney's special guest speaker at this year's Sydney Writer's Festival.  Since 9/11, t...

Writers under threat in an authoritarian age

Writers under threat in an authoritarian age

Right now, journalism is under threat.  While individuals have access to more content than ever before, rapid technological change has facilitated ...

SSI and PEN Sydney host successful Vivid Ideas debate

SSI and PEN Sydney host successful Vivid Ideas debate

The statement was made: “Artists shouldn’t be restricted by cultural boundaries when creating work”. There was laughter, jeers and cheers in this...

Russian journalist warned by anonymous text messages to stop reporting

Russian journalist warned by anonymous text messages to stop reporting

New York, July 18, 2017. Russian authorities should investigate threatening messages that business reporter Rinat Sagdiyev said he has received, an...