– PEN sees a global threat


Cultural news

Thursday November 11, 2021

PEN sees a global threat

According to the authors’ association PEN, numerous members of the writing industry are illegally imprisoned around the world. Unfortunately, the threat to authors has not diminished, said the Vice President of the German PEN Center, Ralf Nestmeyer, in Darmstadt. The PEN also renewed its appeal to the European Union “to stop ignoring the brutal suppression of freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Eritrea”. There has been no trace of twelve authors since September 2001. The reason for the appeal is the Day of the Imprisoned Writer on November 15th. The memorial day was launched in 1980 by the “Writers in Prison” committee of the international PEN.

Sasa Stanisic awarded the Marbach Schiller Prize

The author Sasa Stanisic has been awarded the Schiller Prize of the city of Marbach. The writer, who was born in Yugoslavia at the time, dealt with power and rule, war and revolution as well as the struggle for individual freedom in an inventive and virtuoso manner, the Marbach city administration declared when the award was announced. Friedrich Schiller also dealt with these issues. Stanisic fled to Heidelberg with his parents when he was 14. Today he lives in Hamburg. The 43-year-old received the German Book Prize in 2019 for his autobiographical work “Origin”. The € 10,000 Schiller Prize is awarded every two years on November 10th, Schiller’s birthday, to personalities who, in their life or work, follow the tradition of thought Poet are obliged.

Peri Rossi receives Cervantes Prize

The Uruguayan writer Cristina Peri Rossi is awarded this year’s Cervantes Literature Prize. This was announced by Spain’s Minister of Culture Miquel Iceta in Madrid. Peri Rossi, who lives in Montevideo, is one of the most famous contemporary writers in Latin America. Her novels such as “Loner of Love” or “Dostoevsky’s Last Night” and volumes of poetry such as “Mona Lisa and her painter” have also been published in German. Shortly before the start of the military dictatorship in her South American homeland, she went into exile in Barcelona in 1972. She also lived in what was then West Berlin for a year. Peri Rossi will be 80 years old on Thursday. The Cervantes Prize is considered the most important literary award in the Spanish-speaking world and is endowed with 125,000 euros. Peri Rossi is only the fifth woman to be honored with the award.

Basquiat painting auctioned for $ 40 million

A painting by the US artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was auctioned in New York for the equivalent of around 35 million euros. “The Guilt of Gold Teeth” from 1982 was the most expensive item sold by Christie’s auction house on Tuesday evening. In total, bidders from 27 countries tried to purchase the picture, according to Christie’s. With his neo-expressionism, Basquiat shaped the New York art scene in the 80s together with his colleague Andy Warhol. In total, Christie’s art auctioned for approximately $ 219 million. This included a physical and digital NFT work by artist Mike Winkelmann alias Beeple for just under $ 29 million. An NFT (non-fungible token) is a type of digital certificate of authenticity: there can be any number of identical copies of the item, but only this one can be considered the original.

Unknown song with Beatles participation

A hitherto unknown song involving two of the Beatles has surfaced in Birmingham. This is reported by several British media. The pychedelic piece called “Radhe Shaam” was produced by the Indian journalist Suresh Joshi, who found the recording in his loft during the lockdown. George Harrison can be heard on guitar and Ringo Starr on drums. The two had just taken a break while working in the studio on “Hey Jude” in 1968 and offered to play along. So far, 100 people have heard the song in the Beatles Museum in Liverpool, and it has now also been broadcast on the BBC’s radio. Now a charity publication is planned.

FU Berlin reconstructs a 9,000 year old necklace

Archaeologists from the Free University of Berlin have given the museum in Petra, Jordan, a 9,000-year-old necklace. According to the university, the necklace made of more than 2,500 pearls was found in excavations about 14 kilometers north of Petra in 2018 – in the grave of a child from the Neolithic Age. Scientists from the FU evaluated the finds from there and reconstructed them together with restorers from the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. The necklace can now be seen in the Petra Museum. The rock city in the south of Jordan was the capital of the empire of the Nabataeans in ancient times. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

Cologne gets a memorial for NSU victims

Cologne receives a memorial in memory of the attacks by the right-wing extremist terrorist cell NSU. According to the city, the council decided to accept a design by the Berlin artist Ulf Aminde. The memorial site, about 6 by 24 meters in size, consists of a large concrete slab. It is said to be in Cologne’s Keupstrasse and reflects the floor plan of the house in front of which a nail bomb exploded in 2004. 22 people were injured at the time, four of them seriously. There had been disputes over the monument for years. The problem was that the proposed property belonged to a private investor who did not want to make the site available. That changed after a change of ownership.

Protests against cuts in Lower Saxony

Several thousand people in Lower Saxony protested against planned cuts in the theater and orchestra. They moved from the opera in Hanover through the city center to the state parliament. The current budget of the red-black state government provides for cuts in the millions, criticized the action alliance “#RetteDeinTheater”. In addition to the state theater in Hanover, the municipal theaters and orchestras in Celle, Göttingen, Lüneburg and Osnabrück as well as the independent theaters and venues are also affected. The union ver.di, the German Orchestra Association, the Union of German Stage Members and the Association of German Opera Choirs and Stage Dancers formed the action alliance.

US Holocaust Museum suspects Uyghur genocide

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum accuses the Chinese government of systematic human rights violations against the Uyghurs. The provision is underpinned by a 56-page report in which, among other things, forced sterilization, mass imprisonment, separation of families, torture and the destruction of religious sites are documented. The museum said it is seriously concerned that Beijing may commit genocide against the Muslim minority. The Uyghurs are a Turkic-speaking ethnic group who now predominantly live in the autonomous province of Xinjiang in northwest China. In many cases they insist on their religious identity and are regarded as a source of unrest for the communist central government in Beijing.

“42 Berlin” programming school founded

A free programming school has been founded in Berlin, which is supported by a number of large companies. For example, money flows from Volkswagen, Bayer, SAP and Microsoft. As the school’s sponsoring association announced, “42 Berlin” should make it easier for the tech talents of tomorrow to get started and contribute to leading society and the economy into the digital future. The facility is organized almost like a computer game, in which different levels can be reached. The students work in study groups. It will start in autumn 2022, and around 150 applicants are expected to be accepted every year. The name “42” pays homage to the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by the British author Douglas Adams. There the number is the answer to the question about the meaning of life.


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