The power of words

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Universitetsaulan Biskopsgatan 3. South enrance (Klockporten).
  • Website
  • Organiser: Svenska PEN i samarbete med Uppsala universitet
  • Contact person: Hanna Nordell
  • Föreläsning

In connection with the International PEN congress some public events are available.

Panel: At the Limits of Free Expression: the Problem of Hate Speech
With: Siri Hustvedt, Salil Tripathi, Danson Kahyana.
Moderator: Jesper Bengtsson.
Something has changed in the way we talk to each other, not least on social media. The tone is becoming harsher, threats and hatred dominate, and polarisation makes it harder to come together in a meaningful conversation. Hate speech silences voices across the world, making it one of the fastest growing threats to freedom of expression today. What does this mean for democracy and political discourse? What does it do to all of us as citizens? And most importantly, how can we meet the challenges it raises?

Panel: Absence and disappearance
Medverkande: Yassin al-Haj Saleh, Burhan Sönmez.

Meet Yassin Al-Haj Saleh in a conversation with Burhan Sönmez about the notions of disappearance and absence. Both notions are a sign of extreme societal and political struggle and are common in the Middle East, a region witnessing governmental oppression, and also political religious formations like Da´esh and Jaish al Islam.

Panel: Access to Cultural Rights in Times of War
Medverkande: Andrei Kurkov (PEN Ukraine), Hayder Hamzoz (PEN Iraq), Neelufer Suhrabi (PEN Afghanistan), Andrea Lesic (PEN Bosnia). Moderator: Germán Rojas (PEN Chile).

Arts and culture are frequently the first casualties of war and often the least prioritised when states transition from conflict. What is the role of the writer and literature in safeguarding culture and rebuilding cultural capital? How can PEN use literature to promote greater understanding and tolerance towards social cohesion and sustaining peace? How can PEN help in promoting a better understanding between peoples that have lived in historical conflict? How do we ensure that literature remains the common currency among people despite profound differences, to override any attempts to hamper its transmission and protect its potential for creating tolerant debate?

The event will be held in English.

Free of charge. Limited seating. Registration mandatory for on-site participation. Register here. Note! Doors open 1.30-1.50pm.

Live streamed on