This is a reviewed version of the day-by-day report I posted on the “PEN International on Facebook” page.
Wednesday, May 16
Greetings to everybody. Temperature was of + 5° and it rained :o(
In the evening, after a welcome address by the Mayor of Bled, Mr. Fajfar, there was a literary evening about Prekmurje and Porabje, the Pannonian part of Slovenia.
Afterwards we attended to a reception given by the President of Slovenia, Mr. Türk.
Thursday, May 17
Nice weather, today :o)
Today in the morning 1st Round Table about "Transformation - new paths or the decline of western rational civilisation".
During the 1st Round Table there were contribution by Mr. Joze Trontelj, President of the Slovene Academy of Science and Arts, as well of Janko Prunk, Sylvestre Clancier, Elizabet Csicsery-Ronay, Jean-Luc Despax, Jean-Philippe Domecq, Zeki Ergas and Andràs Petocz.
Tone Persak was the moderator.
Still nice weather :o)
This afternoon we had the 2nd Round table about "Perennial modernity", with interventions of Sibila Petlevski, Jeanine Baude, Sazana Capriqi, Sidney Lea, Tone Persak, Zvonimir Radeljkovic, Marjan Strojan, Lindita Tahiri, Hans Thill and Franca Tiberto.
Sibila Petlevski was the moderator.
In the evening there was a number of readings of poetry in Bled, Grosuplje, Kamna Gorica, Kranj, Maribor, Radovljica, Skofja Loka, Trzin and Vrba.
I read in Kamna gorica together with Bluma Finkelstein, Zeki Ergas and Patrizia Vascotto, with Ifigenija Simonovic as moderator.
Late in the evening we could see the movie "Nach der Stille" of Marcus Vetter about the story of Yael Armanet - Chernobroda , widow of Dov Chernobroda, who was murdered in a terrorist attack on March 31,2002.
Yael after seeing "The heart of Jenin" of Marcus Vetter - a Palestinian father giving the organs of his child who found death in an operation of the Israeli Army - asked Vetter to make a movie helping her to meet the family of the young suicide bomber who killed her husband. Bluma Finkelstein accompanied her in this trip to Jenin.
I happen to know both the ladies and found the film very moving.
Friday, May 18
Today there was a Round Table of the Writers for Peace Committee about "Sharing with others, a path for peace". Edi Kovac will be moderator and contributions of him, Colin Carberry, Sylvestre Clancier, Zeki Ergas, Rita El Khayat, Zineb El Rhazoui, Teresa Salema and Elizabeth Nordgren were expected.
A very interesting morning: Edi Kovac asked Bluma Finkelstein to enlarge on the subject of the movie we saw yesterday night.
There was a lively discussion to which Ali Amar (PEN Maroc), Zineb El Rhazoui (Pen Maroc) Jean Luc Despax (PEN France), Luan Starova (PEN Macedonia) and Bluma itself took part.
Further contributions by Vladimir Merta (Czech PEN), Josep-Maria Terricabras (Pen Català, represented by Carme Arenas) and Narcis Comadira. Elizabet Nordgren was not present.
In the evening a literary session with Sydney Lea, an American poet, in Ljubljana Castle.
Thanks to Mr. Janez Fajfar, Mayor of Bled, who could not attend but sent a message wishing to see all of us next year in Bled, and to Mr. Zoran Jankovic, Mayor of Ljubljana, represented by Mr. Ales Ceri, Deputy Mayor, for their receptions of today.
Saturday, May 19
A long and full meeting of the Writers for Peace Committee indeed.
After the report of the Chair Edi Kovac and of the Vice Chair Teresa Salema, the International President John Ralston Saul made a short speech about the WfPC being the real "place of dialogue" of PEN writers and explaining the initiatives in progress in order to strengthen the activity of the Committee.
Laura Mc Veigh commented about the decision to have a dedicated human resource at PEN International Office and of Frank Geary being in charge for the coordination of the operations of WfPC, T&LRC and WWC, which is indeed a big step forward.
There were many discussions about topics on the Agenda, like the situation of Peace in Asia, the Middle East and Mediterranean areas and Mexico.
I choose to recall among the many an intervention of Boris A. Novak, International Vice President, about the role of WfPC and the necessity to listen more to the other's reasons.
An important point was made about the actual size of PEN International operations in the field of education, that have to be strategically more and more improved and publicized.
There were also debates about environmental problems (extracting oil in the Arctic, privatization of water).
Teresa Salema was confirmed as Vice Chair of the Committee with 17 votes on 18 Centres present and voting, with an abstention: I would call that unanimity ;o)
In the afternoon a short trip to Zirovnica, with visit to Preseren's and Finzgar's birthplaces. We were received by the Mayor Mr. Leopold Pogacar.
The excursion was very pleasant: tonight we had the farewell dinner.
Next year we will meet here again.