In recognition of the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, Franklin University Switzerland and the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) are excited to host an inspiring talk with Ilaria Maria Sala, an Italian writer and journalist currently based in Hong Kong, organized by PEN International.

On November 25, at Franklin’s Lowerre Academic Center conference room, Ilaria Maria Sala, Vice-president and co-founder of PEN Hong Kong, will discuss about the current situation in Hong Kong, the population’s fears and uncertainty, and the gap between the city’s identity and its destiny; the day after, she will be at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) for a talk in Italian at 6:00 p.m..

These are indeed two special events organized by PEN International’s Centro PEN della Svizzera italiana e retoromancia in collaboration with Franklin and USI, in the framework of the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, an annual, international day intended to recognize and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information. This day is observed each year on November 15 and it was started in 1981 by PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.

In addition to increasing the public’s awareness of persecuted writers in general, we are honored to support PEN’s cause to direct attention to several specific persecuted or imprisoned writers and their individual circumstances. Each of the selected writers is from a different part of the world, and each case represents circumstances of repression that occur when governments or other entities in power feel threatened by what writers have written.

For this 2019 edition, the focus is on Hong Kong and our distinguished guest speaker will stimulate the audience to reflect upon the real situation in which this autonomous region is located, whose population is almost equal to the one of Switzerland.

Both events are open to the public and made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the Pica-Alfieri Foundation.