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ARC @ 2020 PEN World Voices Festival

New York

PEN America presents the 2020 PEN World Voices Festival: These Truths, this year’s incarnation of the renowned international literary festival, which will bring together the world’s foremost authors and other luminaries at a time when many are turning to literature and the arts, not for escapism, but as a guide to navigate contemporary crises. Salman Rushdie founded the festival in the isolationist aftermath of September 11, 2001, to fortify links with the rest of the world; now again the need to connect and draw inspiration from beyond America’s borders is pressing. PEN America Festival Director Chip Rolley explains, "The crisis in truth in the American political sphere and a hallowed phrase from the U.S. Declaration of Independence were the jumping-off points for a festival that ultimately celebrates truth-telling on a wide range of topics and in myriad forms. We urgently need to hear the deeper truths afforded by literary fiction and by poetry, for literature to engage with contested histories and memory, and for journalists, historians and other non-fiction writers to present the world as it really is, to contest the fabrications served to us on an almost daily basis."

ARC is presenting one event during the Festival this year, made possible thanks to the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts.

Monument of Migration: A Public Reading of Refugee Stories

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
6:30-7:30 PM

Madison Square Park, Admiral David Glasgow Farragut Monument. 4-28 Madison Square North New York, NY 10010 

Whose stories are remembered and memorialized? As attention to the refugee crisis deepens in the United States and globally, individual stories of loss, movement, hope, and home for those sustaining the impact tend to get lost. At this event, resettled refugees alongside award-winning actors will read moving passages from texts centered on stories of migration and immigration, including Hannah Arendt’s “We Refugees,” Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Dave Eggers’ What is the What, Dinaw Mengestu’s The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. The event is presented in conjunction with Krzysztof Wodiczko’s Monument, which features the voices and likeness of twelve resettled refugees superimposed on the Farragut Monument in Madison Square Park.

Co-presented with the Madison Square Park.

Free admission

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