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The Unsilenced Voices: Writings of Exile and Dissent Part II

Jun 24 2009 12:00 am

The Unsilenced Voices: Writings of Exile and Dissent

The Asian American Writers' Workshop, freeDimensional, the World Policy Institute, New York University's Scholars at Risk Network, Ledig House at Art Omi International Arts Center and Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies invite you to join three remarkable activists and writers as they discuss their experiences at the turbulent intersections of political oppression, human rights, and creative expression.

Writing and Tactics from Bangladesh to Burma: A conversation between Taslima Nasrin and Ma Thida

Moderated by Kavitha Rajagopalan

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

7 pm - 8:30 pm

Taslima Nasrin and Ma Thida, both medical doctors who are involved in social movements in South Asia, have made huge personal sacrifices to be able to write and speak about causes and beliefs that are important to them. In this conversation, moderated by World Policy Institute Senior Fellow Kavitha Rajagopalan, the two women talk about their writing, the tactics that have enabled them to keep writing despite death threats, imprisonment and exile, and the wrenching choices they have made to defend their right to speak the truth and stand up for others' rights.

Ma Thida is a fiction writer, human rights activist and practicing surgeon from Myanmar. Author of the novel The Sunflower and other works, Thida has written many stories about the damage done to her country by successive repressive regimes. She is recipient of several awards recognizing her writing and promotion of human rights, including the PEN Barbara Gold Smith Freedom to Write award, the Reebok Human Rights award, an honorary award from the American Association of Arts and Science and, most recently, the Chevening fellowship in conflict resolution at York University. She is a former University of Iowa International Writing Program fellow and is currently in residence at Brown University, where she is the International Writing Project fellow.

Taslima Nasrin is a writer and human rights spokeswoman from Bangladesh. She is the author of thirty-two books of poetry, essays, novels and short stories. Her subject matter includes secularization in Islamic countries and the linkages between secularization and women's emancipation. Ms. Nasrin has been granted numerous awards for her writing and for her human rights work, including the UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence, the Ananda Award for her memoir Meyebela (My Bengali Girlhood), a fellowship at Harvard University's Carr Center for Human Rights, the Human Rights Award from the Government of France, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament, and the Simone de Beauvoir prize. The recipient of two honorary doctoral degrees from Ghent University and American University of Paris, Ms. Nasrin is currently a Vivian G. Prins Global Scholar at New York University's Department of English.

Kavitha Rajagopalan is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and the author of Muslims of Metropolis: The Stories of Three Immigrant Families in the West (Rutgers University Press 2008).  Kavitha's writing approaches broader migration policy and management debates through individual narrative, exploring the influence of economic and policymaking trends, as well as societal attitudes and individual experience, on the development of collective narratives of either alienation or belonging in immigrant communities.

Where: 

The Asian American Writers' Workshop

16 West 32nd Street, 10th Floor (between Broadway and Fifth Avenue)

New York, New York 

Cost and RSVP: 

There is a suggested donation of $5 for these events. Both events are open to the public, and advance registration is strongly recommended to reserve your seat. 

To register, email events@worldpolicy.org or call the World Policy Institute events line at 212.481.5005 option 2, with your name, affiliation and the name of the event(s) you will attend.   

Call the World Policy Institute Events line at 212.481.5005, option 2, with any event-related questions

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