The year 2020 marks the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in which the Scottish nobility appealed to the Pope to support Scotland in the nation’s fight for freedom from ‘the rule of the English’. The need to hear and understand each other is as urgent now as it ever was, for the nourishment of open minds and healthy democracies. Today, an issue vital for democracy that concerns the whole world is freedom of expression. Every day we hear of writers being silenced, by censorship, surveillance, imprisonment and sometimes death
PEN International has for nearly a hundred years been campaigning for freedom of expression. Scottish PEN has for most of that time contributed to that international effort defending the rights of readers and writers in Scotland and across the globe to speak out and speak up.
What is Declarations?
To commemorate this anniversary, Scottish PEN is bringing together writing influenced by the Declaration of Arbroath for a collection of poetry and prose to be published and launched in April.
An open call for contributions were invited during 2019 exploring a range of issues that could include exploring fights for freedom; the independence of thought, writing and reading; the consequences of censorship; the need for the free exchange of ideas; for supporting suppressed and marginalised voices; for enabling access to the written word; or the concept of ‘declaration’ and what it might mean in today’s world.
The Launch Event 6 April 2020
Free, registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/declarations-on-freedom-for-writers-and-readers-tickets-96738797347
A Scottish PEN event with Professor Sir Tom Devine to mark the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. Launching the poetry and prose anthology Declarations on Freedom for Writers and Readers – published by Scotland Street Press with Scottish PEN. Three selected prize-winners of the Scottish PEN Declarations awards will be announced. With other readings, and songs from special musical guest Christine Kydd.