Statement on the Catalan Referendum (PEN International)

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PEN International’s Writers for Peace Committee
Statement on the Catalan Referendum

3 October 2017

We, the Writers for Peace Committee of PEN International, express our grave concern over the events that marred the show of democratic will by the people in the recent Catalan referendum. The scenes of armed, masked police officers assaulting peaceful citizens of all ages should be a matter of shame for the Spanish Government, as is the lack of a meaningful response from the Council of the European Union.

The action would be outrageous in any society; however, this is especially so in a country that has prided itself on emerging as a democracy from dark days of civil war and dictatorship. As Writers for Peace, we are deeply concerned that the political and actual wounds of those decades should not be re-opened.

We deplore the violence used by the forces of the Spanish state against the people of Catalonia on 1 October 2017.

We believe that a dispute between governments can never be a just reason for unleashing violence on peaceful citizens seeking to give their opinion through voting. Neither can an order from a court be the reason to use excessive force to prevent the free and legitimate expression of dissent. We believe that in this case, the force used was excessive.

We demand that the right to freedom of expression, whether it is exercised through voting, speaking or writing, be respected by all branches of state authority. We call on all EU Institutions and in particular on the European Parliament to remind Spain of the limits that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights put on its actions.



Le Comité des écrivains pour la paix de P.E.N. International
Déclaration du Comité pour la paix de P.E.N. International sur le référendum catalan

Les membres du Comité pour la paix de P.E.N. International expriment leur profonde préoccupation devant les événements qui ont entaché l’expression de la volonté démocratique de la population lors du récent référendum catalan.
Nous sommes convaincus que même les questions clés comme celle de savoir si le référendum peut constituer une base légitime de changement constitutionnel devraient faire l’objet de négociations entre les représentants élus des autorités des deux parties et que les conflits entre leurs gouvernements ne peuvent servir de prétexte pour envoyer des forces paramilitaires sur des citoyens pacifiques qui cherchent à exprimer leurs points de vue dans le processus électoral. Nous croyons également qu’une décision judiciaire ne peut justifier l’utilisation de la violence dans le but d’empêcher la libre expression des citoyens ayant des opinions différentes.

Nous condamnons la violence déclenchée le 1er octobre 2017 par les forces espagnoles contre le peuple catalan. Les scènes de policiers armés, masqués et anonymes attaquant des citoyens non-violents de tous âges devraient être un déshonneur pour le gouvernement espagnol, de même que pour les tribunaux et le Conseil de l’Union européenne. Un tel acte est scandaleux dans toute société, de surcroît dans un pays qui est fier de ses acquis démocratiques après la sombre période de la guerre civile et de la dictature. Les écrivains du Comité pour la paix souhaitent ardemment que les blessures des dernières décennies ne soient pas rouvertes.
Nous exigeons que toutes les branches du pouvoir respectent le droit à la liberté d’expression, qu’il s’agisse d’élections, de discours ou d’écrits.
Les membres du Comité pour la paix de P.E.N. International appellent les États membres de l’Union Européenne à rappeler à l’Espagne le comportement qui est dicté par la Charte des droits fondamentaux et par la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme.

Marjan Strojan,
Président du Comité des écrivains pour la paix du P.E.N. International



Комитетот на писатели за мир на Меѓународниот П.Е.Н. центар
Изјава за каталонскиот референдум

3 октомври 2017 година

Ние, Комитетот на писатели за мир на Меѓународниот П.Е.Н., ја изразуваме нашата голема загриженост за настаните кои го нарушија демонстрирањето на демократската волја од страна на народот на неодамнешниот каталонски референдум. Сцените на вооружени, маскирани полицајци, кои напаѓаат мирни граѓани од сите возрасти, треба да бидат срам за шпанската Влада, како и недостатокот на значаен одговор од Советот на Европската Унија.

Акцијата би била срамота во секое општество; сепак, ова е особено така во земја која се гордееше да се промовира како демократска, особено по мрачните денови на граѓанската војна и диктатура. Како писатели за мир, длабоко сме загрижени дека политичките и актуелните рани од тие децении не треба да бидат повторно отворени.

Ние го осудуваме насилството што го користеле силите на шпанската држава против луѓето од Каталонија на 1 октомври 2017 година.

Ние веруваме дека спорот меѓу владите никогаш не може да биде праведна причина за реализирање на насилство врз мирни граѓани кои сакаат да го дадат своето мислење преку гласање. Ниту наредбата од судот не може да биде причина да се користи прекумерна сила за да се спречи слободното и легитимно изразување на несогласување. Ние веруваме дека во овој случај, употребената сила беше прекумерна.

Бараме правото на слобода на изразување, без разлика дали се остварува преку гласање, зборување или пишување, да се почитува од сите гранки на државната власт. Ги повикуваме сите институции на ЕУ, а особено Европскиот парламент да ја потсети Шпанија за ограничувањата што ги поставија Повелбата на ЕУ за основните права и Европската конвенција за човекови права.

Марјан Стројан,
Претседател на Комитетот за мир на писателите на Меѓународниот П.Е.Н. центар


My comment:

We all share the compassion and the deep revolt produced by watching the pain inflicted by the “form” of police brutality, or with the way how democracy is crumbling worldwide. The least we can do is to make open call like this, in a peaceful way, for clearing all the problems of this type. Barbarism should not be a trend of the 21st century, on the contrary … As much as we speak about peace, justice and sustainability, what we see is totally the opposite. We became from day to day, more and more bad version of humanity. Stay blessed and thanks for this very important PEN statement!


:тime for new Samsara. year 2012

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“Visually breathtaking. Unlike anything you will ever see.” IndieWire

“The stunning new trailer for Samsara offers a tantalizing peek at the dozens of exotic locations visited by the filmmakers in their quest to capture the ‘ever turning wheel of life’ on Earth.”

If you are familiar with the stunning and transcendent visual poetry of Ron Fricke’s non-narrative documentary BARAKA (1992), his follow up film SAMSARA might interest you as well!  He filmed everything with 70mm film so I will no doubt be gorgeous.  I would write more about this, but part of the magic of Fricke’s films are that they have to be seen and experienced, and preferably in a giant theatre.  Here is the trailer.

A spiritual love-story set in the majestic landscape of Ladakh, Himalayas. Samsara is a quest; one man’s struggle to find spiritual Enlightenment by renouncing the world. And one woman’s struggle to keep her enlightened love and life in the world. But their destiny turns, twists and comes to a surprise ending.

Release date August 23, 2012. Samsara – Filmed over a period of five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on 70mm film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders. “Samsara” is a sanskrit word meaning “continuous flow”; it is the repeating cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth (reincarnation) within Hinduism, Buddhism, Bön, Jainism, Yoga and Sikhism.

SAMSARA is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives.  Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders.  By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

#streetart as part of our history

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“What exactly is street art?” 

It is a visionary art form that is usually developed in open public areas and even though it is met with negative connotation, it offers freedom of expression. Utilizing tools as simple as spray paint, ink and markers, street artists are making an unbelievable stamp in the history of art.

Art In The Streets, will serve as an eye opener to the world, offering an array of uniquely designed graffiti and street art. the exhibition provides various sculptures, paintings, photographs and other distinctive art forms by 50 of the most dynamic street artists.



Like it or not, “Art in the Streets” was one of the most important things to happen to the art world in the last few years, and one of the biggest things ever to happen to graffiti and street art. Director Alex Stapleton takes us inside the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ famous exhibition.

From Shepard Fairey to Lee Quiñones, Swoon, Futura, and Mister Cartoon; from Revok to Martha Cooper, Invader and more, the show that took place from April 17-August 8, 2011, followed graffiti and street art as far back as Basquiat and even some of the gang graffiti in the 1940s and 50s in LA. Graffiti and street art are mainstays of the high art world now, and this documentary aims to show how MOCA contributed to that fact.

For the record, I thought the show was tastefully done with what highly controversial subject matter they had to work with.

Enjoy the documentary, it’s perfect for weekend 😉




What about Con.Tempo.rary arT?

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In the wireless connection I found colors on the top of the TV. The youth in the box were speaking about art. Modern or contemporary?
If you still can’t find the difference between these two periods in the creative era don’t worry because the line between those is not very good defined, except that the artist in the contemporary period can use the telephone, video, TV, and all the modern technology we have now. In the modern period the artists still didn’t have some of those materials/ products.
If we are looking for the right definition about the word Contemporary we know that it means “art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetimes”. In other words, contemporary to us.
It is a period that started in the 60’s and the beginning of the 70’s. As we saw that after the postmodern there where still new things coming and the designers and artists show totally new ways of expressing themselves.
The difference in this last period of the evolution of art is that you can write on the paper and it is not necessary something to be written at all. It is also not necessary to be explained to the audience what does that mean. It’s all about the human eye and how it accepts these works of art. Usually nowadays we can find groups of artists gathered in community, creating conceptual stuff which are difficult to be explained and are observed only from small circles of people who are into art. Over the past 40 years we saw what kind of shapes and forms this period can create to evolve into today’s level where the reception of art is crystallized till moment of refinement.
Every different period brings new waves in different fields of the normal day living. We live in      time when we wait for new application and upgrade of the old one everyday, when good commercial, advertisings and designs take our attention. We want to enter in objects that bring us new way of thinking and combine the elements and the knowledge from the classical ages till now. Exactly that is living in contemporary environment.
There are new lines in the forms of the architecture that starts building in the last 30 – 40 years, different relation with the theatre, painted art, photography, literature, movie and all other brunches of the art as a whole.

New forms were born like art installations, multi media, visual art etc. There are different issues with which the artist or the groups connect with, such as feminism, multiculturalism, globalization, bio-engineering and AIDS and cancer awareness. Most of the time, contemporary art is closely related to the modern, postmodern and avant-garde period of art. In today’s art, materials which are used in the creation of an art-work are collection of information that the materials carry by themselves and their combination is aimed to convey a specific thought / paragraph for a particular condition.

Ones of the best presenters of this period who border with the postmodern are Marina Abramovich (performance artist), Banksy (graffiti artist), Yoko Ono (musician, artist), Laurie Anderson (performance artist), Slaven Tolj (performance, installation artist), Richard Wilson (sculptor), Philip Pocock (internet and installation artist), Kenneth Noland  (painter), Charles Bukowski (writer, poet), Takashi Murakami (sculptor and painter), Santiago Calatrava (architect)  and so much more situated in a lot of different categories like feminist art, neo-conceptualism, neo-expressionism, multiculturalism, graffiti movement, neo-pop, futurism, minimalism and so on.
Contemporary art is art in action. As a whole, it is very difficult to analyze it, mostly because of all those groups and subgroups in which artists define their expression. Groups create art that is engaged, which is protest or support of a political process, a revolt against a global problem, poverty, discrimination, gender inequality, environmental problems etc..

Nowadays, art is taking part of everything. When you buy products you choose those who have better form and design, on TV and internet we more often stay on some programs and pages that bring something unique and not seen before. The things that we can see in the galleries are based on deeper concept that is the main point on which we should put attention.
Contemporary artists are here to bring progressive ways of understanding the life like sustainable and innovative living with use of organic and recycled materials. When mother Earth is more respected, all her resources can be used in more creative way.
Everything what we do in present time can be seen as a contemporary way of living and the works that we produce can be seen as contemporary art. 🙂
On this exchange we are going to talk about contemporary art and we will share our knowledge about art during this modern age of living. We are also going to discuss about the materials which are used by the present artists in order to create their works and what kind of message they bring.
There will be workshops where we will express our ideas via all those different ways.


facebook froup

Twitter #renga Night

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Few nights ago I try to play #haiku game on twitter and for me that was challenge and good way to practice words game and contribute in the global energy with my thoughts and emotions.

It was usual night as every other night when I’m sitting home and share some information and little haiku on twitter. Then after few hours doing my things I had the pleasure to be invited to play #renga with  my friends on twitter @urbancrafter @Adamfyre @CDominiqueG @LiuTiemo,  and as you know I’m @Potru on twitter.

First if you don’t know what is renga It’s great opportunity for you to read this for first time and for me to promote this old style of writing poetry on my blog.

Renga is a form of linked poetry which evolved from tanka, the oldest Japanese poetry form. The word is both singular and plural as in our English “sheep” and “deer” so you don’t have to learn two foreign words.

In renga’s eight hundred year history it has gone through many fashions and changes of goals and ideals. When it first began the trick was to turn the reader’s thinking to admire a pun or jest as a three-line verse (of 17 syllables) was continued with a two-line verse of 7 and 7 syllables. If you have the feeling this is related to haiku, you are absolutely correct. The beginning three lines of a renga become haiku when they were snipped off (500 years after it began) by Basho (whom you know already).

As you read some of the renga the important thing to watch is what happens BETWEEN the links. Think of each stanza as a springboard from which you are going to jump. As your mind leaps (and you think you know where the poem is going) you should be forced to make a somersault in order to land upright in the next link. It is the twist your mind makes between links that makes renga interesting.

Some leaps are close (as in the beginning and end of the poem) so the subject is moved only slightly ahead. In the middle of the poem renga whizzes can pirouette until your head spins — and that is just what is desired.

Take your partner by the hand. Start tapping your feet. Bow. And away you go. Well, renga is not really dancing in the barn or ballroom concept, but it does witness to the dance of minds. Therefore you should take it seriously as you remember it is game with words.

by Anzai

The idea of our game was to write one by one and to use one or more words from the last renga that is created, and do that in circle five (5) times. I will put here only my renga’s because they can live by themselves and you can check the other ones on twitter under the hash tag #renga123.


In the dream

I’m dreaming your dream.

Your dream,


is better than my dream,

or this is your dream.



You make photography,

the Moon is your best model

-she shows her beauty.


In the summertime the Moon acting

only for you my dear photographer.



Are you splitting the life?

Deal the roots from the tree ,

heaven and eternity.


I choose to fly with the fairies

sing and dance on their melody.



We live in same time,

difference is our space and karma.

Collective Mind and memories.


The metamorphosis is like childish game

only plastic toys like airplanes in the sky.


Then we finish the game I had the time to write one more, but the one that @LiuTiemo wrote was just perfect for finish. Here is only the #haiku part from the last renga.

~wake up now, my love / from dreams of isolation / I wake inside you~

The underlined words in my renga’s are the words that I used from the renga’s before.  All renga’s from this “match” you can find on @urbancrafter web page.  I hope that I was good enough to play with them  in near future because they are master in renga and this was my first time. I  cross fingers for opportunity to play again.

hmmm Tanka…what about Her!


I usually write haiku, and not very often only when I sit on twitter . I have friends there who twit haiku very often. There are some peoples who make online tanka. I know about tanka few years already and for me is very interesting that some people including me promote those old styles of writing poetry on twitter.  O.K.

What is #tanka?

Something that is not haiku, sedoka, choka, onji, renga, senryu, … 🙂 [this was the hard part]

  • Tanka is a classic form of Japanese poetry related to the haiku with five unrhymed lines of five, seven, five, seven and seven syllables. (5, 7, 5, 7, 7)
  • (the other one) Tanka, the oldest Japanese poetry form, was often written to explore religious or courtly themes and had a structure of five lines with a  5-7-5-7-7 syllable structure. One person would contribute the first three lines (5-7-5) of the tanka, and a different author would complete the poem by composing a 7-7 section and adding a pivot point such as in this tanka from George Knox at Aha! Poetry:

In the check-out line

a worn face ahead of me

turns tentatively…

Realities of desire

fade in final reckoning.

-tanka by George Knox

  • From tanka’s long history – over 1300 years recorded in Japan – the most famous use of the poetry form of #tanka was a secret message between lovers. Arriving home in the morning, after having dallied with a lover all night, it became the custom of well-mannered persons to write an immediate thank-you note for the pleasure of the hospitality. Stylized into a convenient five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 onji, the little expressing one’s feelings were sent in special paper containers, written on a fan, or knotted on a branch or stem of a single blossom. These were delivered to the lover by personal messenger who then was given something to drink along with his chance to flirt with the household staff. During this interval a responding #tanka was to be written in reply to the first note which the messenger would return to his master. Jane Reichhold

One of the trademarks of a tanka (besides the traditional five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 onji — syllables) is a short poetic statement depicting nature (here it may seem much like something you could call a haiku) which is linked to a designated feeling or emotional attitude of the author. This latter aspect is a basic one dividing the two forms today.

By expressing emotional feelings tanka affirms a connectedness between something unseen but real — our feelings — with the observable world around us. Tanka gives the mind a picture which can, if it is successful, joins for and evokes a felt emotional state.

Tanka have changed and evolved over the centuries, but the form of five syllabic units containing 31 syllables has remained the same.Topics have expanded from the traditional expressions of passion and heartache, and styles have changed to include modern language and even colloquialisms.

Characteristics of #tanka

  • 31 syllables, 5 lines;
  • Write the first section of a tanka (5-7-5), similar to a haiku;
  • Another person picks up the first 3 lines and writes a response (or continuation) by composing two lines of 7-7 syllables;
  • Can reflect nature or lean toward senryu;
  • Emotional, contemplative, imaginative, reflective, written to be chanted.


Many clouds unfurled

rise at cloud-decked Izumo;

Round you spouse to hold

raise many folder barriers

like those barriers manifold.

(old tanka)

For me one of the most important thing for writing East forms of poetry is to follow your heart, to open the doors for the words that show emotions, to catch moments from your happiness between the lines, to make pictures from the nature…while the ants prepare for the next winter.

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