PEN Cyprus

PoetsEssayistsNovelists
pencyprus

PEN Cyprus

PoetsEssayistsNovelists

PEN, the English acronym standing for Poets, Essayists, Novelists, later broadened to Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, Novelists, is the largest international writers’ organization in the world. It consists of more than 100 national centres, which act autonomously in matters of internal policy, administration, priorities and objectives, but always and invariably within the framework of the principles set by the Statutory Charter of this Amphictyony of Logos.

Cyprus PEN has been operating since 1979 and its members are Cypriot authors. A condition for an author to become a member, in addition to the approval and active support and promotion of the principles of the Statutory Charter of PEN International is to have published at least one book.

Extraordinary General and Electoral Meeting of PEN Cyprus

Election of a new Board of Directors

The Extraordinary General and Electoral Meeting of PEN Cyprus was held on June 15, 2024, at the House of Arts and Literature, in Nicosia. The new Board of Directors was elected and in a subsequent session it was constituted as follows:

President: Angela Christofidou

Vice-President: Andreas Hatjithomas

General Secretary: Efrosini Manta – Lazarou

Treasurer: Susan Papas

Public Relations: Nora Nadjarian

The Board of Directors’ three-year strategic plan (June 2024 – June 2027)

PEN Cyprus

Twelve words, a bridge to the future

“My hand, let go the iron, and you, hammer, let cease the war you wage in use of the anvil; I am the worker in copper who desired one thing and achieves another. I am the creator, the coppersmith whose hammer shapes neither  you, nail, nor you, chariots, swords, spears, neither your bell, church, nor chains, nor keys, nor bells for sheep, and ploughs for the ploughing, neither beds for the house, nor sickles, nor bridles. I am the creator, the coppersmith whose hammer shapes nothing but exquisite, useless, beauties; and that protoharmonious and inharmonious art is mine.”

 

(Kostis Palamas, The Twelve Words of the Gipsy, Logos B, The Worker)

Logos 1

In December 2023, the European Parliament published a report on the transparency and accountability of NGOs that receive EU grants. This report highlights the fact that transparency and accountability are vital for NGOs and other for-profit or non-profit organizations in order to showcase their valuable work, gain recognition and build credibility.

The Charter of PEN Cyprus as approved on 23.1.21 by the General Statutory Assembly and as approved by the Curator of Associations and Foundations, includes a specific paragraph on Transparency:

  1. Transparency, Accountability, Reliability

12.1 Transparency will govern the entire range of activities of the Board of Directors: in finding and using its financial resources, in its cooperation with individuals and institutions of the private and public sectors at national, European and international level, in its collaborations with the Media, in the decision-making process and in the governing mechanism of PEN Cyprus.

12.2 The Board of Directors will publish on its website on the internet the financial reports of PEN Cyprus, the reports of its activities, the funding it receives, its volunteers, its partners, all financial transactions, income, expenses, the distribution of fees and every kind of financial activity of PEN Cyprus.

12.3 Any member of PEN Cyprus may examine, if they wish, its accounts, after first applying to the Board of Directors.

12.4 Transactions will be clearly recorded and archived, preserving all related evidence.

The Board of Directors will function in conditions of absolute transparency, with financial balance sheets posted on the internet and accessible to any member who wishes to monitor the finances of the Association, in keeping with recommendations of the European Union. Transparency is the foundation of a healthy non-governmental non-profit organization.

The Board aims to develop collaborations with international transparency organizations.

The Board of Directors is committed to establishing PEN Cyprus as a model organization.

Logos 2

The Board of Directors will work on the planning and implementation of a periodical publication in English, which will promote the literary wealth of Cyprus abroad.

Logos 3

In continuation of the effort to strengthen relations between the members of PEN Cyprus, which started with the implementation of internal communication through emails received by the Board of Directors and circulated to all its members as their literary news, in the next stage the particular skills of each member will be mapped, for those members who so wish. When a specific task or event arises for which partners will be appointed, the Board of Directors will address an open call to its members. If more members than needed are interested, tasks/responsibilities will be awarded by ballot. By mapping the skills of its members, the Board of Directors will better serve the main goals of PEN Cyprus, namely, to promote the literary wealth of Cyprus both internally and abroad.

In addition, while in the first stage the members appear on the website of PEN Cyprus and in the second stage they connect through emails, in the next and third stage a group will be created with all members on one of the online interactive platforms, so that at any moment a member will be able to communicate with others in search of information, mutual help and solidarity, thus strengthening the literary community of PEN Cyprus.

Logos 4

PEN Cyprus is a national centre of PEN International and the Board will develop its international presence and activity. At the same time, emphasis will be placed on the objectives and priorities of the European Union. The Board will work as a bridge between PEN International centers in countries which are not member states of the EU, and those which are EU members. PEN Cyprus aims to implement European projects in collaboration with partners situated in the EU and beyond and will also proceed to strengthen relations with several PEN Centers. In the case of implementation of any of these projects, through the relevant funding, the members of PEN Cyprus will constitute the human resources of such an effort.

Logos 5

As defined by the Charter of PEN Cyprus, and in full harmony with the provisions and guidelines of PEN International, the Board of Directors is always ready to host and help writers who are in exile, displaced, or otherwise persecuted, doing so without discrimination and far from political expediency.

Logos 6

The Board of PEN Cyprus will map all the committees of PEN International and harmonize its activities so as to cover the full spectrum of these committees. The mapping of the committees and of the members of PEN Cyprus will expedite their connection when conditions permit.

Pen International is interested in endangered languages. The Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee deals with languages in danger of disappearance.

In Cyprus an ancient language, Aramaic, still survives in occupied Kormakitis. The Board of Directors will get in touch with authors who write in Aramaic in Cyprus, as well as teachers and researchers, and through the international PEN Committee will support these fellow citizens in their efforts to save this ancient language.

Logos 7

Social contribution and participation are objectives which reflect credit upon a cultural organization. Issues related to climate change, the greatest problem that humanity faces, will be at the heart of the activities of PEN Cyprus, aiming to create synergies with literature and culture. The Board will be constantly alert and will plan environmentally friendly activities to deal with and raise awareness on important social issues, in harmony with the objectives and priorities of the European Union and PEN International, while also taking into consideration the situation created by the occupation in Cyprus.

Every activity will be aligned with the guidelines of the European Union in the Strategy 2020-25 for gender equality.

Logos 8

Sadly, PEN Cyprus has not received State funding for its activities in 2022 and 2023. The Board will work to find resources in order to proceed with the implementation of its strategic objectives.

Logos 9

Any member of PEN Cyprus will have the opportunity to propose ideas to the Board in the context of a Board of Directors’ meeting, after first sending a written proposal to the Board. Due to PEN Cyprus’s financial difficulties, it would be beneficial for every proposal to include solutions for its financial implementation.

Logos 10

PEN Cyprus will propose meeting with other cultural organizations in order to unite the forces and the voices of those working in the cultural sector and to promote key issues to the State, some of which are, sadly, issues related to the very survival of such organizations. A crucial request is the inclusion of culture in the next European and national financial action plans at a rate of 2%. Three important European organizations, Culture Action Europe, Europa Nostra, and the European Cultural Foundation, support the European campaign A Cultural Deal for Europe, which demands the allocation of 2% of EU Budget to cultural initiatives. PEN Cyprus unites its voice with them.

Logos 11

With the aim of integrating and achieving its strategic objectives, PEN Cyprus will develop cross-sectoral approaches and collaborations with governmental and non-governmental organizations, with local authorities, with other arts and sciences. A strategy will be designed for collaborations with the villages in Cyprus, with the aim of decentralizing and promoting literary wealth in remote communities.

Logos 12

The Board of Directors will work tirelessly for cultural diplomacy and the spread of information related to the tragedy of semi-occupied Cyprus at European and international level, guided always by love for people of every nationality and with respect for every writer, simultaneously building bridges of understanding and creativity.

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