Catalan PEN is in charge of Barcelona's city of refuge programme, and has recently hosted the ICORN guest writers Zalem Zenia (Algeria) and Sihem Bensedrine (Tunisia). The previous edtions of the Unescocat International Award was granted to the musicians Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras (2009) and the Foundation of the Barcelona Footbal Club (2010). PEN Català will receive the prize during a ceremony in Barcelona on 12 December 2011.
Full prize announcement here.
The Unescocat awards the writers association Catalan Center of PEN Club for its contribution to the defense of freedom of expression and linguistic rights, for its commitment to dialogue between cultures and for the international projection of Catalan identity. The Unesco Centre of Catalunya gives an annual distinction, the Unescocat International Award, to people or organizations of Catalan origin in recognition of decisive contributions to promote the United Nations' values and work axis to support Education, Science, Culture and Communication (UNESCO), which the center itself in Catalunya has conveyed to the field of Catalan culture since 1984.
This year, the jury of the Unescocat International Award has decided to grant the prize to PEN Català, a writers association currently presided over by Carme Arenas, which since its foundation in 1922, has worked to project Catalan literature and Catalan writers internationally. In accordance with the objectives of International PEN, PEN Català aspires to represent a space for dialogue among languages and cultures, in which Catalan language and literature may obtain a significant presence. It also endeavours to become the outstanding writers association in defence of the right of freedom of expression, the mutual understanding between cultures and in defence of linguistic rights and peace. It is in this sense that PEN Català organizes the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee of International PEN, coordinated by Josep Maria Terricabras in the field of linguistic rights. The jury of the Unescocat International Award is composed of representatives of Catalan organizations in Education, Science, Culture and Communication: the Catalan Association of Public Universities, the Education Council of Catalunya, the National Council of Culture and Arts, the Institute of Catalan Studies, the Network of Technological and Scientific Centres, the Ramon Llull Institute, Òmnium Cultural, the Board of Journalists of Catalunya and Catalan Television. The awards in previous editions were for the musician Jordi Savall and the soprano Montserrat Figueras (2009); and the Foundation of the Barcelona Football Club (2010).
The prize, which is an artistic piece designed by a student of the College of Massana, will be given to the PEN Català on the 12 of December, coinciding with the 27th anniversary of the UNESCO Center of Catalunya.