It started out with the Lord Mayor of Brussels' generous reception at the Town Hall on Thursday 24th, followed by a very impressive and to the point "Forbidden books" performance at La Tentation. A joint opening event sparked it all off on Friday 25th with speakers from all three organisations, the key speaker Tienchi Martin-Liao from the Independent Chinese PEN Centre presented her speak Is Jasmine a Chinese Flower? The opening event was followed by separate sessions; ICORN and Europe before, and Promotion and Participation after lunch. A big highlight followed that same evening: The launch of the Shahrazad - Stories for Life Letters to Europe project, through a fantastic performance for all senses, explored by a fully packed KVS Theatre.
Saturday 26th started with shared workshops on important and relevant issues, visa & migration, translation & publication, working with the EU, mobility & creativity and freedom of expression, followed by ICORN's last major session, Protection; challenges and expectations. During Sunday 27 March Brussels exploded in a big literary feast with more than 90 Passa Porta festival events at venues all over town. Many ICORN writers were performing, and the ICORN Network Meeting participants had a last chance to gain food for thought and afterthought before returning back home.
We will like to extend out thanks to our co-organisers in PEN International WiPC and Halma for making this joint event so successful, says ICORN director Helge Lunde, and first and foremost, to the Passa Porta Festival and House of Literature for being such a generous, dynamic and professional host.