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Authors for Peace

On September 21st 2010, the internationales literaturfestival berlin will host Authors for Peace, a 24-hour, global, live  and – hopefully – record-breaking online reading to mark the UN’s International Peace Day. Authors include Joanne Harris, Kamila Shamise, Eliot Weinberger, Shashi Tharoor, Tahmima Anam, Gail Jones, Nuruddin Farah and Jane Davis. 

This event is the first of its kind. Authors from all over the world will read from their work in a gesture of solidarity with those who are oppressed, or caught in conflict. It is hoped that thousands will log on to watch the event. In Berlin, the readings will be broadcast from the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Authors elsewhere in the world  will  participate by harnessing the wonders of modern technology using software similar to a very sophisticated video-conferencing system. The mere thought of modern technology gives me the shivers, but I will be here reading in my pyjamas at 7.20am. All you need to do is log onto or and watch the event unfold.  

“Art cannot stop wars, but great literature – more than any other art – has the power to help people understand one another better. If we can do this, there’s a chance for conflict resolution and even harmony. The goal of all writers – whatever the causes they support, whatever the themes that preoccupy them, whatever the form or language in which they express themselves – is to negotiate the unmapped territory between us and the other: to conquer, word by word, the distances that seem too vast, too daunting, too unknowable. When writers succeed, readers too are able to bridge differences they previously conceived impossible.” Priya Basil 

Authors for Peace is part of a wide range of global events. There are many ways to participate in Peace Day, which was an idea first launched at The Globe in 1999. Jude Law and Sharon Stone will also be hosting a live web event in Paris. Find out more at