The second season of PEN South Africa’s podcast “The Empty Chair” is available for your listening pleasure from Thursday, December 9, 2021.
PEN South Africa, founded in 1927, is the South African branch of Pen International which promotes friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere. In June, they introduced “The Empty Chair by PEN SA” which focused on freedom of expression, writing, constitutional rights and journalism during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The second season, “The Empty Chair: A Transatlantic Conversation” featuring conversations among novelists, poets, theatre makers, artists, musicians, activists, journalists, legal scholars, academics and historians based in South Africa and the United States of America makes its debut on December 9. PEN SA hopes to promote open dialogue, highlight shared histories, explore issues of social justice, of freedom of expression in art and in life, moments of solidarity, of difference, our difficult pasts, uncertain presents, and possible futures through these conversations.
Guests include Dr Ma Thida, a medical doctor, writer, human rights activist, former prisoner of conscience and chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee. Ma Thida will be in conversation with the President of PEN South Africa, Nadia Davids, for episode one, which will be available from Thursday 9 December. The remaining five episodes will focus on the transatlantic legacy of Charlotte Maxeke and Wilberforce University, environmental journalism, theatre for social justice as well as interviews with inventive and award-winning writers and poets.
Tune in to “The Empty Chair by PEN SA” to listen to the insights of Nadia Davids, Ma Thida, Sisonke Msimang, Athambile Masola, Adanma Mbonu, Buhle Ngaba, Bongani Kona, Tope Folarin, Yvette Hardie, Mina Lora, Mandla Mbothwe, Leonie Joubert, Debra Utacia Krol, Tunicia Phillips, Esther Belin and Toni Giselle Stuart.