Harnessing Rare Voices is the a project run from the Department of Literature at Makerere University Kampala, where the offices of PEN Uganda are situated.
From October 2017, Deyu African and PEN Uganda shall collaborate to publish a series of critical articles and creative work from Ugandans whose lives have been touched by the criminal justice sector.
International PEN-Uganda Centre, also known as Ugandan PEN is a branch of PEN International, a not-for-profit international organisation that champions freedom of speech and literature across borders.
Below is their statement on the international website.
“In Uganda, inmates of prisons are usually considered as people without value – people who should suffer because of the crimes they have committed. To tackle this, PEN Uganda will establish writers’ clubs in two Ugandan prisons with the aim of enabling inmates to produce high quality creative work in the form of poetry, short stories and plays in order to aid their rehabilitation. Participants will be introduced to the power of literature as a means of communication, giving them an opportunity to contribute to society through their own creativity and adding to a sense of self-worth.”
We are excited about this opportunity and hope that it shall inspire greater inclusivity of the often less heard voices in our community of writers.