International Parliament of Writers
The International Parliament of Writers (IPW) was created after an appeal launched in July 1993 by 300 writers from all over the world, in reaction to the increase of writers assassinations in Algeria. The signatories of this appeal affirmed the need for a new international structure capable of organizing a concrete solidarity with persecuted writers, in the form of a Cities of Asylum Network. Today the network is composed of about 25 cities primarily in Europe and in Latin America and Africa. The first United States city of asylum is Las Vegas. So far, the IPW has been able to offer about forty residences to authors from Algeria, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Kososvo, Nigeria, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen. The artists and writers accommodated within the Network of Cities of Asylum are designated by the International Parliament of Writers, based on enquiries carried out by the observatory of Freedom of Creation in Barcelona (created by the IPW), in collaboration with an international network of contacts. The IPW also decided to defend the freedom of creation wherever it is threatened, and to undertake investigation and research on the new forms of censorship.
The IPW was created on June 27, 1994 and elected Salman Rushdie its first president. Wole Soyinka served as its second president. Russell Banks was named the third president. IPW is a non-profit organization. The publication of their annual review, AUTODAFE, is a collaboration between various publishing houses around the world: Seven Stories Press in the US, Anagrama in Spain, Agra in Athens, Denoel in France, and Feltrinelli in Italy. The review aims to be a place for debate and experimentation. It will consist of reports, interviews, correspondence, and narratives by IPW members and writers living in asylum, with common themes of censorship, of the interdict of language, the criminalization of fiction, and the censorship effects of globalization.