P.E.N. International - An Association of the World’s Writers
Macedonian P.E.N. Centre
18 Maksim Gorki Street
1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
THE FOUNDATION AND THE ACTIVITIES OF THE MACEDONIAN P.E.N
The initiative for the institution of the Macedonian P.E.N Club dates back to September 1961, when the 6th Congress of Yugoslav writers in Sarajevo suggested the revival of the Slovenian, Croatian and Serbian P.E.N - which had existed before the war but were then suspended - and the admission of a forth, the Macedonian P.E.N Club.
The preliminary meeting of the Macedonian P.E.N Club in Skopje was held in December 1962, when twenty Macedonian writers became members. Tome Momirovski was elected chairman of the executive board at this session, and the secretary was Blagoja Ivanov. Amongst those particularly responsible for the successful foundation of this P.E.N Club were Matej Bor, President of the Slovenian P.E.N Club, who also took part in the first meeting as a representative of P.E.N International, and David Carver, the high-minded and devoted advocate of the idea of this international body who had succeeded Herman Ould as Secretary General of the P.E.N. David Carver's gave us full and unstinting support, helping Macedonian P.E.N to become an equal member of the P.E.N International family.
In May 1963 the Association of the Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian and Macedonian P.E.N Centres was constituted, with the four centres taking it in turn to hold the office of co-ordinator and provide veus. Macedonian P.E.N has held this office three times and is, together with Slovenian P.E.N, the centre which has held this mandate for the longest period of time. At the sessions of P.E.N International these four clubs were represented by two official delegates each, and held a total of two votes. The voting was based on a gentlemen's agreement on the attitudes of all the four clubs. Macedonian P.E.N voted together with Slovenian P.E.N until it was granted an individual vote, thereby becoming an independent member, at the Oslo Conference in July 1967. The mass participation of Macedonian delegates at the 33d Congress of P.E.N International in Bled, which elected Arthur Miller as President, drew considerable attention to Macedonian P.E.N
Guided by the goals and the principles set out in the Charter of P.E.N International, Macedonian P.E.N has always stood for the freedom and dignity of literature, for mutual understanding and respect among peoples and for the freedom of the press; it has stood against arbitrary censorship in times of peace and in any other circumstances. It has particularly opposed the destruction of works of art - the common heritage of the whole of humanity - as a result of national or political passions in time of war.
Accepting and respecting the right of every people to use their own language as a means of literary, cultural, intelectual and spiritual self-expression, Macedonian P.E.N has demanded - and has on many occasions and in many documents been supported in this by P.E.N International - respect for the Macedonian language and the national identity of the Macedonians, both in the Republic of Macedonia and wherever they live, primarly in the neighbouring counties.