The 2018 PEN World Voices Festival boasted a theme of Resist and Reimagine, with events, panels, and readings exploring various modes of resistance (to intolerance, fascism, racism, sexism, to name a few), as well as different modes of communication and creativity. The festival (now in its 14th year) has a continual devotion to international and multicultural voices coming together, letting new writers be heard, and bringing established writers and activists together in conversation.
Aria Chiodo is an Associate Editor at The Mantle. You can email her at aria [at] themantle.net
She hails from New Mexico but is now based in Astoria, New York. She writes personal essays, short stories, and travel essays, but her first love is cinema.
The PEN World Voices Festival included a variety of staged readings of plays, presented at the Martin E. Segal Theatre, part of the CUNY Graduate Center. Keeping with PEN’s purpose of international dialogue and diverse perspectives, this program boasted 10 plays by respected dramatists, each from a different region of the world. Two of these works dealt directly with war and the effect of war on communities and individuals.
A significant problem to me a few years ago was the idea of young women rejecting the term feminist. As the feminist daughter of a former NOW chapter president, this upset and confused me; I was afraid of the “post-feminist” direction our society seemed to be headed. I was not aware, however, that we had apparently entered a new wave of feminism sometime in 2013—whether this was a fourth or fifth wave is subject to much disagreement. I’m not going to attempt to clarify which “wave” we are currently in, but I have always considered “waves” to be synonymous with movements, and I do believe we are most definitely in a new movement.