Sirena: poesia, arte y critica 2005.1 (2005) 5-6
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Jorge R. Sagastume
As time passes, the world in which we live should consciously become a place where different people can live together in peace with a spirit of acceptance. The world should be a place where individual expression is a right, not just a privilege. However, even in countries that claim to be developed, countries that emphasize the freedom of expression, this very freedom of expression becomes limited by what is considered acceptable or unacceptable ideology. Surprisingly, even today, there are countries that don't consider diversity one of their greatest riches. Sirena was founded in reaction to this ideological unilateralism and established the goal of providing a forum in which artists, poets, and translators from diverse languages and origins could express themselves freely, without the fear of censorship. This goal has not changed, and in each issue we try to broaden the international, multicultural, multilingual and multi-ideological attributes of our journal. The reader should note that this is still the case in the current issue since we have included works in languages not previously seen in Sirena, such as Chinese, Bulgarian, French and Dutch, and the future is even more promising. In a recent trip to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, accompanied by Michael Augustin .14;poet, artist, and a member of our advisory board .14;I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Martin Mooij. Anyone interested in poetry would, possibly, recognize this name, which is closely connected to the creation, and for many years organization, of one of the most important poetry festivals of the world, Poetry International. Throughout the years many poets have read in this festival, including Sujata Bhatt, Remco Campert, Adonis, Joseph Brodsky, Mario los Cesariny de Vasconcelos, Horacio Ferrer, Juan Gelman, Ángel González, Günter Grass, Seamus Heaney, Philip Levine, Pablo Neruda, Heberto Padilla, Nicanor Parra, Octavio Paz, Eduardo Sanguineti, Charles Simic, Leo Vroman, and other internationaly renowned poets. Poetry International, as Sirena, has always worked in favor of freedom of expression. Presently, Poetry International, under the direction of Bas Kaukman, upholds the same objectives. Although Martin Mooij has retired, he has not abandoned the world of poetry. Instead, he, along with Neelie Kroes and Winfried van den Muijsenbergh, is part of Poets of All Nations (PAN), an international organization founded in 1997, whose primary objective is to promote literature and freedom of expression. With this goal in mind, PAN, among other things, rescues poets of diverse languages and nationalities who suffer persecution because of their art. In addition, PAN also facilitates the publication of their work in an appropriate forum. Therefore, it is with great pride that, beginning with the next issue, Sirena is committed to collaborate closely with Poets of All Nations through the continued publication of selected poems by these poets. Although this ideal world where freedom of expression prevails is still only a project, we would like to be a part of such a project because, as Remco Campert highlights in one of his poems, 'Poetry is an act / of affirmation. I affirm / I live, I do not live alone'; precisely because we do not exist as individuals in our own worlds, it is our responsibility to promote the free exchange of ideas among all people. And I wonder . . . Is there a better medium than that of art and literature to achieve this goal? [End Page 5]
A medida que pasan los años el mundo en que vivimos debería tornarse, paulatinamente, en un lugar donde diferentes personas puedan cohabitar en paz y con un espíritu de aceptación. El mundo debería ser un lugar donde la expresión personal más que un privilegio sea un derecho. Sin embargo, incluso en ciertos países que se autoproclaman desarrollados, países que hacen alarde de la libertad de expresión, se imponen restricciones que rotulan los diferentes discursos en aceptables e inaceptables. Existen, aún hoy en día, países donde la diversidad en lugar de verse como una riqueza se percibe como pobreza. Reaccionando contra este unilateral(ismo) ideoló...