The registration to the seminar Priceless Words begins

Priceless Words – The Nordic-Estonian Freedom of Speech Seminar

Estonian PEN and the Nordic PEN centres are gathering in Helsinki to a network meeting in September 7–9 2016. In connection to the meeting there will be a public seminar on freedom of speech in our countries on 9th September. The registration to the seminar Priceless Words will begin today. You are welcome to join us!

Priceless Words – The Nordic-Estonian Freedom of Speech Seminar

Kuva: Jukka Laajarinne

Photo: Jukka Laajarinne

Friday 9.9.2016


TING hall, The Nordic Culture Point

Kaisaniemenkatu 9, Helsinki

250 years of press freedom – the Nordic Principle of Publicity – is being celebrated this year. Press freedom and freedom of expression are deeply rooted in and valued high among the northern democratic societies.

Writers’ international freedom of expression organization PEN follows the worldwide status of free speech. In Priceless Words – The Nordic-Estonian Freedom of Speech Seminar members from Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish PEN centres share their views with interesting guests and invite the audience to discuss.


Freedom of speech is debated vigorously in the Nordic countries and Estonia at the moment. In Poland and Hungary, new sets of laws challenge free press, even democracy. What does the future hold for free speech in Scandinavia and around the Gulf of Finland? Is democracy threatened in our countries? And, can free speech hurt a democracy?

Discussing the topic is: editor, literature researcher Kerstin Almegård (Sweden), author, media researcher, Professor Elisabeth Eide (Norway), journalist Niels-Ivar Larsen (Denmark) and author, researcher of Japanese language and culture Rein Raud (Estonia). The panel is moderated by media researcher, Professor Anu Koivunen (Finland).

– Coffee break –


Words are powerful and fragile at the same time. Sometimes they come with a cost – the world sees writers to pay the price. Looking from the past to the present: what makes a book dangerous? Is dangerous literature still being created?

Discussing the topic is: author Hassan Blasim (Iraq/Finland), author, critic, translator Kätlin Kaldmaa (Estonia), author, poet Sjón (Iceland) and novelist, poet Kári Tulinius (Iceland). The panel is moderated by author Sirpa Kähkönen (Finland).

The language of the seminar is English.

It is possible to follow the seminar in real time: the stream is provided by Ilona IT. The stream link will be updated to The Norcid Culture Point’s website closer to the event.

The seminar is free of charge and open for everyone interested in literature and freedom of expression. Because of the limited seating it is necessary to register for the seminar. The registration is available 17.6–31.8 or as long as there are seats left.

Make sure to book your place in time, please register on The Nordic Culture Point’s website (the registration opens on 17.6.).

The TING Hall at the Nordic Culture Point is accessible. Assistant dogs are welcome.

The seminar is organized in cooperation with Finnish PEN, The Nordic Culture Point and Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre. The seminar is funded also by The Icelandic-Finnish Cultural Foundation, The Finnish-Danish Cultural Foundation and The Finnish-Norwegian Cultural Foundation. Finnish PEN would like to thank Ministry of Foreign Affairs of FinlandSecretariat for Nordic Co-Operation / Nordic Council of Ministers and cultural center Caisa for cooperation.

For more information:

Contact person until 13.7.2016:

Johanna Sillanpää, Executive Director, Finnish PEN, pentiedotus(at), +358 40 2171 280

Contact person from 14.7.2016:

Marianne Bargum, Vice President, Finnish PEN, marianne.bargum(at)

The Nordic Culture Point:

Emilia Koivunen, Senior Communications Advisor, ek(at), +358 10 583 1032

PEN Tiedotus