On the occasion of the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, the Peter-Weiss-Stiftung für Kultur und Politik e.V. (Berlin) initiated the “Anniversary of the Political Lie” and the Worldwide Readings. Cultural institutions, theatres and interested people in various cities worldwide were invited to hold readings of Eliot Weinbergers “What I Heard about Iraq”. Since then, the readings take place in irregular intervals, sometimes several times a year. They focus on political topics which are relevant worldwide as well as the fate of politically active personalities such as Edward Snowden or the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. The aim of the events and activities is to raise awareness of the form and content of political communication. Since lies belong to the equipment of political groups at the start of the twenty-first century, it is crucial that the strength of those who protest against them is not weakened. In the following, the respective appeals, lists of signatories as well as participants and the texts which were read in different languages of all previous readings can be found. Furthermore, documentation material of the events is provided.
- 07.09.2016 - Worldwide Reading for Democracy without Populism
The international literature festival Berlin (ilb) calls on all individuals, institutions and media outlets that care about democracy to participate in a worldwide reading of selected texts for Democracy and against Populism, on 7 September 2016.
- 14.01.2016 - Worldwide Reading of selected poems and other texts in support of Ashraf Fayadh
The international literature festival Berlin (ilb) calls on all individuals, institutions, schools and media outlets that care about justice and freedom to participate in a worldwide reading of selected poems and other texts in support of Ashraf Fayadh, on 14 January 2016.
- 21.04.2015 - Worldwide Reading Commemorating the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide
The international literature festival berlin (ilb) and the Lepsiushaus Potsdam are calling for a worldwide reading on 21 April 2015 - the day that marks 100 years since the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.
- 08.09.2014 - Worldwide Reading for Edward Snowden
The international literature festival berlin (ilb) calls on all individuals, institutions, schools and media outlets that care about freedom and civil rights to participate in a worldwide reading of texts about surveillance in support of Edward Snowden, on 8th September 2014.
- 25.10.2013 - Worldwide Reading in Solidarity with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Platon Lebedev and all Political Prisoners in Russia
The international literature festival berlin (ilb) launches an appeal to artists and intellectuals, schools and universities, radio and TV stations, theatres and other cultural institutions to participate in a worldwide reading in solidarity with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Platon Lebedev and all political prisoners in Russia. The reading will take place on Friday, 25 October 2013, the tenth anniversary of the detention of Michail Khodorkovsky.
- 04.06.2013 - Worldwide Reading for Li Bifeng
In light of the continuing imprisonment of Li Bifeng, the international literature festival berlin (ilb) is calling artists and intellectuals, schools and universities, radio and TV stations, theatres and other cultural institutions to join us for a worldwide reading in solidarity with Li Bifeng to take place on the 4th of June 2013.
- 12.12.2012 - Worldwide Reading for Pussy Riot
In the past weeks the Russian judiciary has missed the chance to end the infamous prosecution of Pussy Riot. The sentence in the first instance as such, and the fact that there was a trial at all, is a disgrace! It is another example of how Putin’s system is trying to shut up a whole generation of artists and keep them from expressing themselves in art, culture and civil society.
- 23.04.2012 - Worldwide Reading against the Assad Regime
The international literature festival berlin (ilb) invites intellectuals, authors and artists, cultural institutions, schools and universities, radio- and television channels to participate in a worldwide reading on April 23rd 2012, the World Book Day. With the reading and a minute of silence the dead shall be commemorated, solidarity with the opponents of the Assad regime shown and the hope for a free, democratic and secular Syria expressed. Especially now, after achieving a fragile truce, a noticeable sign from artists and intellectuals is more urgent than ever!
- 20.03.2012 - Worldwide Reading for the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo
After drafting the Charta 08 with other dissidents, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to seven years in prison on the flimsy accusation that he had “undermined state authority”. In response, the international literature festival berlin (ilb) has once again called for another worldwide reading in support of the Nobel Laureate on 20 March 2012, the anniversary of the political lie.
- 21.11.2011 - Worldwide Reading in Memory of Heinrich von Kleist
The international literature festival berlin (ilb) and the German Heinrich von Kleist Society are calling for cultural institutions, schools, radio stations and anyone who is interested to organise a worldwide reading of the works of the German author Heinrich von Kleist on 21 November 2011, the 200th anniversary of his death.
- 20.03.2011 - Worldwide Reading for the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo
Liu Xiaobo is currently the world’s only winner of the Nobel Peace Prize still held in detention. In 2009, after co-authoring ‘Charter 08’, a manifesto calling for greater freedoms and democracy in China, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to eleven years in prison on a spurious charge of “inciting subversion of state power”. His continued imprisonment is a basic breach of human rights, and also a violation of China’s own
constitution where Article 35 states that “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration”.
- 04.06.2010 - Worldwide Reading for Liao Yiwu
The international literature festival berlin (ilb) calls for cultural institutions, schools, radio stations and interested parties to participate in a worldwide reading of prose and poems by the Chinese author Liao Yiwu on June 4th 2010. This day is the anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989 during which roughly 2,600 people died, according to the Red Cross.
- 16.09.2009 - Worldwide Reading for Democracy and Freedom in Iran
The international literature festival berlin (ilb) is appealing to cultural institutions, theatre, radio stations, and interested parties to participate in a worldwide reading of the Ayatollah Montazeri’s fatwa on the 16th of September. The aim of the coordinated events and campaigns will be to express unmistakable solidarity with the democratic opposition in Iran and to support the protests against the show trials and the imprisonment of democratic forces.
- 05.10.2008 - Worldwide Reading in Memory of Mahmoud Darwish
The international literature festival berlin (ilb) is appealing for a worldwide reading of Mahmoud Darwish's poetry on 5 October 2008. The activities accompanying this event are designed not only to honour the poet's body of work but also his commitment to promoting peaceful and fair coexistence between Arabs and Israelis. This appeal is directed at cultural institutions, radio stations, schools, universities, theatres and all other Darwish enthusiasts the world over.
- 20.03.2008 - Worldwide Reading on the Anniversary of the Political Lie
For the third time the Peter Weiss Foundation for Art and Politics calls upon cultural institutions, theatres and interested individuals to join in a worldwide reading on March 20th, the anniversary of the political lie. The essay “In Memory of the Forgotten” by the Chinese writer Lu Xun (1881-1936) will be read.
- 09.09.2007 - Worldwide Reading for Democracy and Media Freedom in Zimbabwe
The human rights abuses in Zimbabwe go back to the early 80s, when Robert Mugabe implemented the Gukurahundi operation - the bloody murder of more than 20.000 Ndebele people. Since 2000 he has been responsible for the eviction of white farmers from their land, actions which have led to corn shortages and, consequently, to terrible famine. During the Murambatsvina (filth removal) campaign of 2005, Mugabe responded to the opposition's demonstrations by having several slums bulldozed. Hundreds of opposition members and dissidents have been arrested, kidnapped or tortured. A general ban on demonstrations has been in force since February 2007. The freedom of the press is extremely limited and there is discrimination against foreign media. Mugabe influenced the election by means of violence and absolute control in such a way that fear was caused to everyone who voted for the opposition. In mid-March 2007 Zimbabwe's most important opposition party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was arrested during a protest rally and later severely beaten in custody.
- 20.03.2007 - Worldwide Reading in Memory of Anna Politkovskaya
An appeal for a worldwide reading of Anna Politkovskaya's reports on
Chechnya. The journalist and critic of Putin was assassinated on October 7, 2006.
For a second time the Peter Weiss Foundation for Art and Politics, based in Berlin, makes an appeal for a worldwide reading on March 20. The aim of these interconnected events is to raise awareness of matters and forms of political communication. Because the lie as instrument of political formations also belongs to the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is imperative that the powers that combat it don't weaken.
- 20.03.2006 - Worldwide Reading of Eliot Weinberger's "What I Heard about Iraq"
The Peter Weiss Foundation for Arts and Politics based in Berlin is sending out an appeal to commit 20th of March (the third anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq) as an Anniversary of the Political Lie. The purpose of the events and activities linked to this day should be to heighten awareness about contents and forms of political communication and to expose and criticize the political lie - academically, artistically or in form of caricatures. Since the beginning of the 21st century it is evident that the lie still belongs to the standard set of certain political movements, it has to be made clear at the same time, that the forces which oppose it do not yield. The first Anniversary of the Political Lie will be held on 20th of March 2006 in different cities worldwide and among other events with readings of Eliot Weinberger's "What I Heard about Iraq."