Writing in protest

12-01-10 Keats

This week we’re introducing a new series of short interviews with writers, activists, journalists, artists, anyone who has chosen to stand against injustice. We want to find out what’s inspired them, how they’ve developed their careers and the advice they would give to those following in their footsteps.

Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, our writer in residence, introduces the series, relating what drives her forward in her writing. Telling stories may seem too simple a response when faced with grievous wrongs, but Rebecca provides a flavour of why she believes it to be a vital task.

Our first interview is with Clare Sambrook. Award winning investigative journalist and successful novelist, Clare reveals how she came into her profession and the hurdles she has had to overcome along the way.  And she provides priceless advice on the whole business of writing journalism.

The inside story of writing in protest is also a theme taken up by Laila Sumpton in Open Lacuna this week. Laila introduces us to three poems from the recently published anthology ‘In Protest – 150 Poems for Human Rights’.

You can see Laila read these poems and discuss them at a Frontline Club event organised by Lacuna last month. Taking the theme of ‘Politics and Art’ we brought Laila together with the photographer Lesley McIntyre and theatre director Christine Bacon to talk about the link between creativity and campaigning for justice. Under the chair of our own Maureen Freely, recently elected as president of English PEN, Orwell’s wish to ‘make political writing into an art’ underpinned the debate. It’s a theme at the heart of Lacuna.