Promoting Civic Engagement through Literature: IOM and PEN Center’s Regional Meeting Series

Ekaterine Togonidze, a Georgian female writer meeting the residents of Tetri Tklebi village in Telavi municipality as part of IOM and PEN Center’s Regional Meeting Series.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the PEN Center of Georgia, has initiated a series of regional meetings featuring famous Georgian writers. This initiative aims to foster civic education and encourage local participation in public discourse. The first session took place with female author Ekaterine Togonidze on March 30, at the Tetri Tsklebi public school located in the Telavi municipality.

IOM Georgia highlights the significance of this program, stating, “This initiative grants local residents the unique opportunity to engage directly with celebrated authors, delve into various literary works, and engage in discussions that explore pivotal historical moments and national values such as tolerance, diversity, and the embrace of differences—values deeply ingrained in the Georgian identity.”

During the event, Ekaterine Togonidze read selections from her latest work, “Noah’s six arks.” The collection of novels written as plays tells the story of six female characters who made their mark during the First Republic era between 1918-1921, encompassing roles in politics, theatre, military service, and exile.

For the residents of the village located 1200 meters above sea level, the encounter with a prominent writer was a thrilling experience. The staff of the Telavi library also expressed a keen interest in attending the event. They remarked that opportunities to meet a contemporary female writer of Georgian literature are scarce, making this an event not to be missed.

The meeting series will continue across various regions including Kakheti, Imereti, and Guria throughout April. 

This initiative is part of the “Sustainable Reintegration and Community Revitalization Pilot Initiative in Communities of Return,” generously supported by the IOM Development Fund (IDF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities