The PEN America Center’s organizational focus is the effect of world events on the safety and freedom of expression of writers, so the topic of war naturally looms large in its cultural consciousness. As part of the recent PEN World Voices Festival, Polish journalist and author Wojciech Jagielski was interviewed by Joel Whitney, a founding editor of Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics. Jagielski began his career on assignment in the former Soviet Union and then spent a decade in Afghanistan. He became particularly interested in how countries with trenchant ethnic divisions seem so often to wind up in the midst of seemingly irresolvable conflicts. His most recent book, The Night Wanderers, is on Uganda and the problematic resistance leader Joseph Rao Kony, a now recognizable name thanks to a wildly circulated viral video.
The PEN World Voices event took place at the Brooklyn Public Library on May 2 and was introduced by Meredith Walters, the director of exhibitions at the libra