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PEN International x Moomin: Literature knows no frontiers

Monday 19 July 2021 - 1:30pm


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PEN International is teaming up with Moomin Characters Ltd to launch an impactful, values-based initiative that will make a positive difference in promoting literature and protecting freedom of expression worldwide.

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A special PEN International x Moomin collaboration launches today, with the release of a limited-edition product range (Click here to go to the shop). Sustainably sourced sweatshirts, t-shirts, tote bags, and notebooks are available for purchase, with 100% of the proceeds funding PEN's crucial and diverse work to defend the human right to freedom of expression, support writers at risk, promote linguistic rights, and celebrate the role of literature in creating spaces for those who are marginalised.

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The new range of products reflects the heart of PEN's mission. Each item is emblazoned with a key message, such as: "Literature knows no frontiers", "Free", and "Imagination". The beautifully creative alphabet used in the designs stems from the maps of Moominvalley, which Finnish artist and author Tove Jansson drew by hand for the Moomin books.

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Moomin Creative Director Sophia Jansson highlights the organisational synergy, explaining that “joining forces with PEN through our initiative Reading, Writing and the Moomins feels like a perfect match, as defending those who have the gift of writing and those who understand the importance of reading is exactly what my aunt Tove Jansson would have done. It makes me proud to carry on her legacy through this partnership.”

The PEN International x Moomin partnership has ambitious and long-lasting goals, set in motion with Moomin Characters Ltd becoming a proud sponsor of PEN International's Centenary - supporting PEN in its 100th year to ensure our global impact and vital programmes are safeguarded and strengthened.

As part of the Reading, Writing, and the Moomins initiative, PEN International will also bring together the full strength and capabilities of the wider PEN network, using Tove Jansson's short story The Invisible Child to address literacy challenges and children's rights, as well as promote the love of reading and encourage creativity amongst children in marginalised communities.

PEN Centres will translate and retell the story in local contexts and languages in Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and PEN's first indigenous language centre in Chiapas, Mexico. Harnessing the benefits of 'mother tongue' education, the translation of The Invisible Child will enable a new generation to hear the important messages of this timeless classic. Teaching equality, respect, and empathy - with the protagonist empowered to re-discover her voice, and take her rightful place in the world.

The PEN International x Moomin partnership is grounded by a shared belief in the values embodied by PEN's Imagination Manifesto and Women's Manifesto. With a product line reflecting the right to imagination, and an international literacy initiative promoting women's rights, including the right to freedom of expression, the partnership has a clear vision. The launch of the PEN International x Moomin collection is the first of many inspiring and impactful collaborations to come.