Department of English Studies, Professor Miwa Ota Gives her Impressions of "For the Restoration of Freedom of Speech and Women’s Higher Education in Afghanistan” on “Web Afghan”

Professor Miwa Ota of the Department of English Studies has looked back at the dialogue between the Afghanistan poet, Somaia Ramish (who exiled herself to the Netherlands), the Japanese poet, Aki Sagawa, and the poet/literary critic Akira Okawada in “For the Restoration of Freedom of Speech and Women’s Higher Education in Afghanistan,” and written an article of her impressions and opinions to post on “Web Afghan” (editor Juichi Noguchi).


The article is a roundup of the series of activities that protested against the Afghanistan Taliban regime forbidding lyric writing in the country in January 2023. Those activities include; the Afghanistan poet, Somaia Ramish calling for the world poets to participate in the opposition; the poet Nozomu Shibata committed to publishing the Japanese edition of No Jail Can Confine Your Poem; the French edition Nulles prison n'enfermera ton poème(Oxybia)published in November; Poetry Reading at Asahikawa (Hokkaido) and Yokohama (Kanagawa) in August and October, respectively; and Somaia Ramish visited Japan in December and had a dialogue. The article is valuable in terms of recording how this worldwide feat which is accomplished through poems was granted a historic meaning. The article covers impressions and opinions of the poet Genichi Takahoso who has put effort into designing and organizing the event, the poet Aki Sagawa, the poet/literary critic Akira Okawada, and the poet Miwa Ota who have all mounted the podium. Each one wrote from their point of view and the whole text of Q&As with Somaia Ramish exchanged at December dialogue is posted, too, so don’t miss it!

The article posted on “Web Afghan” also tells how the activities related to No Jail Can Confine Your Poem were organized under the collaboration of the poets, writers, journalists, and the staff of the City Collaboration Space. Please read the full text to know how a vulnerable individual can work hand in hand to change the status quo a bit, from nothing into one, under this fluctuating world and Japanese society which is facing a mountain of issues. By reading the entire text of this article, you may get a clue on how to act to make a better society.

Click here to see the YouTube dialogue which was held in December.

Miwa Ota is also scheduled to appear on the ZOOM poet reading by the world poets (Sunday, 21st January, 4:00 am to 2:00 pm JST), celebrating the publication of No Jail Can Confine Your Poem French edition.
If you would like to see the live event, please email Carol Mesrobian, the French poet and the president of Pen Club Française. See the last sentence of the attached French flier for Carol's email address.