Meet PEN SA Intern, Daniela Friedman

26 Mar 2019
Meet PEN SA Intern, Daniela Friedman

PEN SA would like to extend a warm welcome to Daniela Friedman, who recently joined the organisation as an intern.

We asked Daniela to introduce herself, which she has done by means of the Q&A below.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself

A: I am an English Honours student at the University of Cape Town. I started my undergraduate degree at UCT in 2016, majoring in English Literature and Social Anthropology. I also studied took courses in History, Spanish, Film and Media, and Sign Language, which greatly enriched my learning. I really enjoy learning new things and learned invaluable lessons in all of my courses.

Q: You are currently pursuing an honours degree in English at UCT: what motivated your choice of study?

I chose to do Honours in English because I am passionate about literature, reading, and writing. Studying literature allows us to look so deeply into words and their meanings, and since I can remember, I have been fascinated by words. Literature is also very interdisciplinary; most of the courses I did in my undergraduate degree could connect back to English. Literature is part of everyday life, and is something I both get lost in, and utilize to find myself.

Q: What motivated you to apply for the internship with PEN SA?

I applied for the internship because freedom of speech and expression are very important to me, and something that PEN SA advocates for. I learnt about PEN last year, when we read the Women’s Manifesto in our third year English class. As a feminist, I feel that this manifesto is incredibly important in promoting the equality and safety of women and girls, as well as ensuring that women can exercise their right to write. I also went to the Day of the Imprisoned Writer last November, which was incredibly engaging and interesting. So many people are imprisoned, and even killed, for using their voices and expressing what needs to be expressed. As an advocate for freedom of expression, I believe that people should be free to say what needs to be said, wherever they are in the world.

Q: What are your initial impressions of PEN SA at the inception of your internship?

I know that this experience will be deeply rewarding and that I will learn new things, and gain new skills. The PEN SA team has been so welcoming, and I am very excited to contribute what I can and engage with the literary world, particularly in a local, South African context.