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A Message from Our Honorary Chairman, Terry Waite
There is no doubt whatsoever that the past few months have been difficult for many people. I feel especially for those who have found themselves unemployed and saddled with debts they cannot possibly repay. There are no glib answers that one can give in the face of the pandemic, but it is possible to find hope. I am firmly of the belief that within almost all tragic situations, there is the possibility of finding seeds of hope for the future.
When I was in captivity as a hostage many years ago, I had no books, papers or companions for almost five years. I was chained in a dark room and slept on the floor. It was not at all easy, but I was determined not to feel sorry for myself and to remember that there were many people around the world who were in a far worse situation than I was. During that time, I began to write in my head as I had no pen or paper.
Since those years, I have written many books. It is doubtful that I would have done so had I not been put through that difficult experience. Book and music festivals have been hit especially hard in the past year and they have had to find new ways of working and here the internet has proved to be invaluable. I have taken part in many online events and found them both stimulating and enjoyable. One thing you must do in times of isolation is to keep mentally alive, and the arts have a vital role in this process.
This year the Guernsey Literary Festival took place in person with Guernsey based authors and via video links with authors worldwide and the livestreamed talks are available to watch on playback on the website and on our YouTube channel.
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