The general meeting of PEN Català’s members, held on 17th June 2010, elected Carme Arenas as the organisation’s new president, replacing Dolors Oller whose mandate had finished after eight years at the head of the organisation. Rafaella Salierno was chosen as General Secretary. In the Balearic Islands, Antònia Vicens and Joan Buades replaced Biel Mesquida and Sebastià Perelló.
Whilst the former board had achieved the aim of modernising PEN Català, through greater public and social recognition, the new board had to confront the challenge of consolidating all the projects which had been initiated, some of which were wide-reaching, such as the Writers In Refuge Programme which, from 2007 onwards, with Salem Zenia, has been successfully introduced into Catalonia and held a number of successful events. In 2009 the programme welcomed another refugee with the arrival of the Tunisian writer and journalist Sihem Bensedrine. She is a historic fighter for the right to freedom of speech and of women’s rights in a country that presents itself as a formal democratic society, but which hides the worst practices of any dictatorship. Also in 2009, PEN Català succeeds in extending its programme for hosting writers in the city of Palma, where the journalist Rhoda Mashavave from Zimbabwe joins the Writers In Refuge Programme. Thanks to Antònia Vicenç, PEN Català’s vice-president, the International Free Voice Award (Veu Lliure), which aims to recognise a persecuted or threatened writer and defend their freedom of expression, is established. The first writer to receive the award was the Cuban writer and journalist Normando Hernández González, from the Independent Journalists Association of Camagüey. Salem Zenia received the prize the following year, followed by Koulsy Lamko (Chad, 2012), Easterine Kire (Nagaland, 2013), Dessale Berekhet (Eritrea, 2014) and the Teachers of the Balearic Islands (2014), Ahmed Jalali Farahani (Iran, 2015) and Zeynep Oral (Turkey, 2016).
In the field of translation, PEN Català focuses its efforts on three projects: the digital magazine on literary translation “Visat”; “Catalan Writing”; and the celebration of International Translation Day. “Visat” aims to be a reference for literary translation professionals and for all lovers of good literature. In 2009, under the coordination of Simona Škrabec, it was restyled into the Visat Digital Magazine of Literary Translation, a scientific journal bringing together collaborative work with Catalan Universities, the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) and ten European Universities. Meanwhile, “Catalan Writing”, a publication in English, establishes itself in its second phase, after producing 10 editions. The magazine, with a print run of 13,500 copies, responds to the need to communicate and promote Catalan literature around the world. It aims to be a reference point and become a flexible, coherent and provocative source of information for literature professors, universities, foreign institutes and even editors and literary agents, with a solid and critical approach. Promoting translations and exchanges amongst translators are the main objectives of the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee. In addition to “Visat”, the Committee organises an event related to translation annually on the 30th November. In recent years PEN Català has tried to evaluate the impact of major world literature in Catalonia and what its needs are in order to meet them. For this reason, the celebration of International Translation Day has been focused on exploring Greek, Serbian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Japanese and Italian literature.