Formed in 2014 by 62 writers inside and outside Vietnam, the League aims, among other things, “to bring forth conditions for professional amelioration, to advance and promote individual creation,” as well as “to defend all legitimate materialistic and spiritual interests of its members, especially the freedom to write and publish” (Proclamation of the Committee to Promote the Founding of the LIVW, March 4, 2014).
The LIVW is not to be confused with the Vietnam Writers’ Association (VWA), which has been operating since its creation in 1957 within the boundaries of and for the official ideology of the ruling Communist Party. In May 2015, that writers’ organization urged its members to eliminate nine writers who had previously joined the independent League, which prompted twenty prominent writers to leave the VWA.
The LIVW stresses its identity as a “civil society” organization and seeks to affirm its independence from any other organizations inside and outside Vietnam, including the ruling Party. A similar movement by Vietnamese dissident writers in the 1950s was severely repressed by Party in what is known as the Nhan Van-Giai Pham Affair.
Video of the award ceremony: