Sticks and stones...? Satirists and populists both employ deliberately offensive phraseology to make their points, but, while the efforts of the one group are often extolled, those of the other come in for consistent criticism. What really differentiates the two approaches and should it be our duty to restrict speech considered likely to incite violence or is it more important to protect the principles of free speech from a culture of proscription? Watch the video highlights!
freedom of expression
Do we need them or would we be better off without them? What are taboos and why do they exist? Do they actually play useful roles in our societies or do they help maintain anachronisms and harm our ability to live together in harmony? Free Word, Fritt Ord and Index on Censorship investigate in a discussion which asks "taboos: what's the point?". Watch the recording!
At sea amongst circus dogs & newspeak Books such as Animal Farm and 1984 are known worldwide, but what is George Orwell's relevance today, how prescient were his predictions, how do his writings inform us about our own situations and what impact has his work had posthumously?
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Consensus and other constraints Be it through hacking iPhones, gagging state media or enforcing politicised consensuses, lately, the actions of both governments and non-state actors have led to increasing concerns about the state of freedom of expression in Europe. Join Claire Fox, Miklos Haraszti and Agnieszka Holland for a discussion about free speech and censorship in Europe today. Watch the recording!
Elections under dictatorship Andrei Sannikov has enjoyed both the highs and the lows of an illustrious career in Belarus. In 2010, he campaigned to become the country's next president and was promptly imprisoned post-election for his protests against perceived electoral fraud. Here, on the occasion of the release of his memoirs, he talks to ARTICLE 19 about his life, poitics in Belarus and the impact of international pressure on wayward regimes. Read more!
Still room for debate? Index on Censorship take a look at the state of academic freedom around the world, analysing an array of threats to students' freedom of expression in the form of no platform policies, trigger warnings, legislation on campus extremism and old fashioned political pressure to toe the official line. Listen to the recording!
Liberties in literature and expression From the 4th-6th June, an array of European literature houses came together in London. In the course of their meeting Free Word opened their doors to members of the public for debates on the role of literature houses in sustaining freedom of expression and the changing dynamic of the relationship between authors and their readers. Listen to the recordings!