Index on Censorship » Events http://www.indexoncensorship.org the voice of free expression Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:38:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=457 the voice of free expression Index on Censorship no the voice of free expression Index on Censorship » Events http://www.indexoncensorship.org/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Free_Speech_Bites_Logo.jpg http://www.indexoncensorship.org/category/events/ 10 Feb: Counter-censorship workshop http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2015/01/10-feb-counter-censorship-workshop/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2015/01/10-feb-counter-censorship-workshop/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:00:14 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=63282 Index on Censorship is hosting a workshop on how ​the next generation of ​journalists can address threats and challenges to ​their freedom in Europe.

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​In 2015 and beyond, there is a world of new challenges for the journalist — from legal threats​, online harassment and intimidation​,​ ​to ​surveillance and physical attacks​.​

Index staff, guest speakers and participants will discuss risks and challenges, highlight ​effective ​measures​ that​ exist​ to combat these, and​ share experience and best practice.

An introduction to digital security and training material including Security-In-A-Box will also be provided.

This workshop is for young journalists and students in journalism. Participation is free of charge but limited to 30 participants.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE:
Jessica Elgot, Assistant News Editor, Huffington Post UK
Amie Ferris-Rotman, Journalist, formerly Reuters senior correspondent in Kabul, Afghanistan
Melody Patry, Senior Advocacy Officer, Index on Censorship
Ben Whitelaw, Head of Community and Digital Development, The Times

WHERE: Index on Censorship offices, 92-94 Tooley Street, SE1 2TH London
WHEN: Tuesday 10 February 2015, 6pm
TICKETS: Tickets are available here on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is mandatory.

For more information about the workshop, please email melody@indexoncensorship.org.

This event is supported by the European Commission and is part of Index’s media freedom mapping project that monitors censorship in the European Union.

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30 Jan: Walking the Tightrope – the tension between art and politics http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2015/01/30-jan-walking-tightrope-tension-art-politics/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2015/01/30-jan-walking-tightrope-tension-art-politics/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 19:23:54 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=63197 Presenting the world premiere of a collection of 12 explosive political five minute plays by writers including Mark Ravenhill, Neil LaBute and Caryl Churchill. Arising from events and decisions relating to The Underbelly and Incubator Theatre’s The City, Exhibit B and the Barbican, and The Tricycle Theatre. Each performance will include all twelve five minute plays and a […]

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Presenting the world premiere of a collection of 12 explosive political five minute plays by writers including Mark Ravenhill, Neil LaBute and Caryl Churchill.

Arising from events and decisions relating to The Underbelly and Incubator Theatre’s The City, Exhibit B and the Barbican, and The Tricycle Theatre.

Each performance will include all twelve five minute plays and a lively post-show discussion exploring freedom of expression in UK arts today. Engage in discussion with the commissioned writers and a range of free expression advocates .

The post-show debate on on Friday 30th January will feature Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg.

 

WHERE: Theatre Delicatessen, London, EC1R 3ER
WHEN:  Monday 26th – Saturday 31st January,  7:30pm & Sat Matinee
TICKETS: £15 / £12 – available here

 

This event is produced by Offstage Theatre, in association with Theatre Uncut, and supported by Index on Censorship and Free Word.

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23 Jan: Vigil for Saudi blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2015/01/16-jan-vigil-saudi-blogger-sentenced-1000-lashes/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2015/01/16-jan-vigil-saudi-blogger-sentenced-1000-lashes/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 15:31:21 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=63098 Index on Censorship, English PEN and Article 19 will hold a peaceful vigil in front of the embassy of Saudi Arabia at 9am on Friday 23 January in condemnation of the ongoing flogging and imprisonment of Raif Badawi. Please meet at the Curzon Street side of the embassy. Blogger and activist Badawi will receive his […]

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raif-badawi

Index on Censorship, English PEN and Article 19 will hold a peaceful vigil in front of the embassy of Saudi Arabia at 9am on Friday 23 January in condemnation of the ongoing flogging and imprisonment of Raif Badawi. Please meet at the Curzon Street side of the embassy.

Blogger and activist Badawi will receive his second set of 50 lashes on the 23rd after a postponement on Friday Jan 16 to let the wounds from his first 50 lashes heal. Badawi’s punishment will continue every week until 1,000 lashes have been given. He is being punished for speaking out against Islam and powerful Saudi religious figures on his blog, Free Saudi Liberals, which encouraged political debate. As well as the lashings, he has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 1 million riyals (£175,000).

He received his first 50 lashes in the port city of Jeddah on Friday 9 January. An anonymous witness said:

“A security officer approached him from behind with a huge cane and started beating him. Raif raised his head towards the sky, closing his eyes and arching his back. He was silent, but you could tell from his face and his body that he was in real pain. The officer beat Raif on his back and legs, counting the lashes until they reached 50.”

It’s crucial that we take a stand against the Saudi government’s brutal treatment of this political prisoner. Every week that Raif Badawi is dragged to the public square in Jeddah and given another 50 lashes for exercising his right to freedom of expression, scores of Saudi activists will muffle themselves in fear of a similar reprisal.

We call on the Saudi government to stop this extreme punishment, and to release Raif immediately.

Join us at 9am. Please meet at the Curzon Street side of the embassy.

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2 Feb: Index magazine debate: Do we need a First Amendment in the UK? http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2015/01/2-feb-index-magazine-debate-living-without-need-1st-amendment-uk/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2015/01/2-feb-index-magazine-debate-living-without-need-1st-amendment-uk/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 18:25:55 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=63003 Index on Censorship launch our Winter 2015 magazine on a historic day at the British Library

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magna-carta

On the day when the four surviving copies of the original 1215 Magna Carta are being briefly brought together for the first time, join us to debate whether we need a US-style written First Amendment?

With a panel hailing from both sides of the Atlantic, speakers include former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, academic Sarah Churchwell, Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre Madani Younis and political analyst Peter Kellner.

Please note that the debate is invitation only, please email events@indexoncensorship.org if you are interested in attending.

WHERE: British Library, London
WHEN: Monday 2 February 2015, 5:30pm

This event is presented in association with the British Library

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27 Nov: Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case – film screening + Q&A http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/27-nov-ai-weiwei-fake-case-film-screening-qa/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/27-nov-ai-weiwei-fake-case-film-screening-qa/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:01:31 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=62007 Join Index for a screening and discussion of Andreas Johnsen's acclaimed documentary about the famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei

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Danish filmmaker Andreas Johnsen documents, over the course of four years, the high-profile court battle between world renowned artist and political activist Ai Weiwei and the Chinese authorities.

Detained for alleged tax evasion, Ai Weiwei spent 81 days in a cell with two guards watching his every move. On probation at the time of filming, and deeply affected by his ordeal, the artist continues to proclaim his innocence, despite the authorities’ unrelenting attempts to silence him. Johnsen’s candid portrait digs deep into the life and mind of a man single-handedly battling for the truth behind what has come to be known as a multi-million dollar “fake case”.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with film-maker Andreas Johnsen, chaired by Index on Censorship’s David Heinemann

WHERE: Hackney Picturehouse, London, E8 1HE
WHEN: Thursday 27 November 2014, 20:30 followed by Q&A
TICKETS: Available Here

This event is presented as part of the Nordic Film Festival

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27 Nov: ArtFreedomWales free speech hearing http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/27-nov-art-freedom-walesfree-speech-hearing/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/27-nov-art-freedom-walesfree-speech-hearing/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:00:47 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=61331 Index on Censorship is coming to Cardiff to ask the question: is Wales enjoying its right to artistic freedom of expression?

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Art Freedom Wales

Following recent free speech hearings around the world – workshops exploring the conditions necessary for free expression to flourish – Index on Censorship is coming to Cardiff to ask the question: is Wales enjoying its right to artistic freedom of expression?

Some say yes — Wales has a proud cultural heritage, a vibrant bi-lingual arts scene and a closely-knit community. Others cite concerns — too few voices, too little access, complex linguistic battles, poor infrastructure, dwindling resource.

Join voices from across Wales to make your case, to reflect on the opportunities and obstacles and to consider whether Wales could be a world centre for artistic freedom of expression?

WHERE: Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
WHEN: Thursday 27 November 2014, 2.00-5.30pm
TICKETS: £5 (contribution towards costs) available here

#ArtFreedomWales

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DRAFT PROGRAMME

2.00pm. Opening 
– Freedom of Expression in Wales? Hear from the eyes of artists living in exile.

2.15pm. Evidence: Is Wales enjoying its right to artistic freedom of expression?
– Stories of opportunities, stories of obstacles – submissions invited and from the floor.

3.20pm. Taking Action: Working Groups
– Consider action around promoting Wales’ strengths and tackling Wales’ weaknesses?

4.30pm. Institutional Action: Plenary
– Reflect and deliberate on the afternoon’s discussion with a panel including

  • Dai Smith (Arts Council Wales)
  • John McGrath (National Theatre Wales)
  • David Anderson (Museums Wales)
  • Lleucu Siencyn (Literature Wales)
  • Elen ap Robert (Pontio)

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ONLINE CONVERSATIONS – #ArtFreedomWales – 

Hangout 1. Artists Working In Wales (Click Here for Recap Report)

Hangout 2. Artists Working In Welsh (Click Here for Recap Report and English Translation)

Hangout 3. Young Artists In Wales

Sponsored by Arts Council of Wales and Western Power

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Recap report: Is it ever better to censor than to cause offence? http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/recap-report-ever-better-censor-cause-offence/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/recap-report-ever-better-censor-cause-offence/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 14:17:23 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=61758 Index on Censorship and the Bush Theatre organised a debate as a part of the RADAR Festival, to explore the rights of the artist to free expression and to examine the role of arts institutions in defending and promoting free expression

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(Photo: Melody Patry)

(Photo: Melody Patry)

Should there ever be censorship of the arts was the subject of an Index/Bush Theatre debate, held last night. The event was provoked by the cancellation of Exhibit B in London, and Israeli play The City at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe as well as controversy around this year’s Jewish Film Festival, all in the past few months.

Taking part in the debate were, among others: Stella Odunlami, artist and a cast member of Exhibit B; Zita Holbourne, artist, activist and co-organiser of the campaign to boycott the show; and Arik Eshet, artistic director of Incubator Theatre, which produced The City.

An Exhibit B performer Stella Odunlami told the audience: “We, a group of intelligent and informed actors and performers, have been censored and silenced by protestors, who truly have an ill-informed and misguided perspective of this significant and informative piece of work.

We are appalled, outraged, angry…extremely angry as artists, as human beings. We cannot believe that this is London in 2014. We are appalled that Exhibit B has been cancelled because of the actions of some of the demonstrators.”

Protester Zita Holbourne put her point of view as a poem, she said: “We said to them, Barbican please take that down, 2014 and you want to put black people in a cage? Then telling us you don’t understand our outrage!”

Read  their full statements, made to the audience, below.

Stella Odunlami read the statement from the London cast of Exhibit B

It is with utter disappointment that we write these words.

Exhibit B is an important work that has given us an education into the lives of other human beings. We believe everybody has the right to their specific story being told, and this work provided that platform, through the medium of art – living and breathing. It is a shame that these stories will no longer be heard, seen, nor felt. An even greater shame that those who were open and brave enough to purchase a ticket, have now been robbed of that experience.

Exhibit B afforded us the opportunity to explore and engage with our past, while reminding and reawakening us to its impact on the present.

To the 23,000 petitioners who complained that Exhibit B objectified human beings – you missed the point.

This is the 21st Century and we believe that everyone has a choice, a right, an entitlement, to do or say whatever they deem to be right for them. We can accept someone seeing the piece and not liking it-that’s fine. What we cannot accept about the events of Tuesday evening and the subsequent cancellation of Exhibit B, is the physical action that was taken outside of the Vaults, by a minority of the demonstrators who would not even entertain the thought of seeing the piece.

We, a group of intelligent and informed actors and performers, have been censored and silenced by protestors, who truly have an ill-informed and misguided perspective of this significant and informative piece of work.

We are appalled, outraged, angry…extremely angry as artists, as human beings. We cannot believe that this is London in 2014. We are appalled that Exhibit B has been cancelled because of the actions of some of the demonstrators.

We are artists who, after thoughtful and careful deliberation, decide what projects we want to work on. Grown men and women who decided that our contribution to Exhibit B would be worthwhile and important. Who, on Tuesday, were told, by way of the protestor’s force, that we couldn’t make creative and life decisions for ourselves.

That complete strangers knew what was best for us.

For all of us.

Our voices and ideas were deemed not worthy of being shared with the world. This is exactly what Exhibit B is about: we want to denounce oppression, racism and bigotry. We want to denounce actions like this. And the fact that this is still happening in London in 2014, proves even more why this piece is necessary.

The anger and vitriol and hysteria which the protestors have and continue to level at the company of Exhibit B, astounds us.

It doesn’t feel rational. It doesn’ t feel measured. There simply has not been room for an exchange of ideas.

There’s such vulnerability in holding a mirror up to humanity. No one wants to see a representation of themselves oppressed, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t look.

We welcome protest, but surely it’s best to have as much information beforehand, so your opinion is truly informed. Surely as a protestor, you have a duty to ensure your ‘peaceful protest’ really is peaceful. And, surely your right to protest should not impact another person’s freedom of thought and speech.

We are actors and performers who believe that art should be meaningful. Challenging. Provoking.

Not only for us, as participating collaborators in the work, but also for the audience who witness the work.

This project afforded us the opportunity to be the most vulnerable, most on display, silently engaging and being engaged, while exploring themes around other, sex, race, and gender.

Exhibit B was created with love and sensitivity. We are intelligent creatives who made a brave choice to be part of a thought provoking piece of work. As Londoners, we are embarrassed that this has happened in our city, as the show has already been seen by 25,000 people from all over the world, and will continue to tour.

We would like to thank the Barbican for their immense support and Brett Bailey for his inspired work.

Zita Holbourne read Prejudice, Privilege, Power: A Poem for the Barbican (listen to it here)

Barbican announced a human zoo in town
We said to them, Barbican please take that down
2014 and you want to put black people in a cage?
Then telling us you don’t understand our outrage!

Strapped to plane seats, placed in iron masks
And nobody in a whole arts institution thought to ask
Our views before taking a decision to host
Then you have the bare faced audacity to boast

That you’ve placed black people in a human zoo
Going around talking about the good it can do
In challenging racist attitudes and views
But to listen to our concerns you refuse

Shackles and cages at £20 per ticket
But you don’t get why we organised a picket
We don’t need to see a black woman shackled to a bed
To know that racism is rearing its ugly head

We’re forced to battle daily with modern day enslavement
Power and privilege versus our self-empowerment
You are arrogant telling those of us that live with racism every day
What is or is not racist, like we don’t have a say

Let’s make clear that a boycott campaign is not censorship
For your actions and failures you must take ownership
We don’t need a lecture on what it is to be banned
We’re treated like third class citizens in this land

Blocked by institutions, so take a moment, pause
Think about the anger and pain you cause
By insulting our ancestors, our histories
Adding insult to our multiple injuries

If anything is censored it’s the art we produce
Rejected repeatedly by art institutions that refuse
To acknowledge our stories told by us through art
We’ve never had a level playing field from the start

We have a legitimate right to protest
It’s disingenuous of you to suggest
That our demonstration was aggressive
When it was simply passionate and expressive

Using the very arts that you claim to stand for
To demonstrate our strength of feeling outside the door
We made music, danced, lifted our voices in song
Displayed placards that had our beautiful art on

Yet you state that we were extreme and threatening
In contrast, press there say we were peaceful and welcoming
Police confirm there was no damage, injury or arrest
So perhaps it’s you trying to censor our right to protest

Their singing was threatening is what the headlines say
Brandishing placards and drums that barred the way
You accuse us of blocking freedom of expression
But then you call our expression aggression!

What does this say about you as a leading arts institution?
When you resort to this vicious persecution
Barbican you are cowardly and insincere
Resorting to this malicious smear

You simply confirm what we said from the start
You are defending racism in the name of art
When prejudice, privilege and power are combined
Institutional racism becomes clearly defined.

Arik Eshet, Artistic Director of Incubator Theatre, spoke via Skype about the cancellation of The City at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Index/Bush Theatre debate was part of the RADAR Festival.

This article was posted on 14 November 2014 at indexoncensorship.org

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Recap report: #IndexDrawTheLine at Lilian Baylis School http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/recap-report-draw-line-lilian-baylis-school/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/recap-report-draw-line-lilian-baylis-school/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:17:55 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=61741 Ahead of the UK general election, students discussed voting rights and free expression

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The general elections in the UK next May means that the topic of voting and who should be able to vote is under scrutiny, and students at Lilian Baylis Technology School in south London found that there were few clear cut answers.

Index visited the 6th form of Lilian Baylis yesterday to host our latest Draw the Line workshop where we asked the student to examine the question “Are voting restrictions a free speech violation?” in a number of ways. The discussion ranged from the issue of 16 year olds and prisoners voting in the UK, to voting restrictions in different countries including gender, age, level of education, military and mental disability.

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The session concluded in a debate on whether 16 year olds be allowed to vote. The group in agreement pointed out that at 16 you are able to join the army and therefore die for your country, but have no way of directing its political activity. They also argued that although 16 and 17 years old can’t vote now, the outcome of the next election will affect them when they are 18 and for the following few years. As one participant said, tuition fees went up after the 2011 general election, but the 16 year olds who were later affected by this change had no say in it.

The team who disagreed highlighted the fact that 16 year olds are not deemed responsible enough to buy alcohol, see certain films or buy certain video games so they are not responsible enough to vote. They also suggested that many 16 year olds don’t understand politics and therefore shouldn’t be able to take part in the political system.

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Ultimately, however, both groups agreed they should get the chance to have their say who will control their future.

If you would like to get involved you can follow the debate on our Draw the Line discussion page and tweet your own thought using #IndexDrawtheLine.

This article was posted on 13 November 2014 at indexoncensorship.org

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20 Nov: The cost of free information (BBC Radio 3) http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/20-nov-cost-free-information-radio-3/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/20-nov-cost-free-information-radio-3/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:54:46 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=61678 Catch Index CEO Jodie Ginsberg speaking at BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival 2014

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In the 1980s, Stewart Brand declared that “information wants to be free”.  The phrase became a slogan for technology activists, who argued that tech can liberate information from expensive patents and help further the ever expanding limits of human knowledge. As a part of the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival, Rana Mitter tests the promises of the internet to spread ideas quickly and democratically. Catch up online with this event featuring:

  • Dr Rufus Pollock (Founding President of the Open Knowledge, an international non-profit organisation that promotes making data and information accessible)
  • Jodie Ginsberg (Chief Executive of Index on Censorship)

WHERE: BBC Radio 3
WHEN: Thursday 20 November 2014, 10:00pm (then on iPlayer)
TICKETS: Listen live here

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17 Nov: Protest against Azerbaijan civil society crackdown http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/17-nov-protest-azerbaijan-civil-society-crackdown/ http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/17-nov-protest-azerbaijan-civil-society-crackdown/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:43:05 +0000 http://www.indexoncensorship.org/?p=61708 For six months, Azerbaijan has been chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Europe’s top human rights body. During that period, Azerbaijan unleashed an unprecedented crackdown against civil society—including the imprisonment of human rights defenders and political activists who criticised the government. Today, as the situation for human rights keeps deteriorating in […]

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For six months, Azerbaijan has been chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Europe’s top human rights body. During that period, Azerbaijan unleashed an unprecedented crackdown against civil society—including the imprisonment of human rights defenders and political activists who criticised the government.

Today, as the situation for human rights keeps deteriorating in the country, Azerbaijan is getting ready to host the first European Olympics.

Index on Censorship, Platform London and others will be holding a peaceful demonstration in front of the Embassy of Azerbaijan, 4 Kensington Ct, London W8 5DL on Monday 17 November 2014 at 5.00 pm.

Join us this Monday to denounce the crackdown on civil society and call for the release of all political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

Platform will be holding other demonstrations at 5pm everyday that week.

  • Tuesday: 18 November BP’s HQ – 1 St James’ Sq – 5pm
  • Wednesday: 19 November – Uk Foreign and Commonwealth Office on King Charles Street – 5pm
  • Thursday: 20 November – the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1 Exchange Square (by Liverpool st) – 5pm
  • Friday: 21 November – the International Olympic Committee – 60 Charlotte Street

For more information, please email Melody Patry, Senior Advocacy Officer, on melody@indexoncensorship.org or call on 0207 260 2660.

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