Leading international freedom of expression organisation Index on Censorship has joined the Banned Books Week Coalition as the first international member of this US-based alliance.
Banned Books Week was launched in the United States in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in attempts to have books removed or otherwise restricted in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association, a key member of the coalition.
Each year a host of events are held across the United States such as author readings in bookshops, libraries, and schools, as well as panel discussions and webinars.
“Index is excited to be joining the coalition as the first non-US member. We have been publishing work by censored writers from around the world for 45 years and – given all that is happening on the global political stage – it feels more important than ever to be highlighting censorship and demonstrating just what it means when books are banned,” said Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship.
The theme of this year’s Banned Books Week will be “Our Right to Read.” Index plans to host a number of events in the UK during Banned Books Week, which runs from September 24-September 30, 2017, as well as participating in events in the United States.
“We are very excited to have the Index on Censorship join the coalition,” said Charles Brownstein, Chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition and Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. “Their work not only aligns with our mission, but will bring an international perspective and awareness to our annual celebration of the freedom to read.”
Other members of the coalition include American Booksellers for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, Association of American University Presses, Authors’ Guild, Dramatist Legal Defense Fund, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, People For the American Way, PEN America, and Project Censored.
Notes to editors
- Index on Censorship is a London-based non-profit organisation that publishes work by censored writers and artists and campaigns against censorship worldwide. Since its founding in 1972, Index on Censorship has published some of the greatest names in literature in its award-winning quarterly magazine, including Samuel Beckett, Nadine Gordimer, Mario Vargas Llosa, Arthur Miller and Kurt Vonnegut. It also has published some of the greatest campaigning writers from Vaclav Havel to Elif Shafik.
- The Banned Books Week Coalition is an alliance of diverse organisations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship.
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