With contributions from Omar Mohammed, Mahvash Sabet, Simon Callow and Lucy Worsley, as well as interviews with Neil Oliver, Barry Humphries and Abbad Yahya
The spring 2018 issue of Index on Censorship magazine takes a special look at how governments and other powers across the globe are manipulating history for their own ends.
In this issue, we examine the various ways and areas where historical narratives are being changed, including a Q&A with Chinese and Japanese people on what they were taught about the Nanjing massacre at school; the historian known as Mosul Eye gives a special insight into his struggle documenting what Isis were trying to destroy; and Raymond Joseph takes a look at how South Africa’s government is erasing those who fought against apartheid.
The issue features interviews with historians Margaret MacMillan and Neil Oliver, and a piece addressing who really had free speech in the Tudor Court from Lucy Worsley.
The special report includes articles discussing how Turkey is discussing – or not – the Armenian genocide, while Poland passes a law to make talking about the Holocaust in certain ways illegal.
Outside the special report, Barry Humphries aka Dame Edna talks about his new show featuring banned music from the Weimar Republic and comedian Mark Thomas discusses breaking taboos with theatre in a Palestinian refugee camp.
Finally, we have an exclusive short story by author Christie Watson; an extract from Palestinian author Abbad Yahya’s latest book; and a poem from award-winning poet Mahvash Sabet.
Special report: The abuse of history
A date (not) to forget, by Louisa Lim: The author on why her book about Tiananmen would be well-nigh impossible to research today
Battle lines, by Hannah Leung and Matthew Hernon: One battle, two countries and a whole lot of opinions. We talk to people in China and Japan about what they learnt at school about the Nanjing massacre
The empire strikes back, by Andrei Aliaksandrau: Ukraine and Belarus approach their former Soviet status in opposite ways. Plus Stephen Komarnyckyj on why Ukraine needs to not cherry-pick its past
Staging dissent, by Simon Callow: When a British prime minister was not amused by satire, theatre censorship followed. We revisit plays that riled him, 50 years after the abolition of the state censor
Eye of the storm, by Omar Mohammed: The historian known as Mosul Eye on documenting what Isis were trying to destroy
Desert defenders, by Lucia He: An 1870s battle in Argentina saw the murder of thousands of its indigenous people. But that history is being glossed over by the current government
Buried treasures, by David Anderson: Britain’s historians are struggling to access essential archives. Is this down to government inefficiency or something more sinister?
Masters of none, by Bernt Hagtvet: Post-war Germany sets an example of how history can be “mastered”. Poland and Hungary could learn from it
Naming history’s forgotten fighters, by Raymond Joseph: South Africa’s government is setting out to forget some of the alliance who fought against apartheid. Some of them remain in prison
Colombia’s new history test, by Irene Caselli: A new law is making history compulsory in Colombia’s schools. But with most people affected by decades of conflict, will this topic be too hot to handle?
Just hurting, not speaking, by Christie Watson: Rachael Jolley interviews the author about her forthcoming book, why old people are today’s silent community and introduces a short story written exclusively for the magazine
Ban and backlash create a bestseller, by Abbad Yahya: The bestselling Palestinian author talks to Jemimah Steinfeld about why a joke on Yasser Arafat put his life at risk. Also an extract from his latest book, translated into English for the first time
Ultimate escapism, by Mahvesh Sabet: The award-winning poet speaks to Layli Foroudi about fighting adversity in prison. Plus, a poem of Sabet’s published in English for the first time
Index around the world, by Danyaal Yasin: Research from Mapping Media Freedom details threats against journalists across Europe
Frightening state, by Jemimah Steinfeld: States are increasing the use of kidnapping to frighten journalists into not reporting stories