Unspeakable: Banned books, difficult words, taboos

When: Friday 8 March 2019
Where: University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Tickets: Check the information with each of the sessions.

Essex Book Festival and Index on Censorship invite you to join them for Unspeakable, a day of challenging and illuminating conversations, performance, exhibitions and workshops hosted by the University of Essex, that explores historic and contemporary issues of censorship, no-platforming, freedom of speech, and taboos.

These events are part of the Essex Book Festival 1-31 March 2019

Each part of the programme requires separate ticketing. See specific instructions with the session. 

Banned Books: Exhibition and presentation

When: 12.00 – 1.00pm
Where: Special Collections Room, Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex, Wivehoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Tickets: Free. No booking required.

Some of the most controversial books in history are now recognised as classics. The Bible, works by Shakespeare, Ovid and James Joyce, to mention but a few. Banned Books delves into the University of Essex’s Archives to reveal a fascinating collection of banned books, pamphlets and texts, some dating back hundreds of years.

The event takes place in the Special Collections Room at the Albert Sloman Library at the University of Essex.

The Burning Question: Trevor Phillips and Professor Shohini Chaudhuri

When: 1.30 – 2.30pm
Where: Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Tickets: £5 via Essex Book Festival / Mercury Theatre

Trevor Phillips, writer, broadcaster, former president of the NUS, former chairman of the Equality and the Human Rights Commission, and current chairman of Index on Censorship, will discuss the impact of historic and contemporary censorship across art, history and literature with Professor Shohini Chaudhuri from the University of Essex, a film activist as well as educator.

The Play’s the Thing: What happens when theatre gets censored

Rachael Jolley

When: 3.30–4.30pm
Where: Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Tickets: £7, £5 concessions (27 years and under) via Essex Books Festival / Mercury Theatre

Rachael Jolley, editor of Index on Censorship magazine, in discussion with actors from the Globe theatre around the world project and artistic director of The Gate theatre, Ellen McDougall.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the end of an era, when all plays had to be signed off by the British Lord Chamberlain before performance, the panel will discuss why we should worry about censorship of what we see on stage, and how words and ideas are restricted around the world and in the UK today.

Dean Atta: Performance and audience Q&A

When: 7.00 – 8.00pm
Where: Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Tickets: £5 via Essex Book Festival / Mercury Theatre

A performance and audience Q&A with poet Dean Atta, as part of Unspeakable at the University of Essex.

Spoken Word Poet Dean Atta’s powerful debut poetry collection I Am Nobody’s Nigger was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. Dean has performed across the UK and internationally, including performances at Hay Festival, Latitude and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He has been commissioned to write poems for BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, Dazed & Confused, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Dean is currently working on his second poetry collection The Black Flamingo.

During Essex Book Festival 2019, Dean Atta will be in residence at the Pop-Up Essex Writers House, at Metal in Southend. Find out more at www.essexwritershouse.co.uk

Essex Book Festival is one of the highlights of Essex’s cultural calendar. Each March it hosts over 100 events in over 45 venues across the county, including theatres, libraries, schools, universities, cafes and art galleries. More information is available here.

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