This week at Index: FREE SPEECH includes the right to shock, offend or disturb
17 May 2019

Friday 17 May 2019

Free speech includes the right to say things that may shock, offend or disturb

Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg told Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday 15 May 2019 that that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. Index believes that individuals should be free to express themselves unless they are inciting violence and free speech includes the right to say things that may shock, offend or disturb.
Tiananmen Square at 30

China and Tiananmen: Dangerous truth

“The truth is so dangerous,” Tania Branigan said.

Branigan, foreign leader writer for the Guardian and its former China correspondent, was speaking about the endemic self-censorship prevalent in China, where even parents who were involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests won’t tell their own children about their experiences.

Index on Censorship magazine editor Rachael Jolley marked the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre in conversation with journalist Tania Branigan and academic Jeff Wasserstrom. They were joined by author Xinran, who shared her memories.


Artists Who Risk and Artists at Risk

There is a very fine line between artists who risk and artists at risk. This line is increasingly blurred as artists repeatedly step into risky territories in their practice, becoming political actors, activists, agitators and cultural agents.

A number of international artists — including #IndexAwards2019 Arts Fellow Zehra Doğan — and organisations whose work has involved them in different kinds of risk will be joined in person and via Skype by a range of actors working in this field: English PEN, Index on Censorship, International Rights and Arts Advisors and Artists at Risk Connection.

When: 25 May, 12-4pm
Where: Tate Exchange, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Tickets: Free entry

Index at the Hay Festival
Xinran, Karoline Kan and Rachael Jolley on China 30 years after Tiananmen

In 1989, student-led demonstrations took place in Beijing, China – commonly referred to as the Tiananmen Square protests.  Thirty years on, state censorship is an increasing concern in China once more as the government uses new tactics to restrict speech.

 Join Chinese authors Xinran (The Good Women of China) and Karoline Kan (Under Red Skies: The Life and Times of a Chinese Millennial) for a discussion moderated by Index on Censorship magazine editor Rachael Jolley to explore some of today’s most pressing issues in China past and present.


When: 25 May 2019, 8.30 pm 
Where: Starlight Stage, Hay 
Tickets: Hay Festival

Opens today: Yemen: Inside a Crisis

The Imperial War Museum explores the Yememi civil war through 50 objects, including a mural by 2016 Index Arts Fellow Murad Subay.

Check our website for announcements of more events from Index on Censorship over the coming months, including news on our summer magazine launch and party. We'll also be at ORGCon in July, the Cambridge Folk Festival in August with censored folktales, and will take part in Banned Books Week in September. 

Index on Censorship defends people's freedom to express themselves without fear of harm or persecution. We publish censored writers and artists, monitor and campaign against censorship, and encourage debate.  

We rely on donations from readers and supporters. By donating to Index you help us to protect freedom of expression and to support those who are denied that right.
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