MAGAZINE
Contents: The Big Noise: How Macho Leaders Hide their Weakness by Stifling Dissent, Debate and Democracy
13 Dec 2019
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

With contributions from Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Miriam Grace Go, Tammy Lai-ming Ho, Karoline Kan, Rob Sears, Jonathan Tel and Caroline Lees

The Winter 2019 issue of Index on Censorship magazine looks at the current pack of macho leaders and how their egos are destroying our freedoms. In this issue Rappler news editor Miriam Grace Go writes about how the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, tries to position himself as the man by being as foul-mouthed as possible. Indian journalist Somak Goshal reports on how Narenda Modi presents an image of being both the guy next door, as well as a tough guy – and he’s got a large following to ensure his message gets across, come what may. The historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom considers exactly who the real Chinese leader Xi Jinping is – a man of poetry or military might? And Stefano Pozzebon talks to journalists in Brazil who are right in the firing line of Jair Bolsonaro’s vicious attacks on the media. Meanwhile Mark Frary talks about the tools that autocrats are using to crush dissent and Caroline Lees looks at the smears that are becoming commonplace as a tactic to silence journalists. Plus a very special spoof on all of this from bestselling comedic writer Rob Sears.

In our In Focus section, we interview Jamie Barton, who headlined this year’s Last Night at the Proms, an article that fits nicely with another piece on a new orchestra in Yemen from Laura Silvia Battaglia.

In our culture section we publish a poem from Hong Kong writer Tammy Lai-ming Ho, which addresses the current protests engulfing the city, plus two short stories written exclusively for the magazine by Kaya Genç and Jonathan Tel. There’s also a graphic novel straight out of Mexico.

Special Report

Will the real Xi Jinping please stand up by Jeffrey Wasserstrom: China’s most powerful leader since Mao wears many hats – some of them draconian

Challenging Orbán’s echo chamber by Viktória Serdült: Against the odds a new mayor from an opposition party has come to power in Budapest. We report on his promises to push back against Orbán

Taking on the lion by Stefano Pozzebon: With an aggressive former army captain as president, Brazilian journalists are having to employ bodyguards to keep safe. But they’re fighting back

Seven tips for crushing free speech in the 21st century by Rob Sears: Hey big guy, we know you’re the boss man, but here are some tips to really rule the roost

“Media must come together” by Rachael Jolley and Jan Fox: Interview with the New York Times’ lawyer on why the media needs to rally free speech. Plus Trump vs. former presidents, the ultimate machometer

Tools of the real technos by Mark Frary: The current autocrats have technology bent to their every whim. We’re vulnerable and exposed

Modi and his angry men by Somak Ghoshal: India’s men are responding with violence to Modi’s increasingly nationalist war cry

Global leaders smear their critics by Caroline Lees: Dissenters beware – these made-up charges are being used across borders to distract and destroy

Sexism is president’s power tool by Miriam Grace Go: Duterte is using violent language and threats against journalists, Rappler’s news editor explains

Stripsearch by Martin Rowson: Putin, Trump, Bolsonaro – macho or… nacho?

Sounds against silence by Kaya Genç: Far from a bad rap here as Turkey’s leading musicians use music to criticise the government

Un-mentionables by Orna Herr: The truths these world leaders really can’t handle

Salvini exploits “lack of trust” in Italian media by Alessio Perrone: The reputation of Italian media is poor, which plays straight into the hands of the far-right politician

Macho, macho man by Neema Komba: A toxic form of masculinity has infected politics in Tanzania. Democracy is on the line

Putin’s pushbacks by Andrey Arkhangelskiy: Russians signed up for prosperity not oppression. Is Putin failing to deliver his side of the deal?

In Focus

Dirty industry, dirty tactics by Stephen Woodman: Miners in Brazil, Mexico and Peru are going to extremes to stop those who are trying to protest

Music to Yemen’s ears by Laura Silvia Battaglia: Could a new orchestra in Yemen signal the end of oppressive Houthi rule? These women hope so

Play on by Jemimah Steinfeld: The darling of the opera scene, Jamie Barton, and the woman behind a hit refugee orchestra, discuss taboo breaking on stage

The final chapter by Karoline Kan: The closing of Beijing’s iconic Bookworm has been met with cries of sadness around the world. Why?

Working it out by Steven Borowiec: An exclusive interview about workplace bullying with the Korean Air steward who was forced to kneel and apologise for not serving nuts correctly

Protest works by Rachael Jolley and Jemimah Steinfeld: Two activists on how their protest movements led to real political change in Hungary and Romania

It’s a little bit silent, this feeling inside by Silvia Nortes: Spain’s historic condemnation of suicide is contributing to a damaging culture of silence today

Culture

Hong Kong writes by Tammy Lai-ming Ho: A Hong Kong poet talks to Index from the frontline of the protests about how her writing keeps her and others going. Also one of her poems published here

Writing to the challenge by Kaya Genç: Orna Herr speaks to the Turkish author about his new short story, written exclusively for the magazine, in which Turkish people get obsessed with raccoons

Playing the joker by Jonathan Tel: The award-winning writer tells Rachael Jolley about the power of subversive jokes. Plus an exclusive short story set in a Syrian prison

Going graphic by Andalusia Knoll Soloff and Marco Parra: Being a journalist in Mexico is often a deadly pursuit. But sometimes the horrors of this reality are only shown in cartoon for, as the journalist and illustrator show

Index around the world

Governments seek to control reports by Orna Herr: Journalists are facing threats from all angles, including new terrorist legislation

Endnote

Culture vultures by Jemimah Steinfeld: The extent of art censorship in democracies is far greaten than initially meets the eye, Index reveals

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Read

The playwright Arthur Miller wrote an essay for Index in 1978 entitled The Sin of Power. We reproduce it for the first time on our website and theatre director Nicholas Hytner responds to it in the magazine

READ HERE

Listen

In the Index on Censorship autumn 2019 podcast, we focus on how travel restrictions at borders are limiting the flow of free thought and ideas. Lewis Jennings and Sally Gimson talk to trans woman and activist Peppermint; San Diego photojournalist Ariana Drehsler and Index’s South Korean correspondent Steven Borowiec

LISTEN HERE

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