Media Advisory: Free Expression Spokespeople—New Voices
23 Jan 2020

Note to news and feature editors: 

Index on Censorship is running a project to bring new voices to discussions on freedom of expression. We have graduates of the programme in both the UK and the US. If you have a freedom of expression story, please do contact us and consider one of them for a comment spot. Here’s a little about some of the participants.

Athena Stevens is an Olivier-nominated playwright and performer and a human rights activist. As a woman who has cerebral palsy, she is particularly interested in how free speech issues relate to women and people with disabilities. 



Maya Thomas is a third-year history undergraduate at Oxford University, and founder of the Oxford Society for Free Discourse, a group dedicated to countering censorship among students and academics. She is interested in free speech on campus, identity politics and narratives about race, victimhood and oppression. 



Ash Kotak is an award-winning playwright & film maker. He is particularly interested in how taboo, shame and stigma impede on free speech. 




Rhiannon Adams is a researcher and campaigner for human rights and technology. She currently works in the legal sector and is particularly interested in online censorship, self- censorship and how the popular left have been resistant towards free speech. 



Max Lake graduated from the University of Birmingham in July 2019 and was deeply alarmed at what he felt were the student union’s censorious policies. As a pro-Brexit, working-class Northern male, Max, who is from Rochdale, feels that his group is frequently spoken about, but rarely hears the perspectives of individuals themselves.

Editor’s Notes 

In August 2019, Index on Censorship launched Free Speech Is For Me, a six-months training and mentoring programme. We recruited 7 people in the UK from diverse backgrounds to become Free Speech Advocates. We are working on another programme in the USA. More here:

About Index on Censorship: Index on Censorship is a global 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 world’s best campaigning writers from Vaclav Havel to Elif Shafak.

Please contact: [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]. Or DM @indexcensorship on Twitter.

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