Social sex entrepreneur, artist and top journalist to judge Freedom of Expression Awards
The awards honour champions of free expression and those battling censorship around the world in the field of arts, campaigning, digital activism and journalism.
10 Jan 20

Index on Censorship is proud to announce three new judges for its 2020 Freedom of Expression Awards. These are New York-based artist Molly Crabapple, award-winning Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman and Cindy Gallop, founder of social sex video platform MakeLoveNotPorn.

The Freedom of Expression Awards, now in their 20th year, honour champions of free expression and those battling censorship around the world in the field of arts, campaigning, digital activism and journalism. Many have faced prosecution and punishment for their work, with previous fellows including Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Hundreds of public nominations are made for the awards each year with our judges making the final selection. Censored Chinese cartoonist Badiucao, now living in exile, is being commissioned by Index to create original art to be presented to the winners.

Molly Crabapple is an award-winning artist and writer. She is the author of two books, Drawing Blood and Brothers of the Gun. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian and elsewhere.

Crabapple said: “What could be more undignified than being forced to shut up, to keep your head down, to swallow lies and tolerate the braying of petty tyrants without comment?  Freedom of speech is the basis of all other freedoms, because without the ability to name a problem, how can you ever begin to fix it?”

Cindy Gallop is founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, the world’s first user-generated, human-curated social sex videosharing platform.

Amelia Gentleman is an award-winning reporter and author of The Windrush Betrayal, Exposing the Hostile Environment in 2019. She has won the Paul Foot award and the Orwell prize for her journalism for her Windrush investigations.

The judges join Ruth Ibegbuna, founder of multi award-winning youth leadership charity RECLAIM and now director of Roots — an initiative aimed at bringing together people from different walks of life. In 2019, Ibeguna was named one of the UK’s 25 most influential charity leaders. Melody Patry is advocacy director at Access Now, an international non-profit advocacy group dedicated to an open and free internet, and trustee at The Guardian Foundation.

Announcing the judging panel, Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg said: “This year marks 20 years since Index first established the Freedom of Expression awards. The work carried out by our award winners and nominees has never been more important.

“These individuals face huge personal and professional risks in defending the right for everyone to speak freely – and they deserve to be celebrated.”

Previous judges include award-winning investigative journalist Maria Ressa from Filipino news organisation Rappler, novelist Elif Shafak and former editor-in-­chief of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker Tina Brown.

The Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship ceremony 2020 will be held on 30 April in London.

For Index on Censorship

Jonathan Perfect, [email protected]

About the Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship

Winners of the 2020 Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship receive 12 months of capacity building, coaching and strategic support. Through the fellowships, Index seeks to maximise the impact and sustainability of voices at the forefront of pushing back censorship worldwide. More information

About Index on Censorship

Index on Censorship is a London-based 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.