This Week at Index: 2018 Arts Fellow detained and Woody Allen U-turn

A reading list from the Index archives plus our Slapps survey and 2020 Arts Fellow crowdfunder

13 Mar 2020

Friday, 13 March 2020

2018 Index Arts Fellow detained again

Index on Censorship remains concerned at the detention of Luis Manuel Otaro Alcántara (pictured above as his creation Miss Bienal), one of the winners of the 2018 Freedom of Expression awards. He was detained on Sunday 1 March and was due to face a summary trial this week for allegedly insulting national symbols after wearing a Cuban flag as a second skin for a month.

However, the artist's lawyers now say his trial has been delayed until further notice yet he remains in prison and faces a sentence of up to five years. We call for his immediate release.

Find out about Movimiento San Isidro, the collective of independent artists, writers and intellectuals of which Luis is a prominent member.

Freedom of expression in India, from the Emergency to the present: a reading list

Indian women at a wedding/suffix/pixabay
The freedom of the press in India has changed dramatically in the past 45 years since Indira Gandhi declared the Emergency and heavily censored the media. 

Take a look at this reading list of articles from the Index archives which cover press freedom, shows of patriotism, the use of video to circumvent state TV censorship and online trolling.
Index on Censorship's deputy editor Jemimah Steinfeld spoke to TalkRadio's Matthew Wright this week about Hachette Book Group's U-turn on publishing Woody Allen's autobiography A Propos of Nothing.
Each year, Index on Censorship awards an arts fellowship to one person or one organisation who is doing amazing work against the odds, pushing back against censorship in their own country - artists like Luis Manuel Otaro Alcántara above. We need your help. This year Index is looking for 50 people who want to fight back against the increasing attempt to censor art around the world. Please donate just £10 to help create a scholarship fund for our 2020 Index Arts Fellow.

Have you been slapped with a Slapp?

Media freedom is one of Index on Censorship’s primary areas of focus. and we are conducting a research project to identify the scale and nature of the phenomenon of vexatious legal threats/actions against journalists, otherwise known as Slapps (strategic lawsuits against public participation).

Vexatious actions, which may include letters threatening libel and defamation, come from private parties (often corporations or wealthy individuals) with the intent to silence journalists and media outlets and prevent them from investigating or publishing their work. 

In order to conduct this research, we are asking journalists and media outlets who might be able to provide insight into how common this phenomenon is to fill out our survey by 31 March 2020.

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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