The Winter issue of Index magazine highlights the battles fought by theatre of resistance across the world and how they’ve been enduring different forms of censorship.
Writer Jonathan Maitland dives deeply into the history of theatre censorship in the United Kingdom and explains why British playwrights need to lose their fear and be bolder. Kaya Genç and Meltem Arikan provide a good overview of the situation in Turkey in the most recent years, where theatres have been closed down in Istanbul.
Natasha Tripney analyses the impacts of an exaggerated nationalism and how it restrains plays from moving forward.
The theatre of resistance, by Martin Bright: Index has a long history of promoting the work of dissident playwrights.
The Index: Free expression around the world today: the inspiring voices, the people who have been imprisoned and the trends, legislation and technology which are causing concern.
Women journalists caught in middle of a nightmare, by Zahra Nader: Many Afghan journalists –women in particular – have fled the Taliban or are in hiding from the brutal regime.
Hope in the darkness, by Jemimah Steinfeld: Nathan Law, one of the leaders of Hong Kong’s protest movement, is convinced that the repression will not last forever. We publish an extract from his new book.
Speaking up for the Uyghurs, by Flo Marks: Exeter university students have been successfully challenging the institution’s China policy, but much more needs to be done.
Omission is the same as permission, by Andy Lee Roth and Liam O’Connell: Malaysia’s introduction of emergency powers to deal with “fake news” was broadly ignored by the Western media – and that only emboldened the government.
I can run, but can I hide?, by Clare Rewcastle Brown: Journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown is a wanted woman in Malaysia – and the long reach of Interpol means there are now few places where she can consider herself safe.
Dream of saving sacred land dies in the dust, by Scarlett Evans: Australia’s mining industry is at odds with the traditional beliefs of the Aboriginal population and it is taking its toll on the country’s indigenous heritage.
Bylines, deadlines and the firing line, by Rachael Jolley: It’s not just pens and notebooks that journalists need in the USA, it’s sometimes gas masks and protective vests, too.
Cartoon, by Ben Jennings: “I’ve done my own research.”
Maltese double cross, by Manuel Delia: Four years on from Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, lessons have not been learned and justice for the investigative journalist’s family remains elusive.
“Apple poisoned me physically, mentally and spiritually”, by Martin Bright: A former Apple employee, who was fired by the tech giant after blowing the whistle on toxic waste under her office, says her fight will go on.[
]Keeping the flame alive as theatre goes dark, by Natasha Tripney: Theatre across the world is fighting new waves of repression, intolerance and nationalism, as well as financial cuts, at a time when a raging pandemic has threatened its existence.
Testament to the power of theatre as rebellion, by Kate Maltby: The Belarus Free Theatre, whose 16 members have now gone into exile to escape the Lukashenka regime, are preparing to perform at the Barbican in London.
My dramatic tribute to Samuel Beckett and catastrophe, by Reza Shirmarz: More than three decades after Index published the celebrated playwright’s work dedicated to the Czech dissident Vaclav Havel, the censored Iranian writer Reza Shirmarz has responded with his own play, Muzzled.
Why the Taliban wanted my mother dead, by Hamed Amiri: The author of The Boy with Two Hearts on why and how the family fled Afghanistan.
The first steps- Across Europe with Little Amal, by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson: Good Chance Theatre on their symbolic take on the long journey of refugees from Syria to the UK.
Fighting Turkey’s culture war, by Kaya Genç: Theatres have been shuttered in Istanbul but the fightback by directors and playwrights continues.
I wrote a play then lost my home, my husband and my trust, by Meltem Arikan: The exiled Turkish playwright’s Mi Minör was blamed for the Gezi Park protests.
Where silence is the greatest fear, by Issa Sikiti da Silva: How Kenyan theatre has suffered under a succession of corrupt rulers, hot on the heels of colonial repression.
Censorship is still in the script, by Jonathan Maitland: British theatre has lost its backbone and needs to be more courageous.
God waits in the wings…ominously, by Guilherme Osinski and Mark Seacombe: A presidential decree that art must be ‘sacred’ has cast a free-speech shadow over Brazilian theatre.
Elephant that should be in Nobel Room, by John Sweeney: The winners of this year’s Peace Prize deserve their accolade, but there is another who should have taken the award.
We academics must fight the mob – now, by Arif Ahmed: The appalling hounding of Kathleen Stock at Sussex University is a serious threat to freedom of speech on campus.
So who is judging Youtube?, by Keith Kahn-Harris: Accused by the video behemoth of spreading misinformation, the author conducted an experiment in an effort to understand how the social media platform policies its content.
Why is the world applauding the man who assaulted me?, by Caitlin May McNamara: It is time for governments and businesses to decide where their priorities lie when it comes to the Middle East.
Silence is not golden, by Ruth Smeeth: As we enter a new year, Index will continue to act as a voice for those unable to use their own.
The road of no return, by Flo Marks and Aziz Isa Elkun: The Uyghur activist and poet, exiled in the UK, yearns for his family and friends imprisoned in Chinese concentration camps.
Bearing witness through poetry, by Emma Sandvik Ling: Poets are often on the frontlines of protest.
The people’s melody, by Mark Frary: For the first time, English readers can now experience the joys of Ethiopian poetry written in Amharic thanks to the work of Alemu Tebeje and Chris Beckett.
No corruption please, we’re British, by Oliver Bullough: The UK has developed a parallel vocabulary to avoid labelling anyone with the c-word … until now.