Arts Censorship Support Service

Index on Censorship can provide assistance to colleagues in the UK cultural sector facing issues of censorship.

We offer advice, guidance and can provide access to resources, mentoring, and bespoke training.

The Arts Censorship Support Service can connect you to a network of specialists working in various fields including law, communications and the media.

Advice

Index provides a free initial consultation to those working in the UK cultural sector facing ethical, reputational, legal or personal challenges at any point in the life cycle of creating, producing or presenting a piece of work.

Who can use the Arts Censorship Support Service?

The service can be used by anyone in the UK cultural sector, employed or self-employed, who is facing an issue of censorship.

Who are the Arts Censorship Support Service advisors?

Index on Censorship staff as well as a network of senior-level cultural sector and legal professionals with significant experience in managing complex ethical, reputational and legal issues.

What sort of issues can the Arts Censorship Support Service assist with?

The Arts Censorship Support Service can help with a wide range of issues, including for example:

  • Checking at the earliest stage of production of a new work whether there is the potential of a legal challenge
  • Advising on a communications strategy in support of provocative work
  • Advising how to manage hostile media attention directed at an artist, member of an organisation, or the organisation as a whole
  • Providing moral support and guidance on how to deal with the emotional stress associated with controversy.

Is the service free of charge?

Index on Censorship will offer a consultation lasting approximately 30 minutes free of charge. Following an initial consultation, Index can refer you to a network of experts, some of whom can provide further pro bono advice or support.

Any additional support, such as workshops, consultancy or legal advice, may be subject to a fee depending on the size of your organisation.

Index on Censorship and the experts shall not be liable for any loss, damage or inconvenience arising as a consequence of any action or decision taken as a result of the information, advice and guidance shared through the Arts Censorship Support Service.

To use the service, please scroll down to the form to provide details of the issue you are encountering with your work. The information you share is confidential and will form the basis of your consultation.   

Bespoke training and consultancy

The problems and dilemmas associated with the programming and planning of certain works of art are usually very specific, affected by the specific location and siting of the work, the audience, particular communities of interest who might be hostile to the work, concerns about press and social media.  

We offer bespoke training and consultancy at all levels, from one-to-one consultancy to boards and staff training, from schools workshops to development of bespoke guidance for your organisation. A half- or full-day session tailored to your specific needs or concerns, tackling direct and indirect censorship, risk management, support diverse opinions, understanding rights and responsibilities relating to artist freedom of expression.

Feedback from senior management half day training:

“Really useful and productive session, I feel reassured about the parameters of how to approach more controversial work – extended risk assessment, understanding of civic relationships outside of safety advisory groups. Came away feeling confident that there is network and resource to support the development of this work in the future.”

“There is a reassurance that you are there, as a person/organisation to go to for help that’s the best gift of the day.  There is an organisation that we can go to and have a conversation about this who can advise us if we are going to get into a difficult position that is good practice, which are the things I am looking for, so it felt very freeing.”

“Nice to be in a professional yet warm and welcoming environment which gave space for sensitive and thoughtful responses. Too often I find sessions like this can be ‘training: this is how to do this’ affairs, rather than engaging with the questions and challenges of this sort of work. Real achievement to be able to hold that sort of space. Thank you.”

How can we help?

To find out more about how we could support your organisation, please submit your information with a brief description of the issue you are encountering.

  • Tell us what you are interested in speaking about.

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