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Julia Farrington: Pre-emptive censorship by the police is a clear infringement of civil liberties

alt informationIn 1972, Michael Scammell, first editor of Index on Censorship magazine wrote in the first edition - “Freedom of expression is not self-perpetuating, but needs to be maintained by the constant vigilance of those who care about it.” We obviously haven’t been very vigilant here in the UK

The arts, the law and freedom of speech

Police involvement in the cancellation this week of a National Youth Theatre production highlights again the difficult legal challenges for arts organisations putting on contentious work. Can a new set of guidelines help?

Spiritual America 2014

alt informationSpiritual America 2014 Xenofon Kavvadias As part of Index on Censorship’s programme looking into art, law and offence in the UK, this case study looks at Xenofon Kavvadias’s mission to exhibit Spiritual America by Richard Prince in public, effectively reversing the censorship of the image by Tate Modern who removed it from the gallery and […]

The Siege

alt informationThroughout Index on Censorship’s Art and the Law information packs, the lawyers who wrote them stress that the packs offer guidance only and are not a substitute for legal advice. Knowing about the law helps an artist or an organisation identify when there could be a legal issue arising from an artwork. But each artwork […]

“The law is no less conceptual than fine art”

alt information“The law is no less conceptual than fine art” Exhibition of Illegal Books by Xenofon Kavvadias 10 Vyner Street London E8 5th May – 17th June 2011 Description of the work In this show books that are or can be considered illegal under contemporary UK anti-terrorist legislation were displayed as an art installation. The books […]

Policing the picket of Exhibit B

alt informationThis is an account of the policing of the demonstration organised by Boycott the Human Zoo Campaign on the opening night of Brett Bailey’s theatrical installation Exhibit B presented by the Barbican at the Vaults Waterloo.

Can We Talk About This?

alt informationAs part of our work on art, offence and the law, Julia Farrington, associate arts producer, Index on Censorship, interviewed Eva Pepper, DV8’s executive producer about how she prepared for potential hostility that the show Can We Talk About This? might provoke as it went on tour around the world in 2011-12. Background Can We […]

Case study: Behud – Beyond Belief

alt informationBy Julia Farrington July 2015 In the early stages of Index on Censorship’s programme looking into art, law and offence, we wrote a case study about Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre, which premiered the production of Behud – Beyond Belief, 2010. The play is Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s artistic response to the experience of Behzti – Shameless, her […]

Exploring ​artistic freedom in Wales and beyond

alt informationIndex on Censorship has been​ exploring artistic freedom of expression and contemporary forms of censorship in the ​UK. Who or what controls what is sayable in the arts? W​ho has a voice in the arts? Do the answers vary as we move around the different ​member ​nations of the UK​?

Julia Farrington: The Barbican, Exhibit B and “progress zero”

alt informationIndex on Censorship's associate arts producer explores the issues around the Barbican's presentation of Exhibit B, a work by Brett Bailey.

Recap Report: Wales as a centre of artistic freedom

alt information ArtFreedomWales launched on Friday with the first online conversation about artistic freedom of expression in Wales.

Northern Ireland: Plays sorting through the fallout from Troubles

Julia Farrington travelled to Northern Ireland to participate in the 2014 Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast. While there she saw four plays that deal with the Troubles as Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Féin, was questioned by police