Banned by Beijing: Artistic Freedom and CCP Censorship in Europe

“How to protect the freedom of the individual, including that of the artist, when the limits of government power are ever expanding, is a question for the whole world.”

Chiang Seeta, exiled Chinese artist living in France

Despite the strong focus on artistic freedom in many European countries, artists based in Europe are reporting attempts at censorship by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The CCP has deployed extensive diplomatic pressure in an attempt to censor artwork and exhibitions. We have also identified endemic self-censorship within dissident artist communities, alongside extensive ties between Chinese companies and European museums and galleries. To investigate the current state of artistic freedom in Europe, and whether and how the CCP attempts to undermine it, Index on Censorship conducted interviews with more than 40 artists, curators, academics and experts from 10 European countries.

Join Index on Censorship as we launch our latest report titled Whom to Serve?: How the CCP censors art in Europe. We will discuss the challenges faced by artistic communities in Europe. Is art a tool for dissidents to rally around and critique authoritarianism or a soft power tool for the CCP to control the narrative? What challenges do artists based in Europe face? How can local institutions and organisations support dissident art? And what do these attempts at censorship mean for artistic freedoms in Europe more broadly?


  • Lumli Lumlong – Hong Kong painter duo living in exile in London
  • Michaela Šilpochová – curator at the DOX Center for Contemporary Art in Prague
  • Jens Galschiøt – International artist and sculptor
  • Iverson NG – Experienced Hong Kong curator and policy advocate
  • Dr Janet Marstine – Honorary Fellow, Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, University of Leicester UK
  • Chair: Nik Williams – Policy and Campaigns Officer, Index on Censorship

When: Thursday 1  December 2022, 5.30-7pm

Where: Online

Tickets: Free, advance booking essential

Event Information

  Online, United Kingdom
}  December 01, 2022
  Thursday, 05:30 pm to 07:00 pm

Event Organizer

   Index on Censorship

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