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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”With contributions from Kerry Hudson, Chen Xiwo, Elif Shafak, Meera Selva, Steven Borowiec, Brian Patten and Dean Atta”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Special Report: Border forces: how barriers to free thought got tough”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Big brother at the border by Rachael Jolley
Switch off, we’re landing! by Kaya Genç Be prepared that if you visit Turkey online access is restricted
Culture can “challenge” disinformation by Irene Caselli Migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe are often seen as statistics, but artists are trying to tell stories to change that
Lines of duty by Laura Silvia Battaglia It’s tough for journalists to visit Yemen, our reporter talks about how she does it
Locking the gates by Jan Fox Writers, artists, academics and musicians are self-censoring as they worry about getting visas to go to the USA
Reaching for the off switch by Meera Selva Internet shutdowns are growing as nations seek to control public access to information
Hiding your true self by Mark Frary LGBT people face particular discrimination at some international borders
They shall not pass by Stephen Woodman Journalists and activists crossing between Mexico and the USA are being systematically targeted, sometimes sent back by officials using people trafficking laws
“UK border policy damages credibility” by Charlotte Bailey Festival directors say the UK border policy is forcing artists to stop visiting
Ten tips for a safe crossing by Ela Stapley Our digital security expert gives advice on how to keep your information secure at borders
Export laws by Ryan Gallagher China is selling on surveillance technology to the rest of the world
At the world’s toughest border by Steven Borowiec South Koreans face prison for keeping in touch with their North Korean family
Stripsearch by Martin Rowson Bees and herbaceous borders
Inside the silent zone by Silvia Nortes Journalists are being stopped from reporting the disputed north African Western Sahara region
The great news wall of China by Karoline Kan China is spinning its version of the Hong Kong protests to control the news
Kenya: who is watching you? by Wana Udobang Kenyan journalist Catherine Gicheru is worried her country knows everything about her
Top ten states closing their doors to ideas by Mark Frary We look at countries which seek to stop ideas circulating[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row disable_element=”yes”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Global View”][vc_column_text]Small victories do count by Jodie Ginsberg The kind of individual support Index gives people living under oppressive regimes is a vital step towards wider change[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”In Focus”][vc_column_text]Germany’s surveillance fears by Cathrin Schaer Thirty years on from the fall of the Berlin wall and the disbanding of the Stasi, Germans worry about who is watching them
Freestyle portraits by Rachael Jolley Cartoonists Kanika Mishra from India, Pedro X Molina from Nicaragua and China’s Badiucao put threats to free expression into pictures
Tackling news stories that journalists aren’t writing by Alison Flood Crime writers Scott Turow, Val McDermid, Massimo Carlotto and Ahmet Altan talk about how the inspiration for their fiction comes from real life stories
Mosul’s new chapter by Omar Mohammed What do students think about the new books arriving at Mosul library, after Isis destroyed the previous building and collection?
The [REDACTED] crossword by Herbashe The first ever Index crossword based on a theme central to the magazine
Cries from the last century and lessons for today by Sally Gimson Nadine Gordimer, Václav Havel, Samuel Beckett and Arthur Miller all wrote for Index. We asked modern day writers Elif Shafak, Kerry Hudson and Emilie Pine plus theatre director Nicholas Hytner why the writing is still relevant
In memory of Andrew Graham-Yooll by Rachael Jolley Remembering the former Index editor who risked his life to report from Argentina during the worst years of the dictatorship[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Culture”][vc_column_text]Backed into a corner by love by Chen Xiwo A newly translated story by censored Chinese writer about the abusive relationship between a mother and daughter plus an interview with the author
On the road by Marguerite Duras The first English translation of an extract from the screenplay of the 1977 film Le Camion by one of the greatest French writers of the 20th century
Muting young voices by Brian Patten Two poems, one written exclusively for Index, about how the exam culture in schools can destroy creativity by the Liverpool Poet
Finding poetry in trauma by Dean Atta Male rape is still a taboo subject, but very little is off-limits for this award-winning writer from London who has written an exclusive poem for Index[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Column”][vc_column_text]Index around the world: Tales of the unexpected by Sally Gimson and Lewis Jennings Index has started a new media monitoring project and has been telling folk stories at this summer’s festivals[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Endnote”][vc_column_text]Endnote: Macho politics drive academic closures by Sally Gimson Academics who teach gender studies are losing their jobs and their funding as populist leaders attack “gender ideology”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Subscribe”][vc_column_text]In print, online, in your mailbox, on your iPad.
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SUBSCRIBE NOW[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Read”][vc_column_text]The playwright Arthur Miller wrote an essay for Index in 1978 entitled The Sin of Power. We reproduce it for the first time on our website and theatre director Nicholas Hytner responds to it in the magazine
READ HERE[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Listen”][vc_column_text]In the Index on Censorship autumn 2019 podcast, we focus on how travel restrictions at borders are limiting the flow of free thought and ideas. Lewis Jennings and Sally Gimson talk to trans woman and activist Peppermint; San Diego photojournalist Ariana Drehsler and Index’s South Korean correspondent Steven Borowiec
Chen Xiwo, described as “one of China’s most outspoken voices on freedom of expression for writers” by Asia Sentinel, has spoken about how he challenged the Chinese government’s decision to censor his latest book ahead of its launch in English.
The Book of Sins is a collection of seven novellas exploring controversial topics including rape, incest and S&M and examine the links between sexual and political deviance.
A heavily censored version of the book was published in China, in which parts of the text, including an entire novella, were removed.
Xiwo launched a case to sue China’s customs agency in an attempt to find out why his book, which was published in full in Taiwan, had been confiscated when it arrived in China in 2007. He was originally told that it was its dark and pornographic nature that had led to it being banned in its complete form.
In an unprecedented move, Xiwo took the customs office to court. He said in the history of the People’s Republic of China, since 1949, there has never been a case of a writer suing for not being allowed to publish a book.
Originally when the court hearings got underway the domestic news outlets were able to report on the progress until the propaganda ministry sent out an order forbidding further coverage.
During a meeting today run by English PEN at the Free Word Centre in London, Xiwo said: “These days these kind of orders are usually just made by phone call, so they won’t send an email where there’ll be a record, they do it by phone.
“This makes it even harder to get to the bottom of who’s banning what and why they’re doing it, because there’s no record.”
Eventually the court ruled that Xiwo’s case was a matter of national security, which ended further questions on the topic. In a blog entry for Free Word, Xiwo writes: “The Book of Sins had been impounded because it was deemed a threat to ‘national security’. In fact, they completely dropped the charge of obscenity. That meant they did not have to divulge any further information, or even say who had made the final decision.”
Xiwo’s book has now been translated into English by prolific translator Nicky Harman, who said: “Chen is a highly moral writer in my view. The sex and the small amount of violence, it’s never gratuitous. He really focuses on feelings, he has a good attitude towards women, he’s not misogynistic.”
One of the most provocative stories within the book, I Love My Mum, is about a disabled man who strikes up an incestuous relationship with his mother which ultimately ends in him murdering her. The novella is metaphorical of Chinese society and remains banned in the country.
When asked if he would challenge the banning of his books again, Xiwo said that it is inevitable future books of his will be banned, but he cannot launch a case for every one of them.
Although Chen Xiwo has written 10 books, he says only six or seven of these have been published in their complete form. The Book of Sins has won an English PEN award. Chen Xiwo will be launching the English translation of the book at Waterstones Piccadilly, tomorrow 7 October, at 7pm.