Banned Books Week: Resisting Self-Censorship

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”114628″ img_size=”large”][vc_column_text]In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the resultant global Black Lives Matter protests, it has been clearer than ever before that the voices of some are prioritised to the exclusion of others.

As part of Banned Books Week 2020 – an annual celebration of the freedom to read – Index is partnering with the Royal Society of Literature, the British Library and English PEN, bringing together a panel of writers who have committed to sharing their stories, to creating without compromise, and to inspiring others to do the same. We ask what ‘freedom’ means in the culture of traditional publishing, and how writers today can change the future of literature.


Urvashi Butalia is Director and co-founder of Kali for Women, India’s first feminist publishing house. An active participant in India’s women’s movement for more than two decades, she holds the position of Reader at the College of Vocational Studies at the University of Delhi.

Rachel Long is a poet and founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour, based at the Southbank Centre. Her first collection My Darling from the Lions, shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2020, explores the intersections of family, love, and sexual politics. She is co-tutor on the Barbican Young Poets programme.

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist, whose work has been translated into 54 languages. She is the author of eighteen books; her latest, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the 2020 RSL Ondaatje Prize. She holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK. She was elected an RSL Fellow in 2019.

Jacqueline Woodson is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books. She is a four-time National Book Award finalist, a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a two-time NAACP Image Award winner, a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner, recipient of the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award and the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award.


Public tickets can be booked through the British Library (£5).[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”114627″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Expression Uncensored: Queer music and censorship

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”101752″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”101751″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”101753″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”69903″ img_size=”700×400″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]Join Sonos and Index on Censorship for an evening of thought provoking discussions around issues relating to queer music and censorship in the UK and around the globe.

Panellists include:
• MNEK – English singer, songwriter and record producer
• Sado Opera – LGBTQ+ Russian party band
• Princess Julia – DJ & music writer

Index’s Julia Farrington will moderate the panel.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”In partnership with” font_container=”tag:p|text_align:left”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”101757″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

When: Wednesday, 1st August 2018 19:00pm – 20:30pm
Where: Sonos Store London, 21-23 Earlham St, London, WC2H 9LL (directions)
Tickets: Free. Please RSVP by Monday 30th July @5pm: [email protected]


Publishing’s brave new world

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Join Index on Censorship for a talk on freedom of expression and censorship in publishing, as part of the conference Publishing – A Brave New World? organised by the Society of Young Publishers.

Jemimah Steinfeld, deputy editor of Index on Censorship magazine, will discuss the current challenges facing the book industry. Joining her on the panel will be Jo Glanville, former director of English PEN and Theo Jones, Publishing Contacts Advisor at the Society of Authors.

For more information on the programme and conference click here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”88892″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”96365″ img_size=”213×142″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”96364″ img_size=”213×142″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Index at the Battle of Ideas festival

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”96059″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]In a rapidly changing world, debating ideas matters more than ever. The Battle of Ideas festival, at The Barbican in London, provides a unique forum to discuss the big issues of our time.

Index on Censorship will be participating in panel discussions: CEO Jodie Ginsberg will discuss censorship and identity politics on Sunday 29 October from 2-3:30pm; Assistant editor Ryan McChrystal will debate political activism and protest on Sunday 29 October from 12-1pm.

We’ll also be manning a booth in the main hall. Stop by for a tattoo and talk to the friendly Index staff about our organisation’s work defending freedom of expression.

See the full programme for the Battle of Ideas festival here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

When: 28-29 October
Where: The Barbican
Tickets: Via Battle of Ideas