Category Archives: Free speech

Words in the airways

From a glowing Bakelite wireless in the distant 1950s to the latest digital receiver, my ears have experienced an onslaught of millions of multi-layered words.

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Noisy perfection

I am sitting in the Bodleian Library with Dr Christopher Fletcher, a Fellow of Exeter College, member of the English Faculty and Keeper of Special Collections. On the table between us is a yellowing manuscript of translucent pages inscribed with a neat copperplate script in brown ink. It is the autograph draft manuscript of The [...]

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Heavenly bodies

A hop, skip and jump from the Olympic VIP entertainment suites where regimes with appalling human right records are enjoying a break from torturing their citizens, is a simple, humble encampment of Eelam Tamils. Gobi Sivanthan is on hunger strike to raise awareness about Black July, 1983. According to Tamils Against Genocide, this is the period [...]

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War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength

Question: What do racism, ostracism, despotism, sectarianism, fanaticism, nationalism, evangelism, symbolism, jingoism, patriotism, puritanism, factionalism and totalitarianism have in common? Answer: Euphemism.     Just back from Berlin and the Topography of Terror project, which catalogues the horrors of the Nazi era through images and texts. The building is located on the site previously occupied [...]

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Buskers told to Foxtrot Oscar

‘Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.’

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WORDSTOCK – One Amazing Day

WORDSTOCK began as a twinkle in our collective eyes at a 26 Board meeting: Could it be possible to attract 70 people who are mad about writing and communications to a wordstorming Saturday somewhere in central London? And if so, who so, where so, when so? Approaching likely punters was the easy bit because 26 [...]

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Fighting for life

Just back from Copenhagen with this interview of Leena Alam by the Danish journalist Lise Thorsen. Leena is an Afghan phenomenon; actor, director and human rights campaigner in a country where the Taliban terrorise anyone involved in dance, music, theatre and film. Lise was visiting Afghanistan on behalf of the Danish Centre for Culture and [...]

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A step in the right direction?

It felt more like the search for an alternative rather than a coalescing of dissenters

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Trust Me I’m A Doctor

Trust Me I’m A Doctor is a 26 second video made for the Helen Bamber Foundation to raise awareness of doctors and psychiatrists involved in torture.

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A blazing star

Despite the anti-popery, there’s something Bellocose about Lewes Bonfire’s combination of dark fuming and expressive zest, this farrago of black powders. Effigies of ‘Enemies of Bonfire’ – usually local officials – are paraded on pikes, but there’s also a sense of togetherness and vitality.

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