16 August 2023

European Alliance of Academies discusses freedom of expression with young Britons at Cambridge

26 - 27 August 2023, Homerton College, Cambridge

European Alliance authors will discuss the freedom of artistic expression in literature with UK students at Cambridge on 26 and 27 August. Censorship has many forms. Who has the power to raise their voice? And who can silence other voices? Four writing workshops and two public discussions on this year's topic “Building a Sustainable and Healthy World” are part of the annual student conference at the Homerton College campus.

After events in Budapest, Madrid, Amsterdam and Berlin, members of the European Alliance of Academies will debate the necessity of artistic freedom for a functioning democracy for the first time in the UK. Together with the Royal Society of Literature, the transnational network which has been committed to the freedom of the arts in Europe since 2020 is organising the programme aimed at the younger generation.

The opening discussion “How does self-censorship work for a writer?” on Saturday, 26 August, will look at the political pressure on the freedom of expression in many countries and its impact on the artistic work of writers. The event “Who has the right to speak? Whose voice is heard?” on 27 August, explores the question of which voices are underrepresented in literature, who can speak freely and to what extent, and who is silenced.

Academy member Cécile Wajsbrot will initiate “Café Klima” with the young persons present. This project explores how the climate crisis affects our daily lives, endangers democracy and has an impact on art and culture.

With: Bianca Bellová, Réka Borda, Ferenc Czinki, Bhanu Kapil, Kenan Malik, Daljit Nagra, Annelies Verbeke, Cécile Wajsbrot, Marina Warner, Mariah Whelan

The college was founded in 1768 in Homerton, Hackney, east London, and became a full Cambridge University college in 2010. Today it is the largest college in Cambridge with over 1200 students and provides a wealth of writing and poetry offers. Poets from all over the world have read and held writing workshops here.

It is the only college in Cambridge to have a poet-in-residence. Homerton also hosts the “Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture”, held annually on a topic from children's literature, and is involved in the UK initiative “Poetry By Heart” which organises poetry readings in schools.

Fellows and researchers include Daljit Nagra, Louise Joy, Morag Styles and David Whitley. Honorary members of the College include Sir Andrew Motion and Dame Carol Ann Duffy. Former Principal Geoff Ward is a poet and literary critic.

An event of the European Alliance of Academies organised by Akademie der Künste and the Royal Society of Literature. In cooperation with the University of Cambridge, Czech Literary Center, Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature, Society of Hungarian Authors

Event information
European Alliance of Academies

On Freedom of Artistic Expression in Literature in the 21st Century

26 – 27 August 2023
Saturday, 26 Aug, 5 pm and Sunday, 27 Aug, 4 pm
In English
Homerton College, University of Cambridge, Hills Rd, Cambridge CB2 8PH, UK
Free admission
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