Index on Censorship is now accepting nominations for their prestigious 2019 Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship. Fellows receive 12 months of coaching, capacity building, and strategic support to help them reach their goals. Though these fellowships, Index on Censorship fosters the critical growth of people and organizations around the world that are fighting on the front lines of free expression, fortifying their existence with relationships and resources that will help them for years to come. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which promotes the global community of individuals and institutions dedicated to fighting censorship at all costs.
There are four categories of fellowships: arts, campaigning, digital activism, and journalism. The arts category is for creators whose work challenges inequity and oppression, celebrating the breadth of free expression. This category is open to (but not limited to) individuals or collectives of cartoonists, visual artists, photographers, museums, creative writers, and poets. The campaigning category is reserved for activists and organizers that have had a notable impact in the fight for free speech. Digital Activism represents any innovative use of technology to combat censorship and further free expression. The journalism fellowship is open to journalists and bloggers that write compelling work aimed at exposing censorship and threats to free speech around the world.
In their fellowship selections, Index on Censorship looks for:
- Timeliness — A significant contribution within the past 12 months.
- Resilience — Courage to speak out, persisting in the face of adversity.
- Innovation — Creative ways of promoting free expression or circumventing censorship.
- Impact — Evidence of shifting perceptions, influencing public or government opinion, contributing to legislative change.
- Need — Those cases where the 2018 Awards Fellowship can potentially add the most value.
Nominations are open until September 17, 2018. The fellowship itself begins in April 2019 and runs until March 2020. 2018 fellows include The Museum of Dissidence, a Cuban based public art project and website dedicated to, not only, celebrating dissent, but making the public perception of the word “dissent” positive in Cuba. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, a human rights organization in Egypt that faces government sanctioned harassment, — their staff has been arrested, their offices have been raided. Habari RDC, utilizes Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to give a voice to the Congolese youth who want to use free expression to not only change the perception of the Congolese but change the living conditions that their peers face. The journalism fellow this year is Wendy Funes, a Honduran writer who regularly risks her own safety to expose what is happening in her country. Funes writes about violence against women in Honduras, as well as fraud and misconduct, once having her own death certificate issued for an article to expose corruption.
Index on Censorship is a London-based non-profit organization that publishes work by censored writers and artists, and campaigns against censorship worldwide. Since its founding in 1972, Index has published some of the greatest names in literature in its award-winning quarterly magazine, including Samuel Beckett, Nadine Gordimer, Mario Vargas Llosa, Arthur Miller and Kurt Vonnegut. Index on Censorship is partners with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in the Banned Book Week Coalition. Check out their video about the Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship below.