Index on Censorship: Self-censorship stifling UK artistic expression


Widespread self-censorship and fear of causing offence is suppressing creativity and ideas in the United Kingdom, according to a conference report published by Index on Censorship, ‘Taking the Offensive’.

There are multiple pressures on artistic freedom of expression and censorship has become a major issue for the arts sector in this country, the report reveals.

Among the key findings in the report, Index on Censorship mentions:

• Widespread self-censorship at an institutional level is suppressing creativity and ideas, with some artists from black and ethnic communities experiencing additional obstacles

• Worries about public and media ‘outrage’ or the loss of funding if they cause offence are causing many cultural institutions to be overly cautious in their choice of work at commission and production stages

• The fear of police intervention or legal action is fuelled by a lack of information about the legal framework around freedom of expression

The findings are based on the January 2013 conference ‘Taking the Offensive – defending artistic freedom of expression in the UK’ — the first national debate about the social, political and legal challenges to artistic freedom of expression.

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» Index on Censorship – 31 May 2013:
Self-censorship stifling UK artistic expression

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Read more about the report online

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