Special Event / 30-30 April 2019

The Best Banned in the Land – A Forum on Artistic Freedom of Expression

Tickets: 0-5
Show Time: 11am - 4pm

Brendan Behan said it best: the finest Irish writers were all banned sometime. From James Joyce to Edna O’Brien, none escaped the censors’ wrath.

The ordered removal of Maser’s Repeal the 8th mural has brought censorship to the fore once again. Is freedom of artistic expression being limited in Ireland? Are issues such as funding, promotion, social media restrictions and discrimination creating conditions for self-censorship?

Join a host of artists and activists as we remember and examine the role of censorship. Guests include Be Aware Theatre Company, Lian Bell, Donal Fallon, Declan Long, Una Mullally, and more to be announced.

A light lunch will be provided.

Pricing: We believe it’s important to ensure that this event is accessible for all audiences, therefore we’re offering both free and low-priced tickets to attend this forum. Please consider selecting a €5 ticket to help support our work and this important event.


This event is the result of collaboration between the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Irish Writers Centre, Poetry Ireland, the Writers’ Guild and Project Arts Centre. It is kindly sponsored by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.  [break] 
The Best Banned in The Land Forum - Supported by UNESCO


11am Introduction with Una Mullally
11:20am Una Mullally interviews GlitterHOLE
12pm Panel One: Role of the State in Protecting Artistic Freedom of Expression
Chair: Una Mullally
Speakers: Donal Fallon, historian, History of Censorship in Ireland and its relevance today.
John O’Donnell SC, poet and barrister. Legal overview of standards and principles when it comes to free expression.
Angela Dorgan, Campaign for Arts. Duty of the state to promote art by making it a financially viable choice for artists.
1:15pm Lunch (provided)
1:45 pm Una interviews Turkish theatre group Be Aware. Be Aware are in exile from Turkey in Cardiff, accused of terrorism after staging a protest piece in Gezi Park.
2:15pm Panel 2: Artists’ Experiences of Censorship and Self Censorship
Chair: Evelyn O’Rourke
Speakers: Lian Bell, Waking the Feminists. Experiences of women artists.
Cian O’Brien, Project Arts Centre. Chilling effect of censorship.
Declan Long, NCAD. Education of artists and current climate for artistic freedom of expression.
3:30 pm Closing remarks & final questions.

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