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Articles, Essays, Volume 3

Much Ado About “Theatre and Censorship Conference”

Much Ado About “Theatre and Censorship Conference”
By Dalia Basiouny
Arab StagesVolume 2, Number 1 (Fall 2015)
©2015 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications

The churnings of the second decade of the 21st century resulted in social and political unrest across the globe. Revolutions in a number of Arab countries created new margins of freedom and an urgent desire to question what it means to be a citizen in modern society while challenging much of what used to be taken for granted as rules of the game. During these transformational times, one of the hot topics has been censorship, especially as it relates to controlling artistic freedom of expression.

In May 2015 the Egyptian National Center for Theatre, Music and Folk Arts organized a conference in Cairo entitled “Censorship and Theatre”. The conference proved to be intense from the onset, illustrating how hard it is to discuss such a complex topic; the topic generates difficult questions which demand unsettling conversations about core issues.

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