UK's Index on Censorship warns history is under threat worldwide

Historians in the News
tags: censorship

The spring 2018 issue of Index on Censorship magazine takes a special look at how governments and other powers across the globe are manipulating history for their own ends.In this issue, we examine the various ways and areas where historical narratives are being changed, including a Q&A with Chinese and Japanese people on what they were taught about the Nanjing massacre at school; the historian known as Mosul Eye gives a special insight into his struggle documenting what Isis were trying to destroy; and Raymond Joseph takes a look at how South Africa’s government is erasing those who fought against apartheid.The issue features interviews with historians Margaret MacMillan and Neil Oliver, and a piece addressing who really had free speech in the Tudor Court from Lucy Worsley.

We also take a look at how victims of the Franco regime in Spain may finally be put to rest in Silvia Nortes’ articleIrene Caselli explores how a new law in Colombia making history compulsory in school will be implemented after decades of conflict; and Andrei Aliaksandrau explains how Ukraine and Belarus approach their Soviet past.

The special report includes articles discussing how Turkey is discussing – or not – the Armenian genocide, while Poland passes a law to make talking about the Holocaust in certain ways illegal.

Outside the special report, Barry Humphries aka Dame Edna talks about his new show featuring banned music from the Weimar Republic and comedian Mark Thomas discusses breaking taboos with theatre in a Palestinian refugee camp.

Finally, we have an exclusive short story by author Christie Watson; an extract from Palestinian author Abbad Yahya’s latest book; and a poem from award-winning poet Mahvash Sabet.

Special report: The abuse of history A date (not) to forget, by Louisa Lim: The author on why her book about Tiananmen would be well-nigh impossible to research today.

Who controls the past controls the future…, by Sally Gimson: Fall in line or be in the firing line is the message historian are receiving from governments around the world.

Another country, by Luka Ostojić: One hundred years after the creation of Yugoslavia, there are few signs it ever existed in Croatia.

Why?No comfort in the truth, by Annemarie Luck: It’s the episode of history Japan would rather forget. Instead comfort women are back in the news.

Unleashing the past, by Kaya Genç: Freedom to publish on the World War I massacre of Turkish Armenians is fragile and threatened.

Stripsearch, by Martin Rowson: Mister History is here to teach you what really happened.

Tracing a not too dissident past, by Irene Caselli: As Cubans prepare for a post-Castro era, a digital museum explores the nation’s rebellious history.

Lessons in bias, by Margaret MacMillan, Neil Oliver, Lucy Worsley, Charles van Onselen, Ed Keazor: Leading historians and presenters discuss the black holes of the historical universe.

Projecting Poland and its past, by Konstanty Gebert: Poland wants you to talk about the “Polocaust”Battle lines, by Hannah Leung and Matthew Hernon: One battle, two countries and a whole lot of opinions. We talk to people in China and Japan about what they learnt at school about the Nanjing massacre.

The empire strikes back, by Andrei Aliaksandrau: Ukraine and Belarus approach their former Soviet status in opposite ways. Plus Stephen Komarnyckyj on why Ukraine needs to not cherry-pick its past.

Staging dissent, by Simon Callow: When a British prime minister was not amused by satire, theatre censorship followed. We revisit plays that riled him, 50 years after the abolition of the state censor.

Eye of the storm, by Omar Mohammed: The historian known as Mosul Eye on documenting what Isis were trying to destroy.

Desert defenders, by Lucia He: An 1870s battle in Argentina saw the murder of thousands of its indigenous people. But that history is being glossed over by the current government.

Buried treasures, by David Anderson: Britain’s historians are struggling to access essential archives. Is this down to government inefficiency or something more sinister?

Masters of none, by Bernt Hagtvet: Post-war Germany sets an example of how history can be “mastered”. Poland and Hungary could learn from it.

Naming history’s forgotten fighters, by Raymond Joseph: South Africa’s government is setting out to forget some of the alliance who fought against apartheid. Some of them remain in prison.

Colombia’s new history test, by Irene Caselli: A new law is making history compulsory in Colombia’s schools. But with most people affected by decades of conflict, will this topic be too hot to handle?

Breaking from the chains of the past, by Audra Diptee: Recounting Caribbean history accurately is hard when many of the documents have been destroyed.

Rebels show royal streak, by Layli Foroudi: Some of the Iranian protesters at recent demonstrations held up photos of the former shah. Why?

Checking the history bubble, by Mark Frary: Historians will have to use social media as an essential tool in future research. How will they decide if its information is unreliable or wrong?

Franco’s ghosts, by Silvia Nortes: Many bodies of those killed under Franco’s regime have yet to be recovered and buried. A new movement is making more information public about the period

Read entire article at Index on Censorship

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