The Freedom Book Fair is a five day event centered around freedom of expression and is much more than just a book fair.
Background: Freedom of Expression and the Shrinking Space for Civil Society
Worldwide, freedom of expression is under severe pressure and in many countries it is already completely absent. It has become a global trend to clamp down on minority opinions, human rights defenders and all those who dare to publicly criticize authorities. In many countries books are banned, media is censored and controlled, journalists, academics, artists and activists are subject to threats and persecution and sometimes even murdered. In May 2017 Amnesty International stated that: “While the world’s powerful are increasingly using toxic narratives of fear and division casting collective blame for social ills onto minority groups, those who dare to make a stand against injustice and defend human rights are under attack.”
About The Hague Freedom Book Fair
In 2018 The Hague Peace Projects will host the 3rd edition of The Hague Freedom Book Fair. The Hague Freedom Book Fair aims to contribute to widening the spaces for writers, thinkers, journalists, artists, activists and citizens in those countries with an increasingly hostile and repressive environment towards free expression. There will be various activities over the course of the five days, such as book presentations, cultural evenings, movie screenings and panel discussions. The Book Fair is a place where writers, journalists, human right activists, artists and civilians from all over the world can discuss, connect, debate, initiate a dialogue, celebrate their work and raise awareness for their cause.
The Hague Freedom Book Fair started in 2016 as an inititative to atract public attention to the situation of the Bangladeshi bloggers and minorities that had been targeted by muslim extremists during that period. The then called “Bangladesh Alternative Book Fair” was organized in memory of Avijit Roy and other Bangladeshi writers and free thinkers who got killed from 2013 till 2016 and in solidarity with the persecuted and exiled Bangladeshi writers who were unable to be present at their beloved Ekushey Book Fair in Bangladesh. The second edition in 2017 expanded its theme to oppressed voices around the world, including countries such as Somalia, Turkey and LGBT rights in religious countries. Click here to read the report of the Freedom Book Fair 2017.
Vision for the Future
The Hague Freedom Book Fair is more than just a book fair. Over the years we are planning to further develop the Book Fair into an international platform for all those who fight for freedom of expression: a place where writers, journalists, human right activists, artists and civilians from all over the world can discuss, connect, debate, inititate a dialogue, celebrate their work and raise awareness for their cause.
This event is hosted by The Hague Peace Projects.
Dates: February 21-25
Venue: IN HET KOORENHUIS, Prinsegracht 27, The Hague