THEATRE artist and political activist, Silvanos Mudzvova has been nominated for the 2018 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship in the arts category, for his performances, that agitate for democracy and rights for the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
BY LIFE & STYLE REPORTER
Mudzvova is among the 16 shortlisted nominees drawn from over 400 crowdsourced nominations including artists, writers, journalists and campaigners overcoming censorship and fighting for freedom of expression in their respective countries.
He was nominated for his “hit-and-run” performances to defy censorship in Zimbabwe.
“Free speech is vital in creating a tolerant society. These nominees show us that even a small act can have a major impact. These groups and individuals have faced the harshest penalties for standing up for their beliefs. It’s an honour to recognise them,” said Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive officer of campaigning non-profit Index on Censorship.
Awards fellowships are offered in four categories of arts, campaigning, digital activism and journalism.
Mudzvova was nominated alongside exiled Azerbaijan rapper Jamal Ali, Team 29, an association of lawyers and journalists that defends those targeted by the state for exercising their right to freedom of speech in Russia, Fereshteh Forough, founder and executive director of Code to Inspire, a coding school for girls in Afghanistan and Wendy Funes, an investigative journalist from Honduras, who regularly risks her life for her right to report on what is happening in the country.
Other nominees include The Museum of Dissidence, a public art project and website celebrating dissent in Cuba, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, a group proactively challenging LGBTI discrimination through the Kenya’s courts, Mèdia.cat, a Catalan website highlighting media freedom violations and investigating under-reported or censored stories, Novosti, a weekly Serbian-language magazine in Croatia that deals with different topics.
The panel of judges includes Serpentine CEO Yana Peel and BBC journalist Razia Iqbal, founder of Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton and Tim Moloney QC, deputy head of Doughty Street Chambers.
Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on April 19 and become Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Fellows, with year-long support for their work including training in areas such as advocacy and communications.
This year’s awards are supported by SAGE Publishing, Google, Private Internet Access, Edwardian Hotels, Vodafone, media partner VICE News, Doughty Street Chambers and Psiphon.