Censorship of the press has been all over the news recently, with many viewers left scratching their heads as to what is and isn’t fake news. Sadly, the problem isn’t a recent one, as Amnesty International explored last week in its Every Freedom needs a Fighter campaign.
Working in partnership with Brand Union and Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong, Amnesty International created this multi-tiered anti-censorship initiative in response to the abduction of five booksellers on the Hong Kong border back in 2016. The initiative included a pop-up bookstore with powerful murals written in a calligraphy font, and time-lapse film that screened on Hong Kong buses.
At the heart of the issue was the violation of Article 27, a basic law that entitles Hong Kong residents to “freedom of speech, of the press and of publication; freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration; and the right and freedom to form and join trade unions, and to strike”.
This law provided the basis for the initiative. Thanks to the bookshop campaign, which ran from 16-17 February, over 1000 redacted books were made free to browse or buy for a donation of HK$27. A striking bespoke book cover was also created to support the event.
The whole campaign is part of Amnesty Carnival, which runs from 16-26 February and brings together prominent artists from around the world to explore the idea of freedom of expression.