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Freedom of Speech for Whom? Postponed to 2022, NSW State Library


PEN Sydney has decided to postpone this lecture to early 2022 (Covid willing) due to many people's concerns about COVID 19 and especially about the recent emergence of the Omicron variant. A new date will be set soon. All registered attendees have been notified and will be informed of the changed date.

In her lecture, Senator Faruqi will reflect on the hypocrisies and double-standards of freedom of speech in Australia. Toxic forces of racism, xenophobia and anti-migrant hostilities, which were heightened during the pandemic, dictate who can and can’t freely express themselves in our country. These forces shape public debate, exclude marginalised voices, and consolidate the power of the already powerful. Challenging them is essential. Senator Faruqi will also reflect on global challenges to free speech and the fight for writers and communicators world over.

This event is part of PEN Sydney's marking of the 2021 PEN International Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

Dr Mehreen Faruqi is the Greens Senator for NSW and Spokesperson for Anti-racism, Education, Housing, Industry, International Aid, and Animal Welfare. She is a civil and environmental engineer, academic, feminist, and life-long activist for social and environmental justice.

She became the first Muslim woman to sit in any Australian parliament when she joined the NSW Parliament in 2013. Since joining the federal senate in August 2018, Senator Faruqi has been a powerful voice for anti-racism and feminism. She is the co-chair of the Australian Parliamentary Group on Population and Development which champions gender equality and reproductive rights in international development.

Senator Faruqi has been an outspoken advocate for global justice, and against oppression of marginalised communities around the world. She has been a strong voice on the disparities between the global North and South, especially the injustices of the climate crisis, COVID19 and imperialist wars.  

Mehreen’s memoir and manifesto “Too Migrant, Too Muslim, Too Loud” was published in July and is a no-holds-barred account of a political ‘outsider’ fighting for her rights and the rights of others like her to be let inside on our terms, and what happens when you confront a system steeped in power and patriarchy

Date: 9 December 2021

Time: 6 pm. Please arrive from 5.30.

Location: Metcalfe Auditorium at the State Library of NSW.

All attendees must check-in, wear a mask and show proof of their double vaccination.

After the lecture, attendees are invited to join PEN Sydney in signing cards for imprisoned writers.

Click here to buy tickets.

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