JBJaipur Literature Festival

Saturday 26 January 12:30pm IST

Freedom of Speech and Expression

Keynote by Basharat Peer, with John Burnside, John Kampfner, Shoma Chaudhury & Orlando Figes. In conversation with Timothy Garton Ash.


Author Biographies:

John Burnside‘s last two books were the novel, A Summer of Drowning, shortlisted for the 2011 Costa Prize, and his poetry collection, Black Cat Bone, which won both the 2011 Forward Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. His Selected Poems was published in 2006, alongside his memoir, A Lie About My Father. The second volume of his memoir, Waking Up In Toytown, was published in 2010. His new collection of short stories, Something Like Happy, has just been published in the UK.

Basharat Peer is the author of Curfewed Night, an account of the Kashmir conflict, which won the Crossword Prize for Non-Fiction and was chosen among the Books of the Year by The Economist and The New Yorker. He has worked as an editor at Foreign Affairs and was a Fellow at Open Society Institute, New York. He has written extensively on South Asian politics for The New Yorker, Granta, Foreign Affairs, Financial Times magazine, and The Caravan, among other places. His next book about religious politics and the aftermath of the Partition of India and Pakistan will be published by Random House in India and Simon and Schuster in the United States.

John Kampfner is Adviser to Google on freedom of expression and culture. A journalist of long standing, he was Moscow and Berlin bureau chief for the Daily Telegraph, then after spells at the FT and BBC became Editor of the New Statesman in 2005, taking the magazine to 30-year circulation highs. A documentary maker for TV and radio, he is also Chair of the board of Turner Contemporary, one of the UK’s highest profile art galleries. He is working on a new book on the history of the super-rich. His previous books include, Freedom For Sale, and the best selling Blair’s Wars.

Shoma Chaudhury is Managing Editor, Tehelka. In 2000, she left Outlook to join Tarun Tejpal, and was among the team that started Tehelka.com. Shoma has written extensively on several areas of conflict in India – people vs State; the Maoist insurgency, the Muslim question, and issues of capitalist development and land grab. She has won several awards, including the Ramnath Goenka Award and the Chameli Devi Award for the most outstanding woman journalist in 2009. In 2011, Newsweek (USA) picked her as one of 150 power women who “shake the world”. In May 2012, she also won the Mumbai Press Club Award for best political reporting.

Orlando Figes is Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, and the author of seven books, including A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 (1996), Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia (2002), The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia (2007) and Crimea: The Last Crusade (2010). His latest is Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag (2012).

Chair/Moderator of the ‘Censorship Today’ event, Timothy Garton Ash is the author of nine books of political writing which have charted the transformation of Europe over the last thirty years. He is Professor of European Studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His most recent book is ’Facts are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name’. He is currently leading a major Oxford University project on global freedom of expression in the internet age: www.freespeechdebate.com