Welcome to Free Word. Interested in exploring the political and cultural power of words? Join us at an upcoming event or read about the themes we explore.

About Free Word

Welcome to Free Word, an international organisation dedicated to literature, literacy and free expression. With the help of Fritt Ord, a free expression foundation in Norway, and Arts Council England, Free Word Centre first opened its doors in 2009. It is now home to 6 Residents and over 40 Associates. Free Word is a charity, and it is with the generous support of trusts and individuals that we continue to explore the cultural and political power of words.

Free Word Centre hosts public events all year round, exploring issues in contemporary politics, literature and culture. Among its programme of events are author talks, panel discussions, film screenings, exhibitions, workshops and conferences. Free Word collaborates on a local, national and international level to bring you our three major programmes: The Power of Translation, Living Dangerously: Stories of Climate Change, and Speaking Freely.

Free Word works internationally to bring together communities, organisations and individuals through the belief that words change lives.

The building that is now Free Word Centre has seen its way through a creative transformation over the years. Since it was built in 1875, it has been a wheelwright’s workshop, studios for music education and filmmaking and, most recently, the Guardian’s archive and education/exhibition centre. Even its location, on Farringdon Road, is brimming with a rich history in literature and politics; from the 1870s to the 1990s, bookstalls lined the street.

In 2009, Free Word moved in, and, after refurbishing in 2014, Free Word Centre has become a vibrant hub for literature. The café and lecture theatre are open to the public, a nourishing space for you to think, engage with new ideas and spark up challenging discussions. There is also a main hall for our Residents and Associates to work and collaborate in.

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