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.

Project: Unravelling Europe

Against a backdrop of increasing fragmentation fuelled by anxiety and fear, the conditions and values that underpin our open, democratic societies are under threat. Unravelling Europe asks how we can better comprehend the complexities at play in order to “re-stitch” the fabric essential to the flourishing of a truly democratic Europe.

Inevitably, current debates about Europe and its place in today’s interdependent and globalized world focus on the political, business, military and academic worlds; rarely are cultural or artistic perspectives included.

As the author Elif Shafak says, writing about the attacks in Paris at the end of last year:

“In the fight against extremism, political analysis dominates discussions while military solutions hover in the background. Culture, however, does not receive enough attention – even though it is at the heart of today’s conflicts.”

Since starting this project at the beginning of 2016, Europe is under even greater stress. The events of the summer have continued to push at pressure points: from Brexit to an attempted coup in Turkey along with an increasing number of terror attacks across the continent.

In this period of great uncertainty, the voices of artists are needed more than ever; Free Word will continue to unite culture, politics and free expression. Unravelling Europe puts artists, alongside those with other perspectives, at the heart of the conversation on the future of Europe.

Click below to explore Unravelling Europe – check out past and future events, read blogs and much more. You can also visit Free Word’s Unravelling Europe playlist on YouTube where you’ll find videos of events and vox pops with cultural figures, as we ask ‘What do you think is the most pressing issue in Europe today?’

We’d love to hear your answers to that question, too – tweet your thoughts to @FreeWordCentre using #FWEurope.

Stories, Podcasts and Videos

Events & Exhibitions

Make a difference. Support Free Word.