What Happens When Free-Speech Absolutists Flinch

Source: The Atlantic
by Gal Beckerman

“Since the earliest days of the war in Ukraine, much of the Western world has become squeamish about Russian art. Tchaikovsky would not be played. Russian literature was kept high on the shelf. Moscow’s famous Bolshoi Ballet was disinvited from touring abroad. Such boycotts have only increased in intensity, and in ways that demonstrate how wartime assaults on freedom can ripple far outside of the conflict zone — where the sound of war is not that of bombs detonating but of piercing silence. Now the impulse to censor anyone Russian has arrived in the United States, at a venue that is designed to — of all things — champion and promote freedom of speech and expression: PEN America’s annual World Voices festival.” (05/16/23)