Spotlight Seminar - Censorship & Democracy

Dr. Silvia Angeli, University of Westminster

LLC Commons Room, Webster Geneva

Sept 13, 18.30 - 19.30

Although most often associated with undemocratic settings, censorship never has been the preserve of authoritarian regimes and dictatorships. More worryingly, according to the latest research by Reporters without Borders, censorship is gaining ground in democracies:

Violations of the freedom to inform are less and less the prerogative of authoritarian regimes and dictatorships. Once taken for granted, media freedom is proving to be increasingly fragile in democracies as well.” (Reporters without Borders, 2017) Why and how is the media censored in democratic settings?

“Why is the freedom of the press and of speech increasingly under threat in democracies? To introduce this topic, Hélène Sackstein (Reporters without Borders) will present some of the key issues related to censorship in democratic settings to help us understand why it is gaining ground in these contexts today. She will also speak about the actions being taken by Reporters without Borders to advance the freedom of information and the press across the world.

To illustrate this phenomenon, Silvia Angeli (PhD University of Westminster) will present her research on the continued controversy in Italy surrounding the 1968 film Galileo. Despite being made with public funding, it has still not been shown on public television in Italy. Why has this film been repressed for almost 50 years? Angeli argues that religious and political forces combine to prevent the release of this film. In the process, she explores the continued reality of censorship in a modern democratic setting.


About the speakers

Hélène Sackstein is a freelance journalist who has worked on both sides of the Atlantic and has represented Reporters without Borders at the UN in Geneva for 5 years.

Silvia Angeli holds a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Westminster, where she currently works as a Visiting Lecturer. Her research focuses on the relationship between religion and film, Italian cinema, American cinema, films’ reception and practices of censorship.


The presentation will be followed by Q&A and a debate with the audience. A free cocktail will follow the event.


If you have a proposal for a Spotlight Seminar, please contact us at:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Webster University Geneva, LLC Commons Room
Route de Collex 9 1293 Bellevue, Switzerland

Event Type

Global Campuses, Geneva


Departments, School of Communications



Webster University Geneva
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