Publishing People

Freedom Writers

After each previous arrest he had been tortured. He had also been threatened before release. The authorities had left no room for doubt: if he did not keep his mouth shut, worse would happen. But Zargana is not a man to keep his mouth shut, and had continued to ignore the threats and took his life in his hands defying bans on performing in public and talking to foreign journalists. He became the ‘loudspeaker’ of the people, articulating the anger and impatience of his compatriots eager for an end to the years of brutal oppression

Interview: Scarlett Thomas

‘It is interesting. The more successful I am, the more self-critical I am able to be publicly, because for years it felt like, “Shit, if I say I am crap, then there is no one who will say I am good, so I am going to have to say I am good otherwise no one else will say so.”’ She lets out a short laugh. ‘Now I can look back and say I made this mistake or that mistake and I am completely fine about being honest about that.’

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