Good Chance and Index on Censorship call for Afghan artists, writers and filmmakers to be  

More than 80 luminaries from the world of film and theatre have written a letter to The Times 

More than 80 leading lights from the worlds of film and theatre have signed an open letter to The Times calling on the British government to give artists, writers and film-makers who remain in Afghanistan and face an uncertain future under the Taliban safe passage out of the country.

As paint begins to cease hitting canvas, notes of music fade away and the freedom of all artists and journalists to express themselves suffers under the threat of the new regime, we are actively seeking ways to work together to ensure that the spirit of Afghanistan is kept alive for this and future generations. 

The letter, organised by Good Chance Theatre and Index on Censorship, reads as follows: 

“Over the past two decades, civil society has flourished in Afghanistan with new freedoms ushering in a golden age of art, music, film and writing.

At the same time, political dissent and journalism has thrived in a region where free expression is not always respected. With the Taliban takeover of the country, this rich legacy is in imminent peril. We now have a duty to those artists, writers and filmmakers who will be silenced if we do not act immediately.
We urge the British government to cooperate with the international community to create a humanitarian corridor for those seeking safe passage out of the country. We also urge those in positions of influence in the creative industries to help those who have escaped  to continue their vital work and safeguard the culture of Afghanistan for future generations.”

Signed

Majid Adin, artist; Riz Ahmed, actor; Jenny Agutter, actor; Alison Balsom, musician; Siddiq Barmak, director; Sanjeev Bhaskar, actor; Hugh Bonneville, actor; Martin Bright, journalist; Barbara Broccoli, producer; Josephine Burton, director; Jez Butterworth, writer; Robert Chandler, poet; Benedict Cumberbatch, actor; Stephen Daldry, director; Catherine Davidson, writer; Amy Davies Dolamore, producer; Ged Doherty, producer; Parwana Fayyaz, poet; Jane Featherstone, producer; Colin Firth, actor; Sonia Friedman, producer; Stephen Fry, actor; Leah Gayer, director; Claire Gilbert, producer; Paul Greengrass, director; Sir David Hare, writer; Zarlasht Halaimzai, writer; Dame Pippa Harris, producer; Afua Hirsch, writer; Nancy Hirst, director; Mike Hodges, director;

Sir Nicholas Hytner, director; Sabrina Guinness, producer; Asif Kapadia, director; Mohammad Akbar Karkar, writer; Daniel King, producer; Natalia Koliada, producer; Keira Knightley, actor; David Lan, producer; Jennifer Langer, editor; Stewart Lee, comedian; Kerry Kyriacos Michael, director; Krishnendu Majumdar, producer; Mohsen Makhmalbaf, director; Simon McBurney, director; Kate McGrath, director; Sir Ian McKellen, actor; Nada Menzalji, poet; Sir Sam Mendes, director; David Morrissey, actor; Joe Murphy, writer; Zoe Neirizi, poet; Caro Newling, producer; David Nicholls, writer; Amir Nizar Zuabi, director; Sophie Okonedo, actor; Nasrin Parvaz, writer; Pascale Petit, poet; Trevor Phillips, broadcaster; Clare Pollard, poet; Atiq Rahimi, writer; Shirin Razavian, poet; Ian Rickson, director; Clare Robertson, producer; Joe Robertson, writer; Sir Mark Rylance, actor;

Philippe Sands QC, writer; Sarah Sands, editor; Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, actor;  Tracey Seaward, producer; Elif Shafak, writer; Shabibi Shah, writer; Rouhi Shafi, writer; Thea Sharrock, director; Imelda Staunton, actor; Sir Tom Stoppard, writer; Abdul Sulamal, writer Meera Syal, actor; George Szirtes, poet; Jawed Taiman, director; Dame Emma Thompson, actor; Orlando von Einsiedel; producer; Naomi Webb, producer; Samuel West, actor; Krysty Wilson-Cairns, writer; Haidar Yagane, writer; David Yates, director.

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