The International Publishers Association’s Freedom to Publish Committee has selected Thai publishing house Same Sky (Fah Deaw Kan) to receive the 2022 IPA Prix Voltaire. The Bangkok-based company was chosen from a shortlist of five nominees, who have all been recognized for their exemplary courage in upholding the freedom to publish and enabling others to exercise their right to freedom of expression.
Same Sky Publishing House was founded in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2002 by three ex-student activists, Thanapol Eawsakul, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, and Chaithawat Tulatol. Since then, Samesky Publishing has published a large number of academic journals and books in social science and the humanities, mainly from a critical perspective. Some suggest this critical position has disturbed those who uphold the political and social status quo. The last two decades of volatility in Thai politics has impeded freedom of speech in Thailand, particularly with regards to the abolition of the monarchy – something Same Sky’s work seeks to address. As a result, Eawsakul, Same Sky’s executive editor, has had to endure monitoring by state officials attempting to persecute him for sedition.
Kristenn Einarsson, Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee added: Same Sky Publishing is a perfect example of a publisher demonstrating their bravery by standing up to intimidation and continuing to publish works they believe in.
A representative of Same Sky Publishing will receive the Prix Voltaire in person at 33rd International Publishers Congress in Jakarta, on 11 November.
About the 2022 Prix Voltaire
This year’s shortlist also included independent VK K arthika (India), Raul Figueroa Sarti (Guatemala), Nahid Shahalimi (Afghanistan/Canada), and Ukrainian Publishers and Booksellers Association (Ukraine).
Prix Voltaire nominees are publishers – individuals, groups or organizations – who stand firm on freedom to publish, be it as longstanding defenders of these values or having recently published works despite pressure, threats, intimidation or harassment from various sources.
Nominees have typically published controversial works amid pressure, threats, intimidation or harassment, be it from governments, other authorities or private interests. Alternatively, they may be publishers with a distinguished record of upholding the values of freedom to publish and freedom of expression. For the purposes of the IPA Prix Voltaire, the definition of ‘publisher’ is an individual, collective or organization that provides others with the means to share their ideas in written form, including via digital platforms.
The IPA Prix Voltaire, which comes with a CHF 10,000 prize, is made possible by generous contributions from sponsors, all of which are publishing houses and organizations that share the values that the IPA Prix Voltaire recognizes.
The current sponsors of the IPA Prix Voltaire are, in alphabetical order:
- Albert Bonniers Förlag (Sweden)
- Bonnier Media Deutschland (Germany)
- Holtzbrinck (Germany)
- Penguin Random House
- Norstedts (Sweden)
- Samlaget (Norway)
- Verlag C. H. Beck (Germany)