31. 3. 2021

English version | Editor's letter: "The Forbidden issue"

by Sofia Lucas


Censorship? Prohibition? Freedom?

In June 1945, Anaïs Nin wrote in her diary: “The important task of literature is to liberate man, not to blame him, which is why Puritanism was the most destructive and evil force that has ever oppressed people and literature: it created hypocrisy, perversion, fears, barrenness.” When any government, any religion, any type of institution is committed to telling its voters, believers or followers, what they cannot read, what they must not see, or what it is forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression. And no matter how noble or sacred the motives are, defending freedom of expression means, to the letter, supporting the right of someone to share any idea with which one might disagree.

All censorship exists to prevent current concepts and existing institutions from being challenged, but any kind of progress has the principle of questioning the prevailing power and beliefs. The first condition for any form of progress is the abolition of censorship. But the whole history we've lived so far doesn't seem to feel like a lesson enough to prevent us from immersing ourselves in a new culture of censorship and cancellation, like the one we currently live in, and which distances us, as a stepback, from the almost five decades of revolutionary struggles and conquests for freedom. Vogue Portugal will always defend freedom of expression and creativity in art, fashion and journalism. Any creative act must not only be free, it needs the certainty of freedom. If an artist or creative person worries if he/she will still be free tomorrow, it is because he/she is not free today.

We dedicate this Forbidden Issue to freedom of expression. To ours and yours. To the space that we all need, to agree, or to agree to disagree, in freedom and with respect for all our differences and imperfections. The cover of this issue, a graphic irony done in the form of two crosses that cover the nipples of model Katarina Janickova, is a clear allusion to the hypocritical puritanism that we would like to see canceled and, at the same time, a reflection on whether if it is indeed in this world, that blurs and hides under the pretext of false virtues, that we want to live in.

Throughout these pages, you may feel identified or shocked, but our only intention is to invite you to reflect on the limits imposed on us, whether by others or by ourselves. And if you feel that at some point we crossed the line, the good news is that you are free to skip ahead, to tear up the pages as you want, or even to close this magazine so as not to reopen it ever again. But you are also free to keep this issue as a testimony of a time when we were all living in an attempt to rediscover the meaning of that primordial word: freedom.

Translated from the original on The Forbidden Issue, published april 2021.