Let's meet our next amazing advocate: Namie Kawabata. Namie is currently a sophomore at Osaka University, Faculty of Human Sciences. Namie along with her table-mates is working on a prominent issue: "Freedom of speech and its restriction".
"Despite the fact that we have more democracies now than ever, and the general impression is that freedom of speech is a right that more people around the world have today, political freedom of speech is becoming more and more restricted."
Q１. Please tell us what are the reasons/motivations that made you apply for ISC65?
Hello! My name is Namie Kawabata, and I am currently a Human Sciences student at Osaka University. I applied to ISC65 because I wanted to meet and exchange ideas with people with many different backgrounds. Each participant, regardless of their nationality, has various experiences that differ from my own, and I would love to learn from them and broaden my perspectives. I cannot wait to meet everyone and have a great conference!
Q２.What do you think about your table’s topic?
I think my table topic is very relevant in this day and age. Despite the fact that we have more democracies now than ever, and the general impression is that freedom of speech is a right that more people around the world have today, political freedom of speech is becoming more and more restricted. Governments are attempting to silence watchdog journalists. Journalists self-censor for fear of consequences. It is necessary to bring awareness to this issue, so the public can understand what states are attempting to do, despite calling themselves “democracies.”
Q3. Can you share with us a little bit about your table's activities?
Disclaimer: The article was written a pretty while ago. Namie's table had an offline study meeting in June. The study meeting report will be updated shortly.
As a whole group, we have only met once through Skype, but it was a meeting filled with constant laughter. I cannot wait to meet everyone and get to know their interests and their personalities. I think we will have great discussions about freedom of speech. I am thankful for our table chief Matej, who puts in so much work and time to help us prepare, and for our sub-table chief Hannah, who is so friendly and hospitable and ensures that we are having a great time.
Q4. Can you tell us a little bit about your hometown?
I grew up in Portland, Oregon, a small but growing city in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Portland is full of beautiful nature. There are many hiking trails and breathtaking waterfalls. Both the mountain and the coast are only one hour away. Portland also has its many quirks, especially in food! Their donuts and ice cream are a unique must-try. The food carts also carry affordable food from many different places around the world. Portland is a wonderful city with much personality.