Freedom of expression, freedom of trade, freedom to carry a gun or freedom from colonial oppression: the word is a touchstone for wildly different positions across the political spectrum. Which freedoms would you champion? Which are you willing to lose to secure the freedoms you value? Freedom was the central theme of this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, which commissioned 50 writers from across the globe to write essays on the topic. Many also performed their work live at the festival itself. We are thrilled to welcome the festival director Nick Barley, who speaks to three of the international writers from The Freedom Papers collection – Yaba Badoe, Lloyd Jones and Juno Dawson – about what freedom means to them.