Tag Archives: censorship

Free my library!

freemylibrary

 

No to censorship! No to destroying books! No to using our children as an excuse for your bigotry!

And, here’s And Tango Makes Three.

 

 

 

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Freedom of speech?

There are many ways our freedom of speech could be curtailed without outright censorship. The recent week or so has thrown up a few examples which could be considered as such.

1. MDA proposes amendments to the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act, including arts groups self-classifying their works and more power to MDA. See our previous post.

2. Lee Wen was assaulted in Hong Kong after he criticised the detainment of Chen Guang after he staged a performance art work commemorating the Tiananmen Massacre. [News article]

3. PM Lee Hsien Loong sued blogger Roy Ngerng (The Heart Truths) for defamation over his article which points out similarities between the City Harvest case and the CPF. Read his blog post about it here.

Unfortunately, these are neither new nor shocking. Benjamin Franklin said this 300 years ago: “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” Will we heed his warning and do something about this before we have no freedom left?

 

 

Enwezor on censorship

In his article Spring Rain, in Artforum Summer 2011, Okwui Enwezor writes about Ai Wei Wei, the Sharjah Biennale and the recent petitions against censorship.

http://www.artforum.com/inprint/id=28339 >

“Variously authored by museums, disenchanted curators, artists, critics, and others, these petitions shared the easy illusion of the universal ideal of freedom of expression—willfully ignoring the fact that censorship is an occupational hazard that all dissenting and radical forms of art must face, whether under liberal or illiberal political systems.”

and

“To my mind, the several petitions that have been circulated in the past months have failed in one striking respect—namely, their inability to engage the larger complexities of the geopolitics of art, much of which they seek to smooth away. If the capacity for critique and defense of the ideals of free thought is to remain the bedrock of all serious art, then we must submit statements proffered on behalf of art themselves to scrutiny.”

Madra on censorship

In her blog Pluversum, Beral Madra posts her press release about the removal of Aidan Salakhova’s sculptures from Azerbaijan’s pavilion which she curated in the 54th Venice Biennale.

http://www.pluversum.blogspot.com/ >

“Contemporary art production and its theoretical and critical context is being employed and exploited by the official power as well as by the private sector as a tool for high prestige and glory; but at the same time its content and concepts are not tolerated and acknowledged.”

and

“I think the artists and curators should have an international legal protection against these conflicts.”