Discussions of Day 2

Let's get practical

Imagine that tomorrow most European governments decide to limit the freedom of expression in response to an alleged terrorist threat. What should you/we do?

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  • Right  let us  get  practical.

    My  suggestion: the ones who  want  real  change  for  more democratic participation of  all  art-ists should gather.  Targets  are: change  bureacratic  structures in EU in favor of  free art  forums. In every  major  EU  city  one of  these  forums  where  artists-art-public  can meet  without  the  censorship of  bureaucrats  and speculators.  2. increase  budgets for  culture  eg through  a  culture levy   for  the  rich or  by  reducing  the  costs  of  the  bureaucratic  monster.   3. oblige  liberal  media  to  give more (uncensured )  space to  art  and its  public discussion.  

  • I think we should start talking / means: writing, painting, singing, filming etc / about things which matter. In the world with no freedom of expression there will be no space and need for bullshitting....

  • I only just thought of the curious way in which you formulated this question. If most of the European governments would be to limit freedom of expression, what would this mean to the remaining countries still enjoying their unrestricted art, culture and media sector? Would this mean their art would thrive, become stronger with compassion and protest against the unjustice happening in the persecuted countries of the rest of Europe? Or would it create the perfect conditions for opportunists and nursing ground for coformism? In the end, how strong and convinced really was the artists and intellectuals' reaction (external to the country's intelligence) to censorship in the former Czechoslovakia, aside from the active denounciation of the system by famous expats (brilliant examples as we can find in Milan Kundera and others).

    • I fully agree while there are powerful exemples of resistence what about solidarity 

  • We build a forum and we call it JAMM'ART.

  • As I was saying, we would have to find new, updated forms for what we did then, when freedom of expression was banned and could result in blacklisting and jailing: in this article you can find a lot of information about what we artists DID. It has just been published by a young art historian in the Uned University of Madrid: http://revistas.uned.es/index.php/ETFVII/article/view/12700

  • We must then take to the street in some new inventive way: here in Spain we have some experience from the days of Franco's fascist dictatorship (1939-1975). For instance, we, a bunch of contemporary artists, occupied the Prado Museum and did a sit-in for the release of an arrested artist and an art critic. But curtailment of the freedom of expression should never be tolerated.

  • I would say that this will provoke more self censorship, since the setting and the atmosphere will lead to thinking twice about certain projects...Since I am researching phenomenon of censorship and forgetting of this acts in art organizations (like theatres), my colleague and I found a case of censoring Mozart opera Idomeneo in 2006 in Deutche Oper Berlin due to security risk, since there were depictions of Prophet Muhammad that provoked controversy. And this was ten years ago...

  • Hi,

    Here we post a synthesis of our generalistic contribution about freedom and censorship, from some of our members :)

    In our democracies, to some extent, there's censorship, even though it's of a low intensity. The recent case of poet Dolors Miquel, who was tried to be prosecuted, referring blasphemy, for a poetry reading at the Ciutat de Barcelona Poetry Awards [more info], is a clear example. Or the example of poet Erri de Luca, prosecuted to give his opinion on the speed train works in his region [more info]. Or the more recent case of writer Empar Moliner, who made a scandal because she burned a Spanish constitution on TV (and the channel deleted the video) [more info]. Saramago said artists have to have the capacity to rise up and revolt every day.

    Artists and intellectuals must be able to create in a complete freedom environment, and the democratic context seems a priori ideal to do that. The reality is, though, that occidental societies have created “zombies”. It seems that sometimes a shock is needed to awake people and make them react.

    Let's keep going!


    • Content i trist alhora de trobar-vos aquí posant de manifest la trista i patètica situació censural del nostre petit i estimat país. seguirem lluitant, seguirem endavant! Les nostres paraules i la nostra llibertat per sobre de tot. sempre ens quedarà la poesia.

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