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Ladies and Gentlemen,
We’re pleased to announce a rather rare and special occasion.
Many of you already know that we were unable to display MIMSY’s six artworks at the PFF Festival 2015 due to significant pressure from both the police and the gallery.
We are therefore extremely glad to be able to present to you all of the censored artworks.
We very much hope that you will join us in order to raise a glass to freedom. As Douglas Murray has observed in the Spectator; “…The exhibition has a simple mission – which is to display the work of artists who are thinking seriously about freedom, what it means and how you lose it…but that is where Britain is now. The police can effectively censor a show if they cite the risk of ‘community tensions’ or ‘inflammatory content’. And so the police get to decide what you and I and everyone else should be able to see.“
The purpose of this exhibition will therefore be to consider the nature of freedom, how easily it can be lost and how hard it is to win it back.
Please not that this will be a ONE-DAY ONLY exhibition this Thursday 25/02/2016 from 2pm at Gillett Square in Dalston N16 8JN
Passion for Freedom (PFF) is a non-governmental, voluntary-based organisation that promotes human rights and freedom of expression through art. PFF was started in London in 2007 by a small group of friends, mainly women, and is today supported by a huge international network of artists, activists, journalists and professionals. Each year we ask contributing artists, film producers, writers and journalists 3 pivotal questions:
1. What is freedom?
2. How easy is it to lose?
3. How hard is it to get it back?
The festival was recognized by Madonna and highlighted in her Freedom Calendar 2014. PFF worked with the BBC on its Freedom Year Program last year, and it continues to cooperate with Royal Holloway University on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Passion for Freedom stands for freedom. PFF seeks to involve people in education projects and breaks political correctness in media.
7th Passion for Freedom Gala Night was a tremendous success, with hundreds queuing outside Mall Galleries on a red carpet waiting impatiently to get in, the show could not go any better.
The Gallery was saturated with awaiting and exasperation of visitors commenting the artwork, chatting away, discussing limits of freedom in art, yet waiting impatiently to learn who would become the Freedom Ambassador of 2015. That evening they were soon to learn that 2015 PFF 1st Award and People’s Choice Award was granted to Emma Elliot for The Spin-Head and The Sacred and Profane respectively. You can learn more on the awarded 2015 PFF artworks from our blog post.
Tragic events, which took place in France and Denmark at the beginning of 2015, showed there are clearly more reasons than ever to highlight the importance of freedom of speech. The year 2015, in which 17 journalists and bloggers were killed, many more were sent to jail and the world heritage in Palmyra and Nineveh have been destroyed, became a litmus paper for freedom of expression in the Western world. Very soon the PFF organiser were to learn that their freedom in choosing and showing art would become seriously limited.
The controversy and blatant censorship imposed on one of the artworks and reluctance of the organisers to succumb to the outrageous conditions imposed by the gallery on them, proved that there are actually limits to the freedom in arts in the UK.
Nevertheless, it is worth to remind what Douglas Murray, Spectator’s associate editor, says: “Freedom has always been defended by small number of people (…) PFF walks the walk and shows that the only way we can go forward is not to limit ourselves, not to stop ourselves speaking, not to stop ourselves doing and creating the art and literature and all the things that matter in life. And PFF id doing it and it is wonderful to see it”.
However, probably the biggest success and compliment to the PFF organisers were comments coming from all corners of the gallery; spectators kept saying that it was the first time for many of them when they saw an art which actually made them think. It was something they would not expect, at least not in such a conservative place as Mall Gallery itself!
It has come to my attention that after my work was removed from the exhibition,
some reports in the press failed to distinguish between the Independent
festival organisers (‘Passion for freedom’), the Mall gallery and the metropolitan police.
The team behind ‘Passion for freedom’ courageously tried to help display my work
throughout the censorship process. They even printed subversive postcards of the work,
and distributed them to guests at the gala party.
All moves towards censorship and demands for ‘security’ money have been
imposed on me by the Mall Gallery, and the Police.