Passion for Freedom Festival will comprise two exhibitions taking place in November 2014 in a gallery in central location in London. The Festival will present selected works from artists, film makers and writers whose work speaks for freedom and artists selected from an open submission.
Passion for Freedom invites submissions from visual artists involved in practice of painting, [ Read more ]
An acclaimed Chinese contemporary artist, active in sculpture, installation, architecture, curating, photography, film, and social, political and cultural criticism. As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government‘s stance on democracy and human rights.
He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called “tofu-dreg schools” in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of “economic crimes”.
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY in Passion For Freedom Promo 2012
Born in Mianeh in Iran. Despite his house arrest in 2011, and 20-year ban on making films, the Iranian director Despite the imposed ban, he has made two “unauthorized” films: This is Not a Film, a subversive wink at the censors, that chronicles a day in his life as a banned filmmaker, and Closed Curtain, a second filmed diary that delves more deeply into his psyche and boldly blurs the lines between the real and the imaginary. The first was shot in the confined spaces of Panahi’s own apartment in Tehran, and the second at his villa on the Caspian coast of Iran.
Renowned for the social nature of his films, Panahi is avowedly apolitical – although the Iranian theocrats may disagree. The Circle, his 2000 offering, was a passionate profile of the plight of women under a militarist Islamist regime. Despite winning five awards at the Venice Biennale that year, including the Golden Lion, the film has been banned in Iran, and its success resulted in Panahi’s temporary arrest on his return from Venice. In a bizarre parallel, he was again arrested in 2001 when changing planes in New York, this time by American authorities while promoting the film. Continuing his stellar career, Panahi was awarded a Silver Bear at the Berlinale for Offside (2006), his tale of gender segregation among Iranian football fans in the run-up to the 2006 World Cup.
Panahi – This is Not a Film
“Meet the heir to Tracey Emin’s throne… The best of the new young British artists” The Independent on Sunday
Artist, feminist and activist; Beverley Knowles, curator summarizes: “Sarah Maple’s artwork is unfailingly bold and brave, not for the coy or faint of heart. These unflinching, occasionally even controversial, investigations into what it is to be a woman and a Muslim in 21st century Britain are made joyful by her own very personal brand of boisterous, tongue-in-cheek humour.
This is not sensationalism for sensationalism’s sake, but rather a heartfelt urge by a twenty-seven-year old artist of great sincerity and talent, for the viewer to look again, and this time with a more questioning eye, at traditionally accepted notions of identity, gender, culture and religion.”
Mehdi-Georges Lahlou is the enfant terrible of an art that does not exist. Or not yet, since he is in the process of inventing it.
By way of a reinvented surrealism, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou has chosen to show us, as through a keyhole, what we refuse to see, know, or understand. With the dual identity that follows him like a second skin – given his compound name – Mehdi-Georges guides us in his interior world, sprinkled with his wild kid antics. He raises the burlesque to a high art status, playing with the symbols of the Muslim tradition, opposing them to the one, arrogant and showy, of its red stilettos. More than fetishes, these shoes are a kind of “animal totem” for the artist, both cathartic and vector of representation.
While questioning the field of possibilities forever irreconcilable, he invests his own body as a ground for reflection on the “sexual body” faced with identities, including religious, and likes to divert the signs of traditional culture to engage in a new “Muslim aesthetic”.
His performances, fuelled by his early training as a dancer, leave a bittersweet taste in the mouth, and the knowingly caused laughter can quickly turn sour. His stubbornness to achieve the wildest challenges, with a seriousness bordering on insolence, at the same time tries to downplay the thorniest issues raised by his work and to replace them, incognito, at the forefront: the clichés associated with Muslim women, nudity, sexual gender in spirituality, are as many subjects, both sensitive and essential, so rarely treated with such rigor. Because beyond the inevitable provocation rests, at the core, the strength of commitment.
“Someone told me that the wonder had passed”, he writes, as a disillusioned child, in champagne-colored letters, or on gold paper. Well, not quite, since Mehdi-Georges is still looking for it.
an Iranian born visual and performance artist , lecturer and commentator , who have critically talked about Islam , the Koran and Western feminism. She is also member of the Free Press Society Board and vigorous defender of Danish values. Due to her views and art she has received numerous death threats from the immigrant community in Denmark.
In December 2011, she wrote on her blog in Jyllands-Posten, a post in which she argued that women are not treated well in Islam. In January 2012, she was interrogated by Aarhus Police in connection with a possible violation of racism paragraph .She was found guilty under 266b paragraph.
On September 16, 2013 – she was sentenced to five daily fine of 1,000 kronor or an alternative sentence of five days in jail if she did not pay.She said after the verdict: “this is a matter of principle. I’d rather go to jail than pay the fines. “
Firoozeh wrote on her Facebook profile: “I choose five days behind bars.Now it is up to our politicians to take responsibility.Remove 266b. “
Visual Artist and Sony nominated Comedian. Her diverse work includes illustrated books, art-shows, prints, drawings, short films, radio comedy and animations. She frequently collaborates in writing with her brother Ezra Elia.
Artist’s spoof Ladybird book provokes wrath of Penguin. Publisher tells Miriam Elia to stop selling satire in which Peter and Jane grapple with Tracey Emin-style conceptual art. An artist and comedian has been told by the publisher Penguin that her new satirical art book breaches its copyright, and if she continues to sell copies it could use the courts to seize the books and have them pulped.
Daniel Aleksander Arzola
No soy tu chiste (“I’m Not a Joke”) For Daniel Arzola, coming out as gay in Turmero, Venezuela, was a nightmare. His adolescent years were marked by psychological and physical violence. “When people in Venezuela perceive that someone is different, their first reaction is to attack that person.” It was Daniel’s graduation project for his college art studies and consists of a series of posters sending out strong messages against homophobic bullying.
“We are all different, and our expressions are unique. Explore and find yourself that is the main message of my campaign. I come from a very violent context, but I’ve come to realise that violence is a moral choice; you can decide to return it or not. You have the power of breaking the cycle,” says Daniel. With his country hit by deep political, economic and social crisis, Daniel is considering moving to Argentina. His life is in danger in Venezuela. Being a human rights activist in Venezuela equals being a public enemy.
The annual celebration brings together artists, filmmakers, writers and journalists from all over the world to our City of London. Here, unafraid, we exhibit and debate the most important issues that relate to Freedom, its loss and fight to get it back. This Autumn we are honoured to host Gary Hill, Deeyah, Lee Weinberg and Sarah Maple as our competition judges.
We are excited to announce Miriam Elia as our Special Guest Artist, her recent court case has brought her notoriety in the politically correct circles. We would host distinguished guests from every corner of the world to join our movie screenings, presentations, performances and to come and discuss brave artists’ works.
The Passion For Freedom is turning this year’s event into a two-week protest against the disgraceful treatment of artists who are banned to make work and travel, who are jailed and even sentenced to death for their art! The opening gala will take place at the Embassy Tea Gallery next to Tate Modern on the 8th November 2014.
We are all with brave artist and we never give up!