Topic: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators
Apparently Nicosia For Arts has initiated legal action against the curators of Manifesta 6 as individuals, and has gone as far as to have scheduled a court appearance without ever serving them legal papers properly.
It appears that the intention of this legal action is to prevent them from continuing their professional activities, and to dismantle any possibility for the realization of their original project elsewhere (independently of Manifesta and Cyprus)
I really hope that both the Cypriot Cultural Community as well as the European Cultural Community take some actions against this; it is hard to believe that a cultural event is being subjected to this degree of prosecution.
To remain indifferent to this actions and to allow them to go forward would set a terrible precedent for all kind of International Cultural Events --it will basically mean accepting that artists and cultural producers can be prosecuted legally for their intellectual stance--
This is an issue that potentially affects us all, and cannot be accepted. Artistic autonomy and freedom of speech must be protected, not only on behalf of Manifesta, but on behalf of a sane society and the advancement of cultural development. If this kind of censorship succeeds, any artist or curator that is working with contested political subject matters, is potentially liable for prosecution. (Think about Catherine David, Okwi Enwezoor, The Withney Biennial of 1993, the work of artists like Leon Golub, Martha Rosler, Paul Chan, Hans Haacke, Alfredo Jaar, Harun Farocki, etc....) Does this mean that we have to abandon the idea of art as a critical tool in order to avoid political consequences, and refrain ourselves to working on the production of commodities and aestheticallly pleasing platitudes?
It is frightening to realize that these people are being taken to court for an idea --Manifesta 6 was cancelled, so since the project never took place, they are actually being legally atacked on ideological grounds --- This modus operandi seems to me like that of a totalitarian regime..... shall we accept this as the way to address international cultural events in Europe and elsewhere? I truly hope not.