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Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

For the record, Anton Vidokle pretty much is from the USA - he has been living in the US for 25 years, a majority of his adult life.

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Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

For the record, I know for a fact that Anton Vidokle was born in Russia, and spent half of his life there. On the 80's he relocated to the US as a political refuggee.  What does this mean when greek cypriots contest turkish cypriots because they have only been in Cyprus for 500 years? what does this mean in the context of a cultural project / biennial exhibition? Why does this matter?

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Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

Frank wrote:

Dear Simon, actually I think what Petros is trying to say that the Republic of Cyprus is entitled whatever to whoever, because we americans are misbehaving in Guantanamo. I fully understand his point - its one of a simplistic, badly educated person. A person who sees no difference between all the people who live in America or does not know or care that there are many different political positions here: ranging from Bush to Chomsky. Perhaps he thinks so because of his Cypriotic experience and the education he received.

Dear Simon/Frank,
Petros also very accurately directed you to the censorship and court case of the CAE, a very relevant comparison. Why are you ignoring this and pursuing Guantanamo only? Your attempt to personalise criticism of Petros by referring to his education and lack of a pluralistic view is loaded with a cliche colonialist attitude. If you wish to generate a serious discussion in consideration of some very serious issues then you should be open to a debate representing all views and not just the reinforcement of your own. You are actually enforcing a censorship of your own with your sarcasm which is no different from what you are attempting to criticize.

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Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

Helen, that's great, now its getting really interesting: accusations of colonialism are flying around and cypriots are circling the vagons, so to speak. You mean that any criticism of Cyprus government policies or some of the narrow minded individuals living on cyprus is inherently colonialist? This very much resonates with your country's general refusal of any self criticism with this constant complaint of victimization at the hands of others. The problem is that when you use this argument over and over again it looses its power and it starts to sound like pure retoric hiding something much more sinister. This is the 3rd time you accuse non-cypriots of being colonialists, whether they are europeans, americans, mexicans, russians, kosovars, etc etc. Is this your standard reply to everything? I am afraid you are rapidly loosing all your intellectual credibility.

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Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

Helene come on, why are you defending this Petros and keep throwing this colonialist label around? Your last name is Black, your lived most of your life in Australia, you don't even speak greek. How is it that you suddenly appropriate this position of the "colonized and oppressed" ? Its ridiculous, please stop embarrasing yourself in this forum. We know you too well to take this seriously.

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Frank, cool down a little! (Don't speculate about other people's education.) I say this though I've had a similar impression about the repetition of the word 'colonialist'; the word plays an interesting role in the discourse.
When I read and reread Petros' message I don't find a hint to the CAE case (I just find something about 'America' as if this single word expresses something). But I agree, the court case of the Critical Art Ensemble is 'a very relevant comparison', as Helene Black wrote.
To compare means to analyze differences, too.
I see at least two important differences: In the court case of Critical Art Ensemble it is the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force which are trying to silence Steve Kurtz, a citizen of the US. Up to now I haven't heard that FBI and the Joint Terrorisms Task Force are organizations created in order to support the arts and to organize an international art event (at least openly; maybe they pay some people secretly, but we shouldn't get into the realm of paranoid speculations). In the case against Florian Waldvogel (and the other curators; as far as I am informed there are some differences in the procedure) it is an organization called Nicosia for Arts ('for', not 'against', though this might be the real name), not a part of the repressive state apparatus, that tries to silence a curator from abroad and tries to destroy his existence (we are talking about 250.000 euro).
And there is another important difference. The webpage www.caedefensefund.org is not a page for 'balanced discussions' but tries to organize public support (financial support, too) for Kurtz. Many US american artists donated works or money for this purpose. Up to now I don't see a somehow similar attempt by artists in the Republic of Cyprus to act against the extreme form of censorship initiated by the mayor of the capital of the Republic of Cyprus.

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Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

Ok, fellow colonialist, I am cool. Sorry if i came across too strong Helen.

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Dear Yiannis G and Frank, Contributing to a discussion outlining your views is vital but aggressively attacking on a personal level without knowing the person has nothing to do with generating a discussion. It is arrogant, angry and elitist and it is specifically this attitude which I describe as 'colonialist'.
and just for your records, I do speak greek, I was born in Cyprus and both my parents are Cypriots.

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Dear Helen, I think we are trying to generate a discussion here, and talk about the larger implications of manifesta's cancellation. (This is not colonialist, as I believe we would be doing the same if the event had been cancelled in France) I agree with you, we are angry about this -it is appalling- but I don't see why being angry about the actions that NFA is taking against manifesta and the international cultural community would be considered arrogant and elitist, please explain? also, I don't see why your parents birth place has any relevance to this discussion...

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I beg to disagree, arrogance is arrogance, anger is anger and elitism is just that - elitism. This does not mean "colonialist" attitude at all. Besides, I don't think anything that I wrote here could be called arrogant or elitist, I do get angry when people trivialize the term "colonialist", if its constantly misused it looses all meaning.