Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

This situation sets an orwellian precedent for dealing with intellectual expression. I wonder what can be done to protect these 3 people and their artistic autonomy, and I also wonder how can their original idea of using an academic model to counteract politics of display can be rescued... it would be really sad to let it drown in the turbulent waters of Cypriot politics.


Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

Frank wrote:

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 Frank, I have studied in the states so maybe my education is limited. It is interesting though that from all the people you could choose so as to describe of what it is to be an american you have chosen Chomsky whom you probably have not read as he states so clearly his position on Cyprus and on Turkey. As an uneducated person that I am I will not try to discribe those positions but instead, present them here as Chomsky has put them.

Chomskey on Turkey

on http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20030403.htm

That reveals that the (Turkish) government lacks "democratic credentials," according to former Ambassador Morris Abramowitz, now a distinguished elder statesman. ...

... Turkey taught the US a lesson in democracy. That is regarded as criminal. ...

on http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/200309--.htm

If we use the term in accord with its official definitions, then, uncontroversially, Israel (like the US, Britain, Turkey, and others) is a terrorist state by the standards we apply to official enemies. Scale and character of course varies from case to case, but none of it is attractive, to put it mildly.

on http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20021228.htm

... Turkey's failure to protect elementary rights.

on http://www.chomsky.info/articles/200006--.htm

... Turkey had largely suppressed Kurdish resistance by terror and ethnic cleansing, leaving some 2-3 million refugees, 3,500 villages destroyed (7 times Kosovo under NATO bombs), and tens of thousands killed.

on http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/19990405.htm

Turkey became "the biggest single importer of American military hardware and thus the world's largest arms purchaser." When human rights groups exposed Turkey's use of U.S. jets to bomb villages

on http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/1999----.htm

Take Turkey, since you mentioned it. This is not just torture; torture is bad enough. This is some of the worst ethnic cleansing...

on http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20060508.htm

As you most probably know, the leading Human Rights Watch investigator in Turkey, who is an extremely fine person, Jonathan Sugden, was just expelled from the country because he was investigating human rights violations in the Southeastern zone.


The major sources of water in that region happen to be in eastern Turkey, which I just came back from, and which happens to be the region of some of the worst atrocities and ethnic cleansing

on http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20020416.htm

If you read the State Department reports on terror they praise Turkey for its success in showing how to counter terror. You read a front page article in the New York Times and it praises Turkey for showing how to deal with terror. Turkey was selected as the country to provide the forces for what they call the international force for Afghanistan. Actually it's for Kabul alone. It's Turkey that's being paid by the United States extensively to carry out the repression of terror, thanks to their achievements in countering terror - namely by carrying out some of the worst terror of the 1990s. Massive ethnic cleansing and atrocities with U.S. support. Now you know this is a real achievement of the intellectual culture to be able to do this. But it illustrates very well the answer to your question. Terror and counter-terror. If some enemy state did this, we'd be not just outraged, we'd be bombing them.

on http://www.chomsky.info/talks/20011018.htm

And Turkey is very grateful. Just a few days ago, Prime Minister Ecevit announced that Turkey would join the coalition against terror, very enthusiastically, even more so than others. In fact, he said they would contribute troops which others have not willing to do. And he explained why. He said, We owe a debt of gratitude to the United States because the United States was the only country that was willing to contribute so massively to our own, in his words “counter-terrorist�  war, that is to our own massive ethnic cleansing and atrocities and terror.

Chomsky on Cyprus


The U.N. was able to respond to Iraq's aggression because -- for once -- the U.S. happened to be opposed to criminal acts, as distinct from its own invasion of Panama in the first post-Cold War act of aggression, the Turkish invasion and virtual annexation of northern Cyprus, Israel's invasion of Lebanon and annexation of the Golan Heights (sanctions vetoed by the U.S.), the Moroccan invasion of the Sahara (justified on grounds that "one Kuwait in the Arab world is enough"; it is unjust for such vast resources to be in the hands of a tiny population); and much else. As for the unprecedented severity of the U.N. sanctions, that was a direct result of intense U.S. pressures, cajolery, and threats, and the considerations of self-interest that motivate other powers, great and small.


Turkey invaded northern Cyprus, broke it up, killed two thousand people, tried to destroy relics of Greek civilization, drove out 200,000 people. That was fine. Turkey is our ally.

on http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199110--.htm

The crisis began with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait a year ago. There was some fighting, leaving hundreds killed according to Human Rights groups. That hardly qualifies as war. Rather, in terms of crimes against peace and against humanity, it falls roughly into the category of the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus, Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1978, and the U.S. invasion of Panama. In these terms it falls well short of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, and cannot remotely be compared with the near-genocidal Indonesian invasion and annexation of East Timor, to mention only two cases of aggression that are still in progress, with continuing atrocities and with the crucial support of those who most passionately professed their outrage over Iraq's aggression.


... because the US and Britain did not follow their usual practice of vetoing or otherwise nullifying the international reaction to such "textbook cases of aggression" as US-South Vietnam, Turkey-Cyprus, Indonesia-East Timor, Israel-Lebanon, US-Panama, and many others...


Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

The Headline is: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators
What are you doing?
Ask Chomsky what the word protest means!


Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

simon dunne wrote:

Dear Petros, do you understand that your comparison is completely off-topic?  A biennial exhibition is very different from Guantanamo bay, you know.

Yes it is different. Artistic freedom is so much more important.


Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

Petros, if Guantanamo is really so important for (and not an 'argument' against people who touch at your holy cypriotic affairs) than you can do a lot in Cyprus against the shameful comlicity. Just read this article and start acting!

Cyprus Mail 06 - 09  2006

Our moment of shameful complicity

THE COUNCIL of Europe this week released a chilling report detailing how a dozen European countries played key roles in a global “spider’s web† spun by the United States to transport suspects in its ‘war on terror’ beyond the reach of the law, making use of secret CIA prisons and often outsourcing torture to friendly despots.

The complicity of countries like Britain or Turkey, frontline allies of the United States, is no surprise, neither is that of clients states in the Balkans or strongly pro-American east European democracies like Poland or Romania.

The involvement of Cyprus, however, must surely raise some eyebrows. The CoE report names Larnaca airport as one of seven “staging points† for operations, defining such locations as “points from which operations are often launched – planes and crews prepare there, or meet in clusters†.

Yesterday, the government issued a statement saying “no terrorism suspects have been transferred via Cyprus, nor have there been cases of a secret detention of persons†.

It did, however, admit that, “in seven cases in 2004, permission was requested for technical landings of private American aircraft,† adding: “At no time has the American government informed us on the transfer or detention of terrorism suspects.â€

Washington insists it acted with the full knowledge of the countries concerned, and the government’s response smacks of a lame, half-hearted attempt to deny complicity, as if it would want us to believe it merely closed its eyes rather than actively provided support to such a disgraceful network.

One might have expected the public to react angrily at being duped in this way by a government so vocal in its anti-Americanism, both in terms of Washington’s involvement in Cypriot affairs, and in terms of US global power. And yet the response has been so muted as to defy belief. The report was buried in the foreign pages of most newspapers, while Communist party mouthpiece Haravghi even went as far as to remove any mention of Cyprus. Indeed, how could AKEL, anti-American to its Soviet core, so vocal in the defence of the victims of American imperialism, admit that its government had facilitated secret CIA torture flights on Cypriot soil?

Not only has the government collaborated with practices that shake the principles of our democratic societies to their very core, comforting al Qaeda in its grotesque portrayal of a war against an evil, godless West, but the hypocrisy of their behaviour simply defies belief. Where today are the demonstrators who are so ready to throw eggs at the American embassy? Why are they not outside the Presidential Palace demanding answers? Or is the public silence a sign of complicity with the government’s double standards, that we’ll be anti-American when it suits us, and close our eyes when it does not?


Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

A note to the esteemed professor Petros: studying and actually learning something are not always the same thing. Judging from your comments so far, it does not seem that you learned much in the States other then picking up some cliche anti americanism, and perhaps how to quote people out of context. As you seem to be such a huge Chomsky fan, did you happen to go to his lecture at the University of Cyprus last month? Probably not, because if you had, you would have known that his opinion of the situation on Cyprus appears to have changed. Should you have been there, you would have heard him say that Greek Cypriot society really needs to look at itself in the mirror rather then keep crying victimization, as its position towards the turkish cypriots, migrants, foreigners, etc, has become monsterous.


Re: Protest Legal Action against Manifesta Curators

Dear Petros, where does one start from? let's try:

1) Our  (mine) criticism about your position has nothing to do with your education or with the place in which you were educated. it is more about the fact that your position in regards to your fellow turkish cypriots resembles the position of the german arian youth, or the american white supremacists.

2) To say that there is a range of ideological positions that ranges from Bush to Chomsky, it is to show a breadth of diversity... what makes you think that the measuring scale that people on the world people use to state their ideological position revolves around their opinion about cyprus? chomsky has many opinions about many things...

3) Again, the situation now is about how to deal with the cancellation of Manifesta, the unfair prosecution of the 3 curators, and the desire of the participants to understand the productive value of the situtation in relationship to the idea of an art academy..... I maybe speaking for myself, but the last thing I am interested in, is in taking sides on the cypriot conflict, I just want to claim the posibility on working on original ideas that were unrelated to you and your laundry list of facts.. To figure out a way to live in peace with your neighbors  in not something that the international art community can arbitrer for you, specially considering that the UN has been unable to.  that is for you and the turkish cypriots to figure out... why don't you start a productive dialogue with them that doesn't include the biased lists of facts that both communities keep hurling against each other, I am sure that they are just behind the green line.

4) Guantanamo bay is very different from a biennial exhibition. This statement is not based on importance, otherwise I would have said that Guantanamo bay was more or less important than a biennial exhibition. To use an allegory,
a third degree equation is  very different from an omelette. I am not even sure that it would be possible to construct a coherent sentence using both.... their (subjective) importance is determined by one's position, and the effect you can have on them. Are you a mathematician, or a cook?
In that respect I am an artist, not a politician or a militar official....Given the fact that I am artist that was invited to participate on this project, I am interested on recuperating its potential, and on making sure that artistic freedom is preserved. On the other hand while I am very much against the actions in Guantanamo bay, this is unrelated to my work as an artist (I have attended demonstrations and signed petitions, but I would never called that art).

5) Dear Petros, why do you keep going off-topic? We want to discuss the cancellation of an art event (which happens to be the major europea biennial) and any positive potential aroudn it.... this is not about finger pointing the evils of the turkish or the turkish republic of northern cyprus....