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Topic: Doublethink 2

There is a lot of discussion here regarding censorship which I do not believe it to be relevant in the case of the IFM v NFA dispute.

NFA stated that "the establishment and operation of a department of the school in the occupied territory on a permanent basis stood in conflict both with Cyprus as well as International Law principles."

I can not recall any such a law, local or international, but I would like to believe that no official press release by either party would claim anything which is unsubstantiated. On IFM's defence, NFA "has not fulfilled its contractual obligations to secure the selected venues by the curators in the entire city".

IFM also states that the NFA called "... into question the artistic independence of the curators and Manifesta."

Both cases have their strong points but somehow I cannot see what "artistic independence" has to do with the issue regarding the venue. Censoring and independence has to do with the freedom (or lack of it) to present work in the best possible light within a particular social, political, economic, geographical, ethnological, anthropological and cultural environment. NFA, to my knowledge, at no point stipulated the content of what was going to be exhibited, taught or discussed. I also understand that they did not get involved in the process of selection regarding who would participate in Manifesta 6. This was the total autonomy and freedom of choice of the curators.

The main point of dispute is that of the venue not of censorship or artistic freedom.

The IFM statement reads "... forces Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot artists and intellectuals alike back into a state of enforced isolation"

The isolation and in effect censorship of Cypriots living in Cyprus unfortunately comes from big institutions not unlike the IFM. This censorship however is veiled behind arguments which most times have nothing to do with the artists or the quality of their work but with the artist's representation in 'well connected' galleries and/or their representation in big international exhibitions. I have been visiting big international exhibitions for about 20 years now and I know that a Cypriot representation merely means presence rather than exposure for the artists. The machinery running 'exposure' always focuses on the commercial viability of the artist in the international scene and that only comes from the establishment, meaning the powerful commercial galleries.

Having said the above, I would like to also pose my doubt regarding NFA's ethical right to cancel the exhibition on the grounds of the venue. From what we read, the particular venue had a legal Cypriot deed. ie the pre 1974 owner was a Turkish Cypriot. With this in mind I can understand the public outcry against the NFA and I can also understand how this is interpreted as an separatist attitude of the NFA against the Turkish Cypriots. What I would like to know, is the local/international law which prevented the NFA to accept the location of the school in the North. I would also like to know how this law would prohibit the establishment of a temporary school (100 days) and not an exhibition or a coffee break event, one of which I, and many other Greek Cypriots have attended.

I cannot pretend to know all the facts on the whole interchange between the NFA and the IFM so I would refrain to speculate but I would instead "claim that [del]cities[/del] cultural bodies are not under attack from the outside as from the inside" (Nigel Coates, Ecstacity, 2003). The cancellation of Manifesta was not because of politics but because of the lack of transparent communication between the two bodies and the conflict between two differing agendas.

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Re: Doublethink 2

Dear Yiannis, when the curators are being expressely forbbiden from executing their prooject anywhere else, independently of manifesta, they are being censored. Forbidding an exchange with the turkish population of cyprus is a form of censorship. You cannot impose 'truth' on people -truth is formed by experience-

The remarkable bad habit of falling into legalspeak to substantiate the actions taken against a cultural project, is a sad thing..... can we please tackle the issue as cultural producers rather than lawyers? I understand that the greek cypriot authorities are taking the fact that  manifesta intended to interact with both communities present in the island as a legitimizing act towards the turkish cypriot community. To recognize their existence as a community appears to be somehow treathening, as if somehow all of a sudden they come into being --a most Deleuzian manifestation of the idea of becoming....

In any case, I would like not to keep discussing cypriot politics and who did what to whom when.... (that is for cypriots to figure out themselves) I rather try to take a productive approach and try to rescue what can be rescued and try to do what I can to avoid the unfais prosecution of 3 people.

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Re: Doublethink 2

Yiannis you yourself say that: "Censoring and independence has to do with the freedom (or lack of it) to present work in the best possible light within a particular social, political, economic, geographical, ethnological, anthropological and cultural environment." -- it natually follows that lack of such freedom is indeed censorship. In this particular case people working on this project were prevented from working in a "particular social, political, economic, geographical, ethnological, anthropological and cultural environment" of their choice -- the turkish community of nicosia -- the reason presented for this by authorities was explicitely political: some type of passport border crossing issue (passports are issued or examined by states which are political entities.) it follows that this project was cancelled for political reasons, the people working on it were fired for political reasons, and now are being taken to court for apparently something like quarter of a million euro, again for political reasons.

Obviously this is a very clear instance of censorship and prosecusion; whether this was triggered by a disagreement over a venue, an art work, a statement or an event is irrelevant.

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Re: Doublethink 2

Dear Simonn, you seem really nice, do you have a girlfriend?

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Re: Doublethink 2

Dear simon,

simonn dunne wrote:

Dear Yiannis, when the curators are being expressely forbbiden from executing their prooject anywhere else, independently of manifesta, they are being censored.

As I said in my original post:

Yiannis wrote:

I cannot pretend to know all the facts on the whole interchange between the NFA and the IFM so I would refrain to speculate

(Also read my second last paragraph of my original post)

simonn dunne wrote:

Forbidding an exchange with the turkish population of cyprus is a form of censorship.

Yiannis wrote:

NFA, to my knowledge, at no point stipulated the content of what was going to be exhibited, taught or discussed. I also understand that they did not get involved in the process of selection regarding who would participate in Manifesta 6. This was the total autonomy and freedom of choice of the curators.

One of the things I meant with this is that the NFA did not stipulate that there should be no Turkish Cypriots in the Selection of participants.
If you know otherwise please do correct me.

simonn dunne wrote:

You cannot impose 'truth' on people -truth is formed by experience

I would disagree (but this is another discussion). Truth to me, is not formed by experience but by investigation. Experience is very limited as it can only be viewed by one optical angle.


simonn dunne wrote:

The remarkable bad habit of falling into legalspeak to substantiate the actions taken against a cultural project, is a sad thing..... can we please tackle the issue as cultural producers rather than lawyers?

I wish we could just focus on that, but the handling of the situation by both the NFA and IFM as well as the on/off line 'legal' campaigns from either parties forces us to start investigating the legal aspects too.

simonn dunne wrote:

I understand that the greek cypriot authorities are taking the fact that  manifesta intended to interact with both communities present in the island as a legitimizing act towards the turkish cypriot community. To recognize their existence as a community appears to be somehow treathening, as if somehow all of a sudden they come into being --a most Deleuzian manifestation of the idea of becoming....

I do not believe this to be the case. (see my comment to your comment above). The Cyprus government recognises Turkish Cypriots as a legal minority living in Cyprus. What the Cyprus Government does not recognise, together with the rest of the world (except Turkey) is the TRNC. (Before answering this, see my second last paragraph of my original post stating my questions regarding the venue)

simonn dunne wrote:

In any case, I would like not to keep discussing cypriot politics and who did what to whom when.... (that is for cypriots to figure out themselves) I rather try to take a productive approach and try to rescue what can be rescued and try to do what I can to avoid the unfais prosecution of 3 people.

Maybe this Bernard Tschumi statement (paraphrased here) might help:) "there is no [del]architecture[/del] art without action, no [del]architecture[/del] school  without events, no [del]architecture[/del] school without program... by extension there is no [del]architecture[/del] art without violence."

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Re: Doublethink 2

Yianni this so transparent: you keep dodging and hiding under pseudo analytical retoric and amature legal speak while people are being persecuted by the government on Cyprus. What your statements reveal more then anything is a total lack of courage or sincerity. You ought to be ashamed of yourself as this is just pathetic.

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Re: Doublethink 2

Dear Stella, my namesake Yiannis is an architect, he relies on our government's commissions for his livelyhood. He is not going to rock the boat. You are very very naive.

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Re: Doublethink 2

simonn dunne wrote:

Forbidding an exchange with the turkish population of cyprus is a form of censorship.

Yiannis wrote:

NFA, to my knowledge, at no point stipulated the content of what was going to be exhibited, taught or discussed. I also understand that they did not get involved in the process of selection regarding who would participate in Manifesta 6. This was the total autonomy and freedom of choice of the curators.

One of the things I meant with this is that the NFA did not stipulate that there should be no Turkish Cypriots in the Selection of participants.
If you know otherwise please do correct me.

Dear Yiannis, to allow the token presence of a few turkish cypriots in the project, is very different from allowing the interaction with the community.... do you seriously believe that any self respecting artist would be willing to accept those working conditions?


simonn dunne wrote:

The remarkable bad habit of falling into legalspeak to substantiate the actions taken against a cultural project, is a sad thing..... can we please tackle the issue as cultural producers rather than lawyers?

I wish we could just focus on that, but the handling of the situation by both the NFA and IFM as well as the on/off line 'legal' campaigns from either parties forces us to start investigating the legal aspects too.

Well, the problem here is that people seem to be only investigating the legal aspects.... what does this mean to the cultural community at large? what does this mean for the turkish and greek cypriot cultural community?

As an artist, I am terrified to think that this means that freedom of speech in this case is determined by the interests of the cypriot government.... this has to be solved, ot the international art community will be in serious trouble.
I personally hope that the lawsuit  is dismissed in court, and that project takes place elsewhere, and that you can put to a productive use the outrage of the international community....