Art festival for freedom in London
The Passion for Freedom art festival answers three questions:
What is freedom?
How easy it is to lose it?
How hard it is to get it back?
It is a competition organised by independent group of friends from all over Europe who protect freedom of speech of artists. The festival will present the work of 60 “brave artists” contributing film, photography, painting, sculpture, books and other forms of artistic expression, often on highly controversial topics of social importance.
Since 2009, the festival has presented almost 200 art pieces from artists from all over the world (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cuba, China, Poland, Russia, Denmark, USA, Australia and, each year from Great Britain). Among many great artists, the festival has presented the work of Aiweiwei (3 months prison sentence and cap of talking to the media), Jafar Panahi (arrested several times because of blasphemy against Islamic Republic), Johan van der Dong (there is no gallery in Europe that would like to exhibit his work because of fear of attacks), Ferri Farramandi, Azadeh Behroozi and many others.
Artists who present at the Passion for Freedom festival are heroes who continue to work and create despite fears for their lives and security of their families. Some of them use false names to hide their true identities and some withdraw their work and use self-censorship so to not offend religious feelings of others or attract aggression.
Director Marianna Fox says of the festival “Politicians? They are all politically correct. Artists are the ones who are becoming more and more influential and speak their minds about human rights that are being ignored around the world. Ritual circumcision, honour killings, oppression of sexual minorities, all according to absurd laws such as Sharia, are happening here even in Europe. This festival is the platform where artists can take their stand.”
“The Artist has been found guilty.”
One of the most prominent artists of the festival is a Danish-Iranian artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan who on the 13th of September this year was found guilty of racism after writing in a blog entry, published in Jyllands-Posten newspaper in December 2011 that she was “very convinced that Muslim men around the world rape, abuse and kill their daughters”. She added: “This is, according to my understanding as a Danish-Iranian, the result of a defective and inhumane culture – if you can even call it a culture at all. But you can say, I think, that it is a defective and inhumane religion whose textbook, the Koran, is more immoral, deplorable and crazy than manuals of the two other global religions combined.”Firoozeh Bazrafkan says she would rather spend the five days in prison than pay the fine.
This year, for the first time ever in the history of the festival, there are artists who have decided to use false names because of security. For their own safety they need anonymity.
Passion for Freedom Festival 2013
In 2013 the competition for the festival was opened in April 2013 and the closing date was 27th of September 2013. During this time artwork from Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Australia was submitted by artists who found out about the festival through word of mouth.
The news that there is a festival in the world where the main topic is freedom and where organiser do not use censorship has an impact and quickly makes its way to the students and pupils of universities and art colleges, activists, historians, producers, both from the mainstream as well as from the underworld.
This year we will present the work of 34 artists’ from 13 countries: Brazil, Canada, USA, UK, Poland, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, China, Holland, and Afghanistan. The youngest artist is 16 years old, the oldest is 76.
In the film category, PFF committee has selected 21 documentary films of which 3 awarded ones will be screened during the festival.
For security purposes the first day of the festival will be open to those who hold an invitation only. If you would like to be part of the private view public then please get in touch with the organisers of the festival.
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