Tag Archives: censorship

Breaking the Silence on the Art World: ArtLeaks Gazette Launch @ Brecht Forum (May 4th, NYC)

art-leaks.org

546092_490420224358441_679844155_nCredit: Zampa di Leone

We are happy to share with you the details of the official public launch of our ArtLeaks Gazette which will take place at the Brecht Forum in NYC on Saturday, May 4th from 7 PM!  Hope to see many of you there – we promise it will be  an exciting evening! Please help us spread the word by sharing this announcement!

ArtLeaks members would like to initiate an open discussion at the Brecht Forum in NYC on May 4th from 7 PM, around our upcoming ArtLeaks Gazette, focused on establishing a politics of truth by breaking the silence on the art world. This will be the official public launch of our gazette, which will be available online and in print at the beginning of May 2013, and will be followed by a series of debates in the near future.

Artleaks was founded in 2011 as an international platform for cultural workers where instances of abuse, corruption and exploitation are exposed and submitted for public inquiry. After almost two years of activity, some members of ArtLeaks felt an urgent need to establish a regular online publication as a tool for empowerment, reflection and solidarity. (More about us here: http://art-leaks.org/about.)

Recently, this spectrum of urgencies and the necessity to address them has come sharply into the focus of fundamental discussions in communities involved in cultural production and leftist activist initiatives. Among these, we share the concerns of groups such as the Radical Education Collective (Ljubljana), Precarious Workers’ Brigade (PWB) (London), W.A.G.E. (NYC), Arts &Labor (NYC), the May Congress of Creative Workers (Moscow), Critical Practice (London) and others.

Eager to share our accumulated knowledge and facilitate a critical examination of the current conditions of the cultural field from a global perspective, we are equally interested in questioning, with the help of the participants in the event, the particular context of New York City with its cultural institutions, scenes and markets.

The event will be divided in two parts. In the first, we will announce and present the forthcoming ArtLeaks Gazette. Focusing on the theme “Breaking the Silence – Towards Justice, Solidarity and Mobilization,” the structure of the publication comprises six major sections: A. Critique of cultural dominance apparatuses; B. Forms of organization and history of struggles; C. The struggle of narrations; D. Glossary of terms; E. Education and its discontents; and F. Best practices and useful resources (More here http://art-leaks.org/artleaks-gazette.) This publication gathers contributions from different parts of the globe, highlighting both historical initiatives and emerging movements that engage issues related to cultural workers rights, censorship, repression and systemic exploitation under conditions of neoliberal capitalism.

This also becomes an opportunity to bring up for discussion a series of questions that have defined ArtLeaks’ activity and that we would like to tackle anew in conjunction with local cultural producers in the second part of the event: What are the conditions of the possibility of leaking information concerning institutional exploitation, censorship, and corruption in the art world? What does it mean to speak the truth in the art field and to whom may it be addressed? What analogies and what models can we use in order to describe and operate within the conditions in which cultural workers pursue their activities? We aim to bestow a greater level of concreteness to these questions by inviting the participants to share its own concerns and experiences related to inequality of chances, structural injustice and forced self-censorship within the context of their work. We are also interested in discussing current collaborations and future alliances and projects that unite common struggles across international locales. Visual and scriptural material which documents the evening will be uploaded on the ArtLeaks platform.

Gazette Contributors: Mykola Ridnyi, Gregory Sholette, Marsha Bradfield & Kuba Szreder (Critical Practice), Fokus Grupa, Amber Hickey, Lauren van Haaften-Schick, Organ kritischer Kunst, Veda Popovici, Milena Placentile, Jonas Staal & Evgenia Abramova

Gazette Editors: Corina L. ApostolVladan Jeremić, Vlad Morariu, David Riff & Dmitry Vilensky

Editing Assistance: Jasmina Tumbas

Graphic Intervetions: Zampa di Leone

Facilitators of the event @ Brecht Forum: Corina Apostol & Dmitry Vilensky

The Brecht Forum has a  donation sliding scale of $6 to $15. We recommend registering for this event in advance here. Even if you are unable to make a donation, we still encourage you to come – we will not turn away anyone that wishes to participate in the discussions.

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Fight for the Life of Mahmoud Sarsak! (London)

Fight for the Life of Mahmoud Sarsak!

Monday, June 11,  3–5 pm • Department for Culture Media and Sport

2-4 Cockspur Street  London SW1Y 5DH [just behind Trafalgar Square]

As the world watches millionaire footballers compete for the European Championship trophy, Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak is close to death as he enters his 85th day of hunger strike, the longest in history.

Sarsak, a 25-year-old footballer and student from Gaza, was arrested three years ago as he was trying to meet up with the national team in the West Bank, and has been detained indefinitely without charge or trial ever since.

Come and protest against this blatant abuse of human rights on Monday 11th June at 3pm outside the Department of Media, Culture and Sport in a coordinated action with the We Are All Hana Shalabi Network from Scotland who will be protesting outside the British Consulate in Jerusalem.

Bring footballs, football shirts and banners for a fun media-friendly kickabout outside the DMCS to raise awareness of Sarsak and the thousands of Palestinian prisoners being held under administrative detention and illegal combatant laws.

Please note:
This Facebook event was created because Facebook blocked all new activity on our original Facebook event for this protest.

Clearly it was too effective in gaining rapid growing support, so presumably the Zionist trolls made false allegations and Facebook just blocked it without any notification or investigation. Please follow details and updates also through emails, twitter and phones.

Phone CONTACTS:
+44 (0)7729779164
+44 (0)7880 731 865

Twitter: @palestineplace
Email: najah383@hotmail.com

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New Issue of Chto Delat Confiscated and Under Investigation

PETERSBURG, August 29, 2008. On the evening of August 27, the new issue of the newspaper Chto Delat (No. 19: What Does It Mean to Lose? The Experience of Perestroika) was confiscated during a police raid at the printers in Petersburg.

The raid on the printer’s workshop was connected to an earlier incident, when a Petersburg activist was arrested by Petersburg police at the gates of the Petersburg sea port for handing out a flyer to workers. The flyer aroused suspicion because it contained material critical of the Russian-Georgian conflict, and the police raided the printer’s workshop at which the flyer had been produced, where they discovered the most recent edition of Chto Delat. They confiscated the entire edition of 3,000 newspapers and detained Chto Delat editor Dmitry Vilensky for questioning.

“The situation really did look pretty absurd,” says Vilensky. “We produced this issue for the U-Turn Quadriennial in Copenhagen, and it’s one of the most artsy issues we’ve made so far; it contains almost no references to the current political situation.” Instead, the issue is dedicated to the problematic of perestroika, whose hopes and outcome the authors subject to critical enquiry. The security officials’ suspicion was aroused by the “political look” of the paper and, in particular, by the libretto of a film-opera by the Chto Delat work group, to be premiered at U-Turn later next week, in which a nationalist, a democrat, a revolutionary, and a businessman debate the fate of the Soviet Union and its present outcome. The full text of the screenplay can be found here.

Yesterday, Vilensky was informed by the Petersburg police that the case had been handed over to the Kirov district attorney’s office to investigate whether the newspaper is in violation of the Russian constitution, which contains paragraphs against extremism and the incitement of ethnic and religious hatred. “The militia – who told me that they ‘didn’t want blood’ – were quite surprised by this move,” Vilensky says. “They told me that the signal came from the FSB official who was coordinating the raid on the printers.” The entire edition is still in custody, and will not be distributed at U-Turn, where it was meant to be part of a video-installation.

The printer’s workshop Polyarnaya Zvezda [Pole Star] has since been cordoned off as a crime scene, and all its employees questioned. It was one of the only remaining places in Petersburg to print opposition leaflets of a wide range, including the Petersburg issue of National Bolshevik organ Limonka. Its closure – and the seizure of what is perhaps Chto Delat‘s most politically innocent issue – is symptomatic of the new atmosphere of suspicion and fear that has arisen in Russia.

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For Worker Power!

On February 28, members of the Chto Delat e-mail platform received the following message from Comrade X, the editor of the broadsheet For Worker Power:

The printing plant refused to run off this issue of our newspaper because:

“There is campaign material in it. We need payment made in the form of a bank transfer from the campaign fund of one of the presidential candidates.”

(I wonder: which of the candidates would finance the publication of a newspaper calling on people not to vote in the elections?)

“Twenty minutes after you start distributing the newspaper, they’ll come and shut down the plant.”

“They come nearly every day to sort through the scrap bin to find out what we’re printing.”

It smacks of self-censorship.

By the way, does anyone have access to an underground press in such cases?

We printed the issue on a risograph.

On March 4, Comrade X sent us a follow-up message:

Yesterday morning I was at the printing plant. In the morning, they told me they’d be able to run off the newspaper (I wanted to distribute it at the Dissenters March), but then they called back in the evening and said I could pick up it only today. I don’t know whether this was connected to the Dissenters March or not, but they probably know about everything that’s going on. (The newspaper New Petersburg newspaper was printed at this plant, and its editor-in-chief was arrested right there.)

To express solidarity with our comrades at For Worker Power, we are pleased to present readers with a full English-language version of the trouble-beset issue of the newspaper. You can download it as a .pdf file here:

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