Artists protest censorship

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As part of planned protest actions against the “attacks on freedom of expression,” an artists’ coalition decrying the closure of a controversial exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) has urged the CCP to reopen it on what would have been its last day.

Expressing support for artist Mideo Cruz and decrying censorship, the Palayain ang Sining called on the CCP to reconsider its closure of the “Kulo” exhibit that included Cruz’s “Poleteismo” that outraged politicians, clerics and religious activists.

The CCP board last Tuesday decided to close down the entire exhibit, bowing to pressure from religious conservatives and apparently after a call from President Aquino.

The exhibit, which opened last June, was supposed to have ended on Aug. 21.

Creative protest

“We call on the CCP to reopen the exhibition in the spirit of the free flow of ideas and cultural expressions,” the coalition of artists, critics and academics said in a statement.

“We call on all artists to join us in our cause and mount a creative protest against censorship,” coalition spokesperson Iggy Gutierrez told a press conference at the University of the Philippines on Thursday.

He said the coalition also planned on showing the “Kulo” exhibit in other venues but declined to give details.

The UP press conference was attended by a broad range of artists’ groups, including Sining Bugkos, Ugatlahi, the Concerned Artists of the Philippines and Artists Arrest, among others.

The groups threw their support behind Cruz and Karen Flores, the CCP visual arts head who had approved the controversial show and who resigned on Wednesday.

Flores, who was also at Thursday’s forum, pointed out that religion should not lead people into hatred and should instead enlighten people.

Practice tolerance

“Religion should lead us to practice tolerance amid our differences,” she said.

Religious conservatives and politicians raised a howl over Cruz’s work, which featured an image of Jesus Christ with a penis attached to his face, and threatened civil and criminal suits against the CCP board and the show’s participating artists.

Cecilia Sta. Maria, a professor at the UP Arts Studies department, said this was similar to disliking a particular page or chapter of a book but judging the entire thing as offensive.

Bienvenido Lumbera, a national artist for literature, said he found the recent events to be disturbing and feared it would set a precedent.

“The fear is already there for the artists, they would [have to] consider if anyone would be disturbed by their creations,” he said.

Fighting censorship

Nicanor Tiongson, a former censors chief, said vigilance is needed to fight censorship and education to help people understand the workings of art.

Tiongson was the censors chief in 2001 when the Arroyo administration banned the showing of “Live Show,” a film depicting the lives of young men and women who perform sex onstage, because of pressure from the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin and conservative political and religious leaders.

Musician and high school teacher Cabring Cabrera, the vocalist of Datu’s Tribe, explained that as a musician, he was very much against the idea of censorship.

“It seems like President Aquino’s ’matuwid na daan’ is turning out to be narrow and not that straight,” he said.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TZZ7A3IWDW7IAGPOOQIEWREXLI ferdinandl

    ewan sa inyo! silaban ninyo ang inyong sarili sa mall para totoong art talaga at mapansin kyo sa bouong mundo at masabi talagang kayoy totoong artist at di nag aartisan lang

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXLWBTLZB6IYU4QSJK5645KT5Q Nicam Melican

    Tama ka k. flores na hindi dapat humahantong sa pagka muhi ang relihiyon, kaya nga dapat iginagalang niyo hindi binabastos, nagtataka lang ako kung bakit kayong mga nasa larangan ng sining ay masyadong makasarili, hindi lahat, naniniwa ako na meron din sa mga hanay niyo galit sa istilo ni mideo.Walang nag tatanong sa karapatan niyo sa tamang pamamaraan. Pero sino ba ang may karapatang lapastanganin ang kultura na nakagisnan na ng nakararaming kristiano/pilipino. Walang kristiano na sumasamba sa mga idolo at larawan pero alam natin kung gano kahalaga ang mga iyan lalu na sa mga katoliko dahil sumisimbolo iyan sa Diyos at mga Santo na nasa langit.Ang bawat bahay ay mayroon niyan dahil sa paniniwala na malapit ka o taglay mo ang diyos sa pamamahay mo. Sana naman matuto kayong rumispeto/ maging sensitibo sa nararamdaman ng nakararami. Ang totoo niyan ang nirereklamo lang sa exhibition sa CCP ay ang mga gawa ni mideo dapat tinanggal niyo na lang iyon hindi niyo isinara. Ang tatanga niyo!!

  • Anonymous

    May paraan para malaman kung ano talaga ang sinasabi nilang “freedom of expression”, maglagay ng malakinhg larawan ng kanyang ina na may katalik na dalawang lalaki o di kaya siya sila mismo na may katalik na katulad nila ng kasarian.At saka, sa panasarili kong pag kakaintindi sa tinatawag na “freedom  of” kahit ano pa man ay hindi “absolute”, mayroon din itong limitasyon. Kung may magsasalita kaya sa isang  pampublikong lugar at sasabihin na si ganire at si ganito ay magnanakaw, rapist, manggantso o ano mang nakakasira ng puri(daw),hindi kaya siya aangal at darating sa korte ang usapan?Ngayon, kung ang isang kapatid nilang babae ay gahasain dahil sa freedom of expression nga, ok lang ba sa kanila? Ang karapatan ng bawat tao ay may kaakibat na mas mabigat na tungkulin, ang pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng bawat isa hindi lang ang sarili.

  • Reynaldo H Manigos

    God is the greatest artist who made myriads of masterpieces throughout the universe. And all of His artworks have inherent beauty, order and reason.  It is sad to note that there are people who misuse their gift through perverted “artworks” just to get attention and news mileage. The twitter who hides in the pseudo-name “walangutak” has a poignant but correct test of determining if these so-called “artists” would not cry foul and not anymore a “freedom of expression” if their mother is portrayed in arts having sex with 2 men. Or perhaps, a phallus in the mouth of their mother?  “Do not do to others what you do not want others will do unto you,” that’s what Confucius, the man who properly used his gift and wisdom said.

    Reyman

  • Anonymous

    halata naman masyado na itong mga grupo  kuno ng mga artist na sumusoporta kina abrera, flores at iba pa ay papareho ang kulay at sa UP pa ha ha ha , wala na talaga kasing pumapansin sa mga paniniwala ninyo, yung makasarili ninyong ugali ,at pagmamanepula ng mga tao ay halata na ,malamang sususnod nito may mga katagang , imperyalismo ,feudalismo na  heh ehe he  pwe mga ksp  talaga kayo , lumalabas lang kung ano kayo ,mga bastos  matatalino sana kuno kaya lang maliu ang tinuro ng magulang nyo sa inyo, sa protista nyo kunana nyo ng litrato ari ng mga nanay nyo at magpalakihan kayo  for art sake he he he.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iggy-Ramirez/100002669112738 Iggy Ramirez

    Mga walang talent gumagawa ng ingay para sumikat.

    Dapat yang mga buwisit nayan pasakan ng kahoy na titi sa bunganga e.

  • Anonymous

    “It seems like President Aquino’s ’matuwid na daan’ is turning out to be narrow and not that straight,” he said. – you guys seemed to be barking on the wrong tree! hindi po ang president ang nag pasara ng exhibit ninyo, kung di ang taong bayan! for art’s sake or for your sake?? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christian-Henry-Lacson/1399484890 Christian Henry Lacson

    wag na taung magtaka, bka sa mga susunod na taon tatakbong senador na mga iyan. grabe ang media mileage nilang nakukuha ah! kung ang mga kumpanya ay nagbabayad ng milyon milyon pra sa advertisement at at media exposure, sila nkukuha nila ng libre. “katatalino” ng mga taong ito!

  • Anonymous

    respect!  art or no art don’t matter anymore the real issue here is respect, just like you would want others to respect you or someone dear to you…

  • Anonymous

    i wonder if we in the philippines wherein we have freedom of expression or are we in some muslim dominated country and the murderous blasphemy law is enforced?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Silvester-Flores/100000336098459 Silvester Flores

    There is NOTHING WRONG with KULO exhibit—-
    WRONG are those who SENT death-threat and AGRESSIVE verbal ATTACK against the ARTIST and CCP-
    KULO exhibition MAKES pilipino THINKS—it FEEDs MIND—
    DAMASSOs are ALIVE and KICKING on the MINDST—–Dont LET them DESTROY a LIVELY debate on ALL sectors of Philippine society–

    • Anonymous

      Sisa  (silvester pala), 

      Para kang baliw.  Ni hindi mo man lang binigyan ng pansin yung obscenity na kinaayawan ng mraming tao.  Kung gusto mo at ni mideo na maging baboy, eh kayo na lang. Magpaka-baboy kayo sa loob ng tahanan ninyo.  Doon kayo mag freedom of speech na puro ka-bastosan.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Silvester-Flores/100000336098459 Silvester Flores

        SISA–its nothing to do with BABOY—its the RIGHT—–KULO is not a CRIME
        those who sent DEATH-THREAT are the criminals—-

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HJXUQZQ3DUBGCONCL4GOHXFH74 Rogelio

    ano ang ibig palabasin ni mideo at ang isang sagrado pang paniniwala ng karamihan ng mga Pilipino ang naisip niyang babuyin? Pinakita ko sa nanay ko yung so called art works ni mideo at nasabi niya ”sinong dimonyo ang may gawa niyan? wala yatang magawa sa buhay!” kung ang purpose niya sa ginawa niyang so called art is to shock people or to open their mind, nagkamali siya. Galit ang binuhay niya, at yan ang aanihin niya.
    Pero sa isang banda, he had his 15 minutes of fame.

  • Anonymous

    I guess there’s gonna be a gay parade…

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