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Artistic Freedom

Express who you really are

Kids are told to dream big and to follow their hearts. What they don’t know is that it is not true in today’s world. People use their freedom in many different ways. A very common way to show their freedom of expression is through the arts. Whether it is through song or a painting, people like to express the way they feel. Taggers get in trouble with the law for putting up graffiti on an old or abandoned building. Is that really bad though?

People express amazing things through their art. Some may see it as something disrespectful and just downright garbage-like, but it is not garbage. The same goes for music. Some people do not truly listen to the words when hearing a song. But if you listen closely, you can hear that person’s passion and find the real message they are putting out into the world.  A person’s art tells a story, and some people just do not see that, which is a shame.

Violations towards art are made all around the world. A list was compiled with information from about 56 countries in the world. In the year of 2014, a total number of 199 cases of attacks on artists and violations of their rights have been registered. The cases include 19 artists being killed, 27 newly imprisoned, 9 imprisoned in previous years but still serving time, 8 abducted, 3 attacked, 13 threatened or persecuted, 28 prosecuted, 19 detained, as well as 73 cases of censorship. These numbers may seem low, but they still make a negative impact on the art community. Many artistic freedom violations are never made publicly known. Think about it, how many stories do you hear in the news about art scandals?

An annual report from Freemuse shows that in total, Freemuse registered 469 cases of censorship and attacks on artists and violations of their rights in 2015, making it Freemuse’s worst recorded year yet, nearly doubling the number of cases from 2014 with a 98% increase from the year previous, when 199 cases were registered. These incidents are increasing every year when they should be doing the exact opposite.

When a person displays their art somewhere, it is usually temporary. They are given a time limit as to how long their art will be displayed. It could be for a few months or even a year. When they finally finish the process of getting their work displayed, they expect to see it there for the length of time they were given. That person’s hard work can be crushed within a small amount of time.

A person could find something wrong with the art, or disagree with it, and they will petition to have it taken down. When the so called, “bad guy” wins, the art piece is taken down before its time limit is up. That is not fair to the person who worked tirelessly on their art piece. One day it goes up, and the next day it is gone. Why do we have freedom of expression, if we really can’t use it? Artistic freedom is a very important issue that needs to be put in the right place.