Tuesday, June 29, 2010

No to censorship - Regulate instead

I should've posted this weeks ago, but better late than never. Arts Engage has created a position paper on behalf of the arts community, urging the nominally independent Censorship Review Committee to get their act together and actually advocate freeing up culture her instead of just being the MDA's rubber stamp.

I'm slightly involved in the report: they interviewed me and have included the cases of Lee Low Tar, the ContraDiction literary readings and 251 as case studies.

The main point they're putting across is that instead of censorship, a system of arts regulation would be preferable - something that provides classifications but ultimately leaves the issue of choice to the individual audience member.

Sign the petition against censorship in Singapore at http://sites.google.com/site/artsengagesg/.

From the website:

What is censorship of the arts? It is the control of content, prevention of production and prohibition of presentation, of artistic expressions.

In censorship, ideas and material considered objectionable or problematic by the censor, are suppressed, and often justified as an attempt to protect minors and adults from content that would apparently harm them. But is that really the case?

The value of the arts is not only in their entertainment, but also in the ways in which the arts provides us with food for thought, broadens our perspectives and gives us new insight to the world around us.

Isn't it your right to decide what would or would not be objectionable to you?

The position of the arts community paper on Censorship and Regulation is for regulation - an independent, unexceptional and impartial process of providing information about content that allows art to be produced as intended, and for you to choose what you would experience and enjoy.

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