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Polish Constitution, Article 73: "The freedom of artistic creation and scientific research as well as dissemination of the fruits thereof, the freedom to teach and to enjoy the products of culture, shall be ensured to everyone."
Sprawa tygodnia

Music Freedom Day

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Archive of Censorship in Polish art (1989-2008)

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Katarzyna Kozyra Blood Ties"

Over 90 cases of censorship in Polish art. A calendar of interventions and violations of Article 73 of the Polish Constitution in 1989 – 2008.

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2010-06-16 | Robert Atkins in conversation with Ewa Majewska on censorship
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Robert Atkins in conversation with Ewa Majewska on Globalisation and the New International Culture of Censorship

March - May  2010  dalej  
2010-03-03 | It's Music Freedom Day today!
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Today we're celebrating the international Music Freedom Day, which was founded to draw attention to acts of censoring music and oppressing musicians. Music Freedom Day is an event initiated by the watchdog organisation Freemuse, which is going today to present the Embassy of Cameroon in Paris with the petition for freeing Labiro de Mbanga. Labiro de Mbanga was sentenced in September 2008 to three days of prison and 640 000 USD fine for alleged participation in riots. It is considered, however, that the real reason for Mbanga's arrest was the song „Constitution Constipee”, in which Lapiro criticised the changes in the constitution after President Paul Biya had abolished the limitation on the tenure of office of the head of state and, in so doing, extended his term of office, which has lasted for 35 years now. dalej  
2010-02-22 | Removal of the exhibition “Subversive handicrafts: taboos in the weaving of culture” at the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań
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The international conference named "Taboo seen with the eyes wide open", organized by the Institute of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań, took place from 7 to 10 December 2009. The conference topics covered contemporary Slavic art and literature with a special focus on taboos - their meaning, functioning and breaking them. On 7 December the conference organisers opened an accompanying exhibition named "Subversive handicrafts - taboos in the weaving of culture" in the Collegium Maius hall. Two days after the opening the University requested to remove two 'disgusting' artworks by Croatian artists: Roberta Weissman Nagy i Sonja Hržina Majstorović. The works referred to the model of patriarchal culture and the role of women. dalej  
2010-02-17 | Music Freedom Day
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On 3 March we celebrate the fourth edition of the Music Freedom Day. The Music Freedom Day has been created by Freemuse, an international organisation which advocates freedom of expression in music. Every year the celebrations become more and more international, and this year they will take place in Copenhagen, Paris, New York, Cairo, Kabul and The Hague, the city of the International Court of Justice and Civil Rights. One of the projects is the launch of the music record “Listen to the banned”. This year Indeks 73 Initiative has actively joined the Music Freedom Day celebrations aiming to counter censorship in music. On 2 March, the day before the Music Freedom Day, we invite all to the debate on free music and freedom in music. dalej  
2010-02-02 | Indeks 73 Initiative's Report
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Indeks 73 Initiative has published the English version of the report "Freedom of artistic expression and free access to culture". The report is a result of a national survey among the cultural producers was carried out via Internet between 24 September and 5 November 2008. The main goals of the survey were to examine the level of legal awareness concerning freedom of artistic creation and free access to cultural works (particularly their knowledge of Article 73 of the Polish Constitution) and to diagnose the reasons and circumstances of restricting artistic freedom in Poland. dalej  
2010-01-28 | Lambs of God
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The mural “Lambs of God”, which won the 6th edition of the A19 Competition for fine arts students and young artists, was launched at Marymont metro station in Warsaw on 9 January 2010. The author of the mural, Julia Curyło, is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw with honours degree in painting and public space art. Unfortunately, a few days after the presentation the competition organisers started to get requests to remove the mural. Some Warsaw citizens reported that the mural offended their religious feelings. We're presenting documentation of this case. dalej  
2010-01-25 | “Face to face” – the exhibition in Lublin causes confusion
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The exhibition “Face to face – university is made up of people” was launched on 19 January 2010. Teresa Klimowicz came up with an idea of the project which would present service staff of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, which evoked a bit of confusion. After the project had been advertised in media, the university authorities protested against the exhibition, especially as it had been planned to be presented at the Academic Cultural Centre “Chatka Żaka”. At the beginning the university authorities refused the organisers the exhibition venue (the excuse being the organisers failed to book the venue in a proper way) and the Deputy Rector, Stanisław Michałowski, promised to explore “the depth” of the project. dalej  
2009-12-03 | Our way, by the way. New strategies for culture
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Our way, by the way. New strategies for culture. Congress 11-13.12.2009: Three-day meeting and discussion on the issiues of the possible transformations of culture. Everyone who is concerned with ideas of egalitarian and democratic culture, is invited to take active part in the congress. Discussions will evolve around the issues of: self-organization in culture, manifestos, cooperation with self-governments, public discourse on culture, reforming art institutions, artistic scene and guaranteed minimum income, copyright and new forms of intellectual property, cultural education and many others.
BUW, ul. Dobra 56/66, Warsaw dalej  
2009-11-03 | Ryszard Ziarkiewicz's dismissal from the Museum in Koszalin

ALT: i/aktualnosci/ziarkiewicz.jpgRyszard Ziarkiewicz has been recently dismissed from the Museum in Koszalin. We publish his letter to Indeks 73 concerning the circumstances of this decision. In our opinion the incident is another argument in the debate on the necessity of reforms in the management and financial administration of public cultural institutions. Public institutions cannot depend only on individual civil servants' decisions, as their motives are not always determined by the public interest. dalej  
2009-11-02 | Ewa Majewska: How does censorship in “Obieg” work? In a manly and unceremonious way.
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On 30 October 2009 Indeks 73 received a letter from Ewa Majewska informing about the acts of censorship performed by Jakub Banasiak and Adam Mazur in “Obieg”. The letter analyses the reasons for refusing to publish Majewska's article "Postmodern Control in the Society of Image. Reflections on Jacqueline Livingston' exhibition" on the “Obieg” website. As a result of the conflict Adam Mazur decided to terminate his cooperation with Ewa Majewska. Her letter reveals undemocratic mechanisms of decision making and administration in “Obieg” and contributes to the debate on the necessity of the reforms in Polish cultural institutions. dalej  
2009-10-20 | Radical change in culture: MANIFESTO
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Culture is one of the most important fields in the struggle for a more democratic, egalitarian and free society. If the changes currently proposed to this field by the Polish authorities are not subject to a wide social debate, consultation and criticism, they will bring catastrophic results for both the producers of culture and society as a whole. Culture should be perceived as a public good, not a privilege for a selected group of citizens. The dangers embedded in the governmental proposals for reforms in the domain of culture have already been discussed by artists, theorists, cultural and social activists. All agree that culture is a very specific field of production, and that it would be endangered by an exclusively market-oriented strategy of organizing it. dalej  
2009-10-14 | Henryk Dederko's “Welcome to Life” documentary was removed from the Warsaw Film Festival
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In October 2009 the screening of the “Welcome to Life” documentary about the Amway direct sale retailer and the company's brainwashing procedures was blocked by the Telewizja Polska S.A., which withdrew the viewing rights from the Warsaw Film Festival. The screenings had been planned since August 2009 when the film producer, Jacek Gwizdała submitted the film and informed about new circumstances in the legal proceedings concerning the film since 1997. dalej  
2009-09-14 | Music Freedom Day
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Freemuse is an international organisation which advocates freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide. The organisation was founded in 1998 just after the International Conference on Music and Censorship, which had revealed cases of oppressing musicians and restraining their artistic freedom. One of the most important events organised by Freemuse is the Music Freedom Day celebrated on 3 March. dalej  
2009-08-12 | Debate on censoring Joanna Rajkowska's project Minaret
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Joanna Rajkowska is an artist well-known for her brave and nonconformist projects in the public space (eg. the artificial palm tree at Charles de Gaulle Square in Warsaw). She is currently planning to transform an old paper factory smokestack into a minaret. The project is a part of the next year Malta International Theatre Festival in Poznan, the motto of which will be cultural diversity. The surprising fact is that even though the Muslim community supports the project Minaret, their presumed objection (offending religious feelings) has been used as an excuse against Rajkowska's idea. The Muslim League members do not feel hurt in any way with the project, on the contrary, they are happy their community will eventually be noticed in the city. This may suggest that the actual reason for criticising the Minaret is not the concern that the project can hurt religious feelings of the Muslims, but that the protests are based on prejudices against Islam. This theory is supported by an abundance and content of emails Joanna Rajkowska receives via her website, in which the artist is verbally abused and threatened. dalej  
2009-07-27 | Attempts to get access to “The Reports on Polish Culture” - Calendarium
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The debate on culture management and the cultural reform prepared by Jerzy Hausner started last month. However, the debate has been based mostly on media news, not on official documents. Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski claims the reports are ready, yet the response to Indeks 73's official application to make them public in accordance with the Law of Access to the Public Information states something contrary... There are more and more gossips and misunderstandings around the future reform, and some documents have been inofficially dislosed on the internet. This is our calendarium concerning attempts to get access to“The Reports on Polish Culture”. dalej  
2009-07-27 | Let's censor Madonna!
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15 August is the day of Madonna's concert in Warsaw. This day is also a Catholic holiday of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary, therefore certain conservative groups have decided to raise a protest against the concert of the controversial star. And they go even further... The protesters not only want the boycott of the event, but they also demand to punish 'the guilty' – the organisers, that is Warsaw authorities, and the sponsors – the portal Allegro.pl. Suprisingly enough, the protesters got a powerful ally – the Spokesperson for Citizens' Rights. dalej  
2009-07-08 | Culture in danger!
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Culture in danger! On 8th July Polish Radio 2 shall be silent for 24 hours. It is a protest against the dramatic decline in the financing of its mission. "We – the Team of Polish Radio 2 – do not agree for the degradation of the most important elements of the mission of the public radio in Poland. We have conducted our cultural and educational activities with due involvement and conviction. We have always kept the highest standards. We treated the worsening financial situation of our programme as only a temporary problem". dalej  
2009-06-08 | Achtung! Censorship in Prague!
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On 21 April the Gallery NoD in Prague was supposed to open the exhibition by Polish artist, Peter Fuss. The exposition titled “Achtung!” was composed of super-size screen prints taken from Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and Roman Polanski’s The Pianist and then digitally edited. The Wermaht soldiers were not wearing swastikas but the Star of David on their sleeves. According to the artist the aim of the exhibition was to draw attention to barbarous methods employed by the Jews in their conflict with the Palestinians, parallel to the methods used on the Jews in the Second World War. The pictures were on the walls for 30 minutes before the opening of the exhibition and then were devastated by the members of the Jewish community in Prague. dalej  
2009-04-20 | Telewizja Polska S.A.: mission or censorship?
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In the last couple of weeks most respected authorities in culture appealed for dismissal of the people of ultra-nationalistic attitudes from the TVP (Polish public television) and for reorganisation this institution. Indeks 73 Initiative members support these appeals, as we think current activities of the Telewizja Polska S.A. are contrary to its mission and to Article 73 of the Polish Constitution, which guarantees freedom of artistic expression and free access to cultural goods. dalej  
2009-04-07 | Cancelling Rafał Jakubowicz's exhibition in “Wejście” Gallery
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Wojciech Krukowski, Director of the CCA Zamek Ujazdowski, cancelled the exhibition “Miejsce” (Place) by Rafał Jakubowicz, which was due 9 April 2009. The main component of the exposition is a huge wooden box with the artist's name and surname, referring to the Archive boxes at the Foksal Gallery. According to Jakubowicz a gigantic copy of the box used as an exhibition space is an example of a dialogue based on references and interpretations, which frequently takes place in art. However, the Foksal Gallery considers this project plagiarism. Indeks 73 presents the full documentation of the case, including the accounts from Rafał Jakubowicz, the artist; Ewa Mikina, the exhibition curator and Wojciech Krukowski. dalej  
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