The 6th edition of freedom art and film festival Passion for Freedom will be held 5th -15th November in the Embassy Tea Gallery (close to Tate Modern) in London.
The annual festival is a rare collection of works of “courageous artists” who have answered three pivotal questions:
What is freedom?
How easy is it to lose it?
How difficult is it to get it back?
This year at the festival there will be collection of 15 films, 10 books, 10 journalists and 54 artworks from all over the world: Peru, Venezuela, Iran, Israel, Syria, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, United Kingdom, USA & Australia. The youngest artist is 18 years old, the oldest – 64.
Some of the artists use pseudonyms because of threats imposed on them, some of them can’t come because they are imprisoned, cannot leave their country or cannot give interviews.
The founding body comprises of a group of friends of different nationalities, predominantly Polish, Hungarian, Russian and Danish who for the last 6 years have been saying, “We are checking the status of freedom of speech and artistic expression in Europe”. They have clear message – promotion and protection of human rights using the means of aesthetic expression. The festival itself, which is in direct contrast with the political correctness so prevalent within our society, is growing in recognition and prestige.
The PFF Festival is supported by world-famous artists such as Ai Weiwei, Mehdi–Georges Lahlou and Iranian director Jafar Panahi.
Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist and performer who posted a blog report exposing the corruption within the Chinese Communist Party and challenging the government over the poor construction of schools in Sichuan, which led to death of more than 5 thousands pupils. In 2011 he was kept imprisoned for 81 days without any official charges and beaten by the police officers. Even today he can’t travel or give interviews as a result of alleged business fraud.
Mehdi–Georges Lahlou French and Moroccan origin in one of his artworks presents fragments of the Quran and the Bible depicted on a naked body. In many Muslim countries and in Morocco itself his art hailed a storm of protests and death threats, even though his works have not been shown there.
Jafar Panahi, the Iranian director, has been imprisoned more than once for promoting women’s freedom and for his anti Iranian activities and convicted for the films he made. Since the trial he can only make his movies in his own apartment and he solely can be his own protagonist. Everyone who has worked with him has been harassed and now has restrictions on leaving Iran.
This year 3 general awards as well as Freedom Film Award will be given for art and movie productions. Also during the Private View the audience will have a chance to choose their favourite piece of art and give Public Freedom Award.
The jury panel comprises of:
Gary Hill – one of the most prominent American artists in video art
Sarah Maple – a provocative young British artist
Deeyah Khan – Iranian pop star and activist anointed by the media as the “Muslim Madonna”
Lee Weinberg – curator, art researcher and lecturer at Goldsmith University
For the first time this year along with films, sculpture, painting, photography and installations there will be 10 books and 10 journalists recognised (3 British, 2 Russian, 2 Canadian, 1 Danish, 1 Polish and 1 Indian) during the Festival.
In 2013 the BBC published special guidelines for journalists listing the areas that have to be guard by PC inspectors – such as “Racism”, “Sexism” and “Homophobia”. This is our reality now as media has succumbed to these claims. Political correctness in Europe and Western world puts brave journalists who are able to delivered unbiased and straightforward information in demand. Despite personal threats and risks to their professional credibility, courageous journalists continue to uncover the truth and inform us about threats which creep into democracy and distort values and human rights.
Invited for private view special guests:
– Douglas Murray. A lot of things can happen in an afternoon with Douglas. You could laugh, you could cry, you could self-analyse to the point of personal torment, or you could see who has a more firm grasp of a pint of ale after the first six. In reading “Islamophilia”, Murray’s new book, you’re more than likely to bury yourself in the latter as solace.
– Lars Hedegaard. In 2003 an disguised as a postman tried to kill Lars Hedegaard in his home. He did not succeed and the assailant fled. Danish Prime Minister condemned the attack saying that the attempt to assassinate a journalist was highly serious as its motive was aimed not only at Hedegaard, but also at damaging his work defending freedom of speech.
-The Belarus Free Theatre. Dictators do not trust independent artists as every independent artist is a potential threat. In consequence all artists have to be approved by the regime. From the beginning the Belarus regime did not allow Belarus Free Theatre to do anything legally, so they were coerced to start an underground theatre. There is no freedom in Belarus but there are freedom fighters and you can see them in the film.
This year Madonna, among other international freedom projects, has recognised Passion For Freedom in her Art for Freedom project. Amongst other influential artists, the Passion for Freedom Festival was selected for Madonna’s 2014 Freedom Calendar (21st of May).
For security purposes the first day of the festival will be open to those who hold an invitation only. If you would like to be part of the private view then please get in touch with the organisers of the festival.