Story Archive

What Was That About Freedom?

“MICE-IS, a fundamentalist Islamic terror group, are threatening to dominate Sylvania, and annihilate every species that does not submit to their hardline version of Sharia law.” So says the catalog note for Isis Threaten Sylvania, a series of tableaux by the artist known as “Mimsy” that uses Sylvanian Families animal dolls to depict scenes of imminent Islamist violence, which was to be shown in a gallery in London, England, as part of an “uncensored” exhibit on free speech. But the police told the gallery that the price of this free speech would be 36,000 pounds (US$55,000) for added security, and the organizers of the exhibit, titled “Passion for Freedom,” said they couldn’t come up with the money. They dropped the piece — and the label “uncensored.” A video of a woman in armor walking through Kabul remained in the exhibit. (AC/London Guardian, London Independent) ...The question is, did the exhibit miss its own point, or is it making it perfectly?
Original Publication Date: 11 October 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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