For those of you who don’t know me, I am a political artist. There’s nothing inherently special about that statement, although being a conservative makes me a bit of a pariah in the art community. I rather enjoy the difference of opinion and the conflict it often inspires. The irony of a conservative leading the avant guard in the arts is a little amusing; not that I can claim credit for such a lofty accomplishment just yet.
Another thing I enjoy as an American is freedom of speech. It’s something we take for granted most of the time. Sure, artists gripe and moan about the system and the lack of public funding or understanding for the importance of their work. Many get their panties in a twist every time someone suggests that there should be no public funding of the arts. The truth is, they have no idea how bad it could be.
Take a moment to read this article about the things a Chinese artist can expect to endure at the hands of his government if he dares to create work critical of the powers that be.
Then read this one about the city government of St. Louis trying to silence a charitable organization that is using murals to speak out about eminent domain abuse. I love this quote by the St. Louis Alderman: “If this sign is allowed to remain, then anyone with property along any thoroughfare can paint signs indicating the opinion or current matter relevant to the owner to influence passersby with no control by any City agency. The precedent should not be allowed.”
Last, here is a video of Lindsey Graham justifying the re-evaluation of free speech. Perhaps we are not so far from learning what true oppression is like after all. I didn’t realize the Constitution was just a bunch of ideas to be dispensed with at some politician’s convenience.
Frances is the Senior Editor of Liberatchik and manages the Liberatchik FaceBook Page. She is also a political artist and blogger. You can view her portfolio and additional articles at MachinePolitick. This article was written for Liberatchik.