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Manifesto of PALAYAIN ANG SINING – Artist Formation to Uphold Freedom of Artistic Expression

The whole issue surrounding the Kulô exhibit at the CCP, and particularly that of Mideo Cruz’s Poleteismo, has gotten out of hand, to say the least. But let us not get sidetracked.

Focusing our attention and ire on one person has made us overlook the larger underlying issue, which affects not only Mideo Cruz but all of us as creators of art and as members of the viewing public: that of censorship and repression.

The bishops and religious lay leaders pushing for the closure of the exhibit are demanding not only that we persecute one person’s creative expression, but that we hinder any other creative expressions whose concept and presented ideologies they do not agree with. To allow the exhibit’s closure based on such would set the precedent for all other exhibitions that would follow.

Threats of filing legal charges have been made against the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and has cited Art. 201 of the revised penal code. Yet this law in itself is contrary to Article 3 section 4 of the Philippine Constitution, stating that “no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peacably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

Palayain ang Sining is direct in what it stands for: the fight for freedom in our creative expression; the fight against censorship and repression.

We call on artists from all fields – visual arts, cinema, theater, dance, music – to unite against this attempt to censor and control what are shown to the public.

We call on members of the press to likewise uphold our basic constitutional right to freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press.

Palayain ang Sining does not merely support Mideo Cruz. We support the fight against censorship, and against attacks on our basic right to freedom of expression.

UPHOLD FREEDOM OF ARTISTIC EXPRESSION! NO TO CENSORSHIP! NO TO REPRESSION!

August 9, 2011

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