Past Event

Artistic Expression in Contested Terrains Workshop

September 28, 2017 - September 29, 2017
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul organized this workshop in collaboration with the Consulate General of Sweden and DEPO during the 15th Istanbul Biennial, with additional support from the Amman and Paris Centers. Led by Vishakha Desai, Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President at Columbia University, Senior Research Scholar and Adjunct Professor at SIPA, and President Emerita of Asia Society, New York; the workshop aimed to re-think art censorship in a broader framework to include legal sanctions imposed upon artists and/or curators as well as indirect strategies of deterrence. The workshop situated art censorship in a historical trajectory to see why and how art is censored throughout history and explore the role of art in our decade.

The workshop also explored the link between artists, curators, and government and private institutions that provide financial resources for various art exhibitions and festivals and how these relationships shape and are shaped by art censorship. The workshop included a session on recent case studies of art censorship in order to create awareness, both at the national and international level. Participants were local and international, including curators, artists and activists, scholars and representatives of arts institutions and civil society organizations. This enabled participants to compare and learn from their different experiences, foster connections between different rights struggles, and re-frame art censorship as a violation of international conventions on human rights globally, regardless of degree, scope or intensity.