Open Forum- 8 December 2018
Screaming voices are trying to shut artistic expression down- Nandita Das
“Screaming voices are trying to shut artistic expression down. Freedom of expression at any cost, has to be fought for, even if you are in complete disagreement with what’s being said’, said Nandita Das, renowned actor and filmmaker. She was addressing the IFFK audience at the Open Forum session on ‘Politics of Mob Censorship’.
Sharing her experiences with filmmaker Abbas Kiorastami, and novelist Toni Morrison, who was her co-jury at the Cannes Film Festival, she opined that the space for expressing disagreement is shrinking. “Half of the battles have been on the fight for what is right and what wrong. There are less and less places to openly talk, and that’s why we should have sessions like these,” added she. Censorship has always existed, and threatens orthodoxy, and only art that survives the test of time emerges as best. “How can a group of a few people, the self-proclaimed custodians of culture, decide what is good for a country?” asked Nandita.
“Being a creative person is my very existence and denying that to me is the biggest human rights violation,” said poet and filmmaker, Jayan K Cherian, known for his directorial ‘Ka Bodyscapes’. “Editorial intervention by the state in artistic expression is fascistic. By observing silence against it, we are becoming tools of political scheming. We don’t have a monolithic culture, and ours is a celebration of the minor culture bubbles, of polyphony,” added he.