倡議香港藝術發展局推動「藝術表達自由約章」聯署聲明 Urge HKADC to Promote “Freedom of Artistic Expression Charter”

倡議香港藝術發展局推動「藝術表達自由約章」聯署聲明 Urge HKADC to Promote “Freedom of Artistic Expression Charter”

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香港藝文界 Hong Kong art and culture started this petition to Hong Kong Arts Development Council

倡議 香港藝術發展局 推動「藝術表達自由約章」聯署聲明

香港藝術發展局(下稱藝發局)對外宣稱的機構願景,只此一句,乃是「將香港建立成一個充滿動力和多元化的文化藝術都市」。我們認為,動力與多元化全繫於這個城市的藝術表達自由。香港藝術、文化、經濟及產業之間的發展與協作日益緊密,並頻繁展現在國際舞台上,海內外同業期望香港藝文土壤上培養的創作,可以在一直以來的自由開放環境裡成長。可惜,這兩年多以來發生了數宗使藝術界人士以及公眾深切疑慮的事件,包括不合理審查、節目取消、場地不許可等。我們認為當務之急,就是對「藝術表達自由」此項核心價值予以重視與肯定,並集體表達堅定捍衛之決心。

回溯藝發局成立初衷、重新確立機構角色

觀乎藝發局成立之信念,就以「藝術表達自由」為首。而根據在1995年訂立的「香港藝術發展局條例(香港法例第472章)」4(c)和4(f)所述,藝發局的職能在於「維護藝術表達自由的原則,及鼓勵藝術表達的自由」,並且「力求創造有利的環境以確保所有在香港的人均有機會欣賞、參與以及接觸藝術」。我們認為,目前藝發局在維持法定職能方面,尚能改進。尤其在現時備受政治氣候考驗的時刻,局方必須審視及檢討就着機構信念,過去曾經設立甚麼措施及工具,維護與保障藝術表達自由。

訂立「藝術表達自由約章」

故此,我們倡議藝發局,把「藝術表達自由約章」與其撥款機制連結,要求所有申請藝發局撥款的計劃,以及藝發局合作的活動團體和個人(包括藝發局所有人士和工作人員),都必須簽署「藝術表達自由約章」:

「尊重藝術創作自由,不作任何政治審查。」

簽署人或團體因此承諾他們都尊重藝術工作者的自主,不以任何政治審查。

公約連結撥款機制的意義

  1. 確立藝發局捍衛藝術表達自由的角色及價值。
  2. 以有限資源營造藝術表達自由環境:現時藝發局以外有不少商業和非商業組織向藝文界提供資源,局方就應該主動樹立榜樣,持續發展一個自由開放的藝文創作生態。透過公約連結撥款機制,使更多創作者發展自主的創作,營造與鞏固對藝術表達自由尊重的空間,藉此確保藝發局不會把資源投放在限制表達自由的活動上。
  3. 舒緩個體抗衡的壓力:以往不少有關藝術表達自由受挑戰的事件中,前線的藝術家、策展人或行政人員總是要孤獨面對。有了公約,壓力便不會集中在一個個體身上。藝文界不同持份者所擁有的表達權利不應受不合理限制。如發生濫權施壓,他們要回應的是業界共同承諾的契約!
  4. 促進業界反思藝文表達自由的討論:約章的運作當然會遇上爭論的時候,但我們不應害怕,更應視之為探討和權衡藝術表達自由價值的契機。我們期望藝發局不只是集中檢討局方的行政操作,而是要討論及反思藝術價值與本質;亦希望局方不會因為忙着發展,而忽略了維護自由創作的養份。

藝文界懇請亦相信藝發局,作為一個文化領袖,會就着我們的建議作出不容延誤的積極回應和行動。謝謝。

Joint Statement - Hong Kong Arts Development Council Urged to Promote “Freedom of Artistic Expression Charter”

The vision presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) to the public concisely states that “Our vision is to establish Hong Kong as a dynamic and diverse cultural metropolis.” We hold the view that in our city, dynamism and diversity are qualities undoubtedly built upon the freedom of artistic expression. Blossoming collaborations between the art and culture sector, our economy and the industries have placed Hong Kong firmly on the global map. Fellow practitioners from the region have kept great faith that Hong Kong would continue to cultivate our homegrown creativity in an open and free environment. Unfortunately, incidents including undue censorship, cancellation of exhibitions and refusal to grant activity venues in the last two years have created grave concerns from the sector and the public. As the issues develop, we believe that the top priority for the sector and HKADC is to collectively acknowledge and reiterate the value of free artistic expression.

Rekindling HKADC’s Spirit and Role
“Freedom of artistic expression” has always been the foremost value held by HKADC. According to the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Ordinance (Cap. 472) enacted in 1995, Sections 4(c) and 4(f) stipulates that the HKADC’s functions are to “uphold the principle of, and encourage, freedom of artistic expression” and “strive for the creation of an environment conducive to ensuring that all persons in Hong Kong have the opportunity to enjoy, partake in and have access to the arts.” In this regard, we believe that the HKADC should strive to more effectively uphold its statutory functions. In the politically challenging climate today, it is high time for the HKADC to review and evaluate the mechanisms and measures currently used to safeguard free artistic expression — the very core of its vision.

Introducing “Freedom of Artistic Expression Charter”
We suggest the HKADC to bind the proposed Freedom of Artistic Expression Charter with its funding mechanism, by requiring all projects accepting HKADC grants, as well as individuals and organisations working with and for the HKADC, to sign this charter:

“To uphold the freedom of artistic expression, and refrain from exercising political censorship in any form.”

Signees and organisations would thereby commit to respect the autonomy of art and cultural practitioners, and abstain from imposing any form of political censorship.

Reasons of Tying the Charter to the Funding Scheme

  1. To reinforce the HKADC’s role in defending its values, in particular the freedom of artistic expression.
  2. To cultivate under limited resources an environment conducive to the freedom of artistic expression. With numerous commercial and non-profit sources funding the arts and culture sector, the HKADC shall take the lead to develop a sustainable ecology for free expression and creation. By tying the charter to the funding scheme, a liberal and respectful art-making culture can be fostered. As such, the HKADC would not be allocating resources to projects that restrict anyone’s freedom of expression.
  3. To ease the pressure faced by individuals. In many cases when artistic expression was subject to challenge, we saw that artists, curators and/or administrators at the frontline were often left to fight lonely battles. With a charter in place, they would no longer have to tackle the issues all by themselves. In fact, the right for different stakeholders in the sector to express themselves shall not be unreasonably restricted. Any abuse of power would be a violation of the commitment shared by collective members of the sector.
  4. To facilitate discussions on freedom of expression. Once the charter is introduced, its finer points would be put under the microscope. Instead of being stumbling blocks, such challenges represent a golden opportunity to explore and identify common values associated with free artistic expression. We hope that the HKADC will commit more readily to contemplating the meanings and values of the arts and protecting the inherent rights and freedom, instead of merely focussing on the administrative side of the Council’s operation and development.

We, from the art and culture scene, sincerely urge the HKADC, as a leading body in the sector, to proactively address and act upon our proposal. Thank you.

發起人Conveners:
程展緯Luke Ching, 馮美華May Fung, 張嘉莉 Clara Cheung, Suyin Chiu, 胡敏儀 Wendy Wo, 譚亦軒Zombie Tam, 謝斐Jaffe Tse, 唐偉傑Damon Tong, 歐陽東Au Yeung Tung, 陳式森Sammu Chan, 梁志剛 Michael Leung, 謝豬 Milo Tse

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