Freedom of Expression
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Dear mr. Juncker,
I read and saw in the news the unbelievable campaign that is going on in Poland against the play “Klątwa (“The Curse”) directed by Oliver Frlić at Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw.
On 21 February, Polish national television published a post on its website illustrated with illegally taken video footage of excerpts from the performance. The clips are taken out of context and accompanied by a misleading article, written with the clear intention of publicly stigmatising the actors, producers and authors of performance. Since then, the theatre, the actors and the officials of City of Warsaw have been exposed to an enormous quantity of media violence and hate-speech. This has been encouraged by some members of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party and the Catholic Church.
It’s surely not necessary to remind here the artistic value of mr. Frlić and the importance that his works have for the European culture, I'm writing to express our deep concern about this facts in Poland.
The European Union, not only as a political subject, but mostly as cultural identity, has in the freedom of speech one of his mandatory fundaments, which is the heritage of the cultures that brought to the birth of the dream of the EU.
Freedom of speech is a choice that make us unique and different in comparison with other worlds cultures, and we found worrying and unacceptable that a country member could proceed with arbitrary limitation measures ad personam like this. Theatre is where the European cultural identity found through the times the place for developing awareness, even in dialectical and sometimes conflictual ways.
I live and work in different countries of the world, and I know that Europe is always watched and followed as referring point not only for aesthetic, mostly for the ethic of art. I have reasons to believe that a position like Poland took could provoke a domino effect and even the allowance of imitation in countries not members of the EU, affecting the relationships with the same EU: we all witnessed, in fact, how everything is interconnected in this world, and it’s our responsibility to stand for the ideals that make us europeans.
That is why I’m asking you to intervene officially in defence of the play “ Klątwa” and all the artists envolved in it. It is not only a matter of an episode, it’s a matter of guarantee to not create a dangerous precedent.
I’m sure to meet your high sense of responsibility and I believe in your fast action,
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