Say NO To Artistic Censorship
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My name is Andreja Pejic I am an actress in the recently filmed movie "Habit."
Directed by Janell Shirtcliff. Written by Suki Kaiser and Libby Mintz.
Produced by Cassian Elwes, Donovan Leitch Jr. Also starring: Bella Thorne, Hana Mae Lee, Paris Jackson, Libby Mintz, Gavin Rossdale, Josie Ho, Caroline D'Amore....https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11788956/
Our movie is currently being attacked by Christian fundamentalists who have started a campaign to stop the release of the film. Two petitions has been created that have received almost 400,000 signatures as of this writing calling the movie "blasphemous" and decrying it's use of religious iconography.
Freedom of creative expression is one of the most important pillars of a free and democratic society. In recent years there have been many campaigns and I have to admit not mainly from far-right/religious sections of society but also from supposedly "left" or "progressive" upper middle class sections that have led to moralistic crusades to censor art. Weather it's because of the content which they find to be inappropriate or because they don't agree with the casting decisions or because of the failures in the artist's personal life.
History shows very clearly that whenever an authoritarian society is being built artistic freedom is the first thing to go. The arts represent a fragile section of society, its their job to feel and express what most people can not. Making art is a unique process, it is very different from say intellectual work or manual labor. When we attack creative expression and restrict the creative process we strengthen all the reactionary forces in society wanting to take the world back to the dark ages. All the forces that want to suppress rational debate and instead submerge any discussion of social issues into a sea of hysteria and confusion. All these things only pave the road towards barbarism.
This is not a not a moment for debate about the content of the movie "Habit." Weather it is "pro-christian" or "anti-christian" weather it is even good or bad. I have not seen the movie yet nor have any of the people trying to stop it's release. That debate can only happen once the movie is seen. This moment is about the world YOU want to live in.
There are many problems with our culture and movies could be so much more reflective of life than they currently are. I am not suggesting that they can't be openly critiqued once they are seen. However there is a world of difference between that and organizing a hysterical witch-hunt to censor the release of a movie, in order to cancel artists more generally, to remove a peace of art from a museum, a song from a radio etc. These actions are very anti-democratic even if their aims are "pure" or serve some well intention-ed cultural goal. As the saying goes "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
All ideas and actions have a logic to them, they have a cause and effect, they also have end points. Another one of my favorite quotes is "the end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end." This is why progressive principles are so, so important. They are not something that belongs to an old irrelevant age. They are more relevant now than ever. It doesn't take a genius to see democracy and society crumbling and leaders all around the world abandoning principles as they turn to authoritarian forms of rule in the struggle to maintain the outmoded capitalist structure which has exhausted its historical purpose and is proving incapable of dealing with the great problems facing the world.
Maybe Christian fundamentalists don't have the cultural power they once had but Trump held up a bible after breaking the American constitution and using the United State's military against his own people. Therefore the link between institutionalized religion and the far right is still alive and well. It's a historical fact that the Catholic Church helped many Nazis escape persecution through secret channels to South America following World War 2.
As we fight for more freedom we have to recognize the freedoms we have achieved and we have to oppose all those forces trying to destroy them, yes that also includes the ones dressed up as some form of social or cultural justice. How we fight for the progress we want is just as important as the progress we are trying to achieve. I'm not saying we have to be all nice and patient but I am here for the principled fight. I am here for anyone fighting the good fight, the good way.
Sign this petition if you stand for freedom of artistic expression.
Sign this petition if you think artistic censorship is wrong.
Sign this petition if you think the arts need to stay free in order to tell the truth.
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