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Censorship cannot take anything away from art

The exhibition of “After Freedom of Expression?” at Aichi Triennale was forced to be canceled, and the Agency for Cultural Affairs decided not to grant the full amount of subsidies. This controversy over “censorship of art”, which involves the government, is a phenomenon that indicates that society is now losing tolerance. Contributed by Akihiko Mori, a contributing writer who studies art and journalism at the University of the Arts London.







The situation of “Fairness of expression, afterwards” continues to keep an eye on.

The exhibition “Aimlessness of Expression, then” at the International Art Festival Aichi Triennale 2019 (Daisuke Tsuda, artistic director) currently held in Aichi Prefecture has changed into a social phenomenon, and the inconvenience of expression in Japan. It can be said that it continues presenting.

The Expressive Disability Exhibition, then was a sequel to the Expressive Disability Exhibition held in 2015 with the intent of exhibiting works that were forced to stop exhibiting in Japan. After the opening of “Aichi Triennale 2019” on August 1, 2019, criticism rushed to the image of women expressing comfort women in the exhibition, and video works expressing the portraits of the burning Emperor Showa. On the 2nd, Takashi Kawamura, the mayor of Nagoya, asked the Aichi prefecture to remove the female figure, and on the 3rd, the cancellation of the “Expression Freedom Exhibition, then” was announced. A total of 10,379 reports of protests and threats including arson and terrorist warnings have been reported .

The situation was extremely confusing, including the withdrawal of participating artists from the exhibition, intense criticism from critics and intellectuals, and the search for reopening of the exhibition. On September 26, the Agency for Cultural Affairs decided to grant a total of about 78 million yen in subsidies for the Aichi Triennale.

According to the announcement by Secretary General Yiwei, “The specific contents of the exhibition are irrelevant.” Signing activities started immediately on “change.org”, and the number of signatures exceeded 90,000 as of 11:00 pm on September 29, and the number of signatures increased in minutes at midnight.