An Open Letter To The Organizers Of Manifesta, To Be Held In St Petersburg in 2014
Author: Ninette Murk
Saturday 17th of August 2013 10:09:24 AM
Dear madam, sir,
We hope this message finds you well.
As I'm sure you're aware of, Russia has recently signed some anti-gay laws that are very negative for both Russians and visitors to the country- including artists who are (or support) LGBT. Surely the organizers, curators, artists and visitors of Manifesta are/will be uncomfortable with a host country that has such little respect for Human Rights.
At our art platform Beauty without Irony and at our NGO Designers against AIDS we are very worried about this evolution (or rather, this giant step backwards) as this is not only a LGBT issue, but first and foremost, a Human Rights issue. Many of us remember what happened in 1937 in Germany (one of your curators, German Kasper König, surely will know this unfortunate part of history) when Hitler and his cronies started to fight against 'Entartete Kunst'- and we can see this happening in Russia as well, as a next step in repressing people who are not as the Russian government would like them to be/act.
We would like Manifesta and its artists (who should be on the forefront of social change!) to take a firm stand against these anti-gay laws by speaking out and for instance by joining the new 'Free & Equal' campaign that was launched by the UN on July 26 (https://www.unfe.org/en)
It's important to keep the conversation with Russia going, but we can't let this go by unnoticed. Never again do we want to hear these five words: "Wir haben es nicht gewusst."
Please let us know if there's anything that we can help you with.
Kindest regards,

Ninette

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