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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Responding to Attack...

Even though I've been online all day, didn't pick up on what was happening in France until now. It's another blow against everything I believe in - freedom of expression, freedom of thought. It's violence as a weapon to stop people from saying what they think. It seems to have been happening with greater frequency every year - despite the opportunities of the internet and technology to open ideas to the world there are those who are determined to stop this and are willing to kill to do it. They attack satirists, writers, teachers, poets, artists and anyone who happens to be around them at the time. And with every attack we are tempted to say less. We question whether we should risk saying anything. And so they win. 
My natural reaction to events like this is to write, to create, and many people have already done so.  Cartoonists and artists are posting images on twitter at a rate of knots at the moment.  I haven't quite got that far yet.  I'm still a bit numb.  But I've written a number of pieces about this over the years - and I've a new piece coming very soon which is in editing hell - but I think this is the best work I written about self censorship in art. It's called The Project After - and it can be heard here.
When I first presented this piece I also put together a trailer for it and this video sums up the choices we face rather well.  It's only a few seconds long.  Have a watch.

Finally, my thoughts are with those who lost someone today in these attacks, and with everyone who stands up for freedom of expression, of learning, of thought anywhere in the world.

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