Creativity and Censorship: The Insider versus the Outsider
ICF covered a special session on creativity and censorship held in the recently concluded ILF Samanvay in Delhi. AR Venkatachalapathy hosted speakers TM Krishna, carnatic vocalist, Kannan Sundaram of Kalachuvadu Publications and Sharmila Seyyid, Sri Lankan author, in a session on how censorship of the state and non-state forces has jeopardized creativity and agency in recent times. Krishna eloquently voiced his concerns on how ‘internal’ censorship is a greater threat than state censorship, and how ‘classical’ art is obliged to serve elitist parameters. Seyyid, also a leading women’s rights activist in Sri Lanka, related her experience with misogynist and extremist forces railing against her reformist endeavours. Renowned Marxist critic, Aijaz Ahmad, held that if at all there is a thing as free speech, it should be progressive: it should foster emancipation, social equality and artistic freedom.
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