Declaration against censorship of David's Жerny work Entropa sign now

Declaration against censorship of David's Жerny work Entropa

President of Bulgaria, Mr. Georgi Parvanov
Bulgarian Prime Minister, Mr. Sergei Stanishev
Bulgarian Minister of Culture, Mr. Stefan Danailov
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ivaylo Georgiev Kalfin
Spokeswoman for the Bulgarian EU mission in Brussels, Mrs. Bettina Zoteva

In solidarity with the Bulgarian artists, cultural workers, curators and citizens, who have already signed the petition here:
(Released in Bulgarian Jan 16th, 2009)

Translation of the petition from Bulgarian follows:

The Bulgarian governments call for the censorship of Czech artist David Жernys installation Entropa shames our country and all its citizens. The request confirms the image of Bulgaria as the most culturally backward country in Europe. We, as Bulgarian citizens, would like to take a clear stand emphatically opposite that of the Bulgarian administrators and declare that we are against all censorship and against the restriction of the freedom of expression of artists as well as of any citizen of our country and the world.

It is a shame that the Bulgarian administration reacts rapidly only when it wants to ban an image of the country that they interpret as negative rather than actively supporting Bulgarian culture and thus helping to build a positive international image of the country.

As a result of this administrative attitude Bulgarian culture is in a deep crisis. Contemporary art is not a priority in our cultural policy even though contemporary art is exactly what most often represents the country at international forums and builds the image of the country before the world.

Consequently, art and its social and political function is not understood, leading to the shameful behavior of our administration not only within the country (we know that well, it has been written about numerous times, unfortunately with no results) but also internationally. Any success enjoyed by Bulgarian artists is to be credited to their own determination and talent. The position of the administration on cultural issues, however, humiliates artists and downplays their efforts.

Even though we don't have enough museums and educational institutions that would support contemporary art, even though we have no state representation at important international exhibitions like the Venice Biennale, even though artists rarely get state support when invited to participate in biennials and other important exhibitions (they either get support from the organizers or pay their own way), even though their participation in these forums is inadequately represented, if it is represented at all, in the Bulgarian media yet these very artists and culture workers in general - continue working to build a positive image of our country. One aspect of this image is our famous sense of humor and self-irony.

Through this call for censorship, the Bulgarian administration shows its capacity to destroy this image in the blink of an eye. It confirms once again that state officials cannot and do not want to understand the role of the art in the contemporary society. The incapacity of the administration to distinguish irony from reality, as well as its failure to recognize the right to a type of artistic expression that aims at unity and the overcoming of complexes, stereotypes and prejudices, but intends no offense, shows one more time the lack of culture among people in power.

In their call for censorship Bulgarian officials have thus offended every citizen of our country.

We insist on the immediate withdrawal of the request for removing the Bulgarian map from David Жerny's installation and any other attempts of censorship of the work. We hope that this will be the first step in the establishment of a more fruitful communication between Bulgarian power structures and the institutions of contemporary art in Bulgaria and internationally. We are declaring this with the understanding that art is where freedom of speech--a fundamental value in a democratic societyfinds its ultimate expression.

Background of the story:

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Valeria DelgadoBy:
Transport and infrastructureIn:
Petition target:
President of Bulgaria, Mr. Georgi Parvanov


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