It`s coming a bit later than we thought. But here it is nontheless. The post where Malicia will reveal her artwork for the exhibition against the censorship.
While Rita protests the government`s influence on the artistic expression in music, Mal takes on many different topics at one go. You know three censors, one stone.
There is a big problem with censorship in Malta. Like you cannot go and see plays in the theatre because they may get banned or altered. If the “Classification Board” doesnt like a certain part of the play, they will force the director to remove it, before a play can hit the stage. It happened to “One day in the death of Joe Egg”, it happened to “Stitches”, it even happened to some works of Shakespeare.
Our local censors think its for a greater good of the nation. And its values. But they only take their own values and views into consideration. The fact that somebody may be profoundly offended because work of art is being treated like trash is not recognised as a valid point. Because we all should be devoted fanatics and have common view on ethics. Irony is this that world doesnt work that way. Only Borgs have a common mentality, the rest of the universum varies considerably.
Its a mental claustrophobia Mal thinks (does anybody wonder how censors sleep at night with the lights out?), the only solustion lies in travels. Once you leave the sacred rock of Melita and you move your patata abroad, you may experience different states of mind. But since Mal doesnt have enough money to fund the whole Board of Censors a holiday in the civilised countries, she decided to bring them a souvenir. Its a photo of state run theatre in Manchester with its glorious relief that says “The Play mirrors life”.
You see dear censors, truth is always stranger than the fiction. People wont get corrupted by seeing a play, its the play that tells them they are already corrupted. And offers them a chance to purify themselves. That why Ancient Greeks had something called “κάθαρσις”.
Here`s Wikipedia to the rescue:
And theres the image and lets hope some censors will given the enlightment (or a satori, we dont particulary care if that comes by the grace of gods or a wooden stick).
The photo also comes with a quote for more of a dramatic effect. By home we mean both Malta and censors` own households.
“Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there.” – Clare Booth Luce
Another issue that Malicia would like to raise during the exhibition is the trouble we have with the clothes or rather, lack of them. In past months police were sent to cover shop mannequins and tourists were assaulted for wearing a bikini. Society tends to act the same way its “elites”. So if you have scaremongerers running around and screaming that a play or artwork offends public morals, sooner or later some lunatic will pick up the subject and take it to the extremum. It happened that a girl was coming from a beach to buy a bottle of water and was assaulted first by some woman who called her names then by a mixed crowd that threatened to throw the girl into the sea. This eposode was accompanied by a series of letters printed in the papers that portrayed tourists and language students as pure evil and hordes of vandals.
EDIT: 9.02.2011. We want to show you exactly where the girl was threatened to be thrown into the sea. It happened in Balluta Bay. Judge for yourself what chances of survival a teenage person has when being pushed from these stairs:
*END of EDIT*
On a really serious note, you have to be very careful when you accuse anybody of offending public morals, because you never know who is listening to you out there. You may say something in a good intention and it will turn out fatal. Perhaps it would be better if the censors here got a real life and stopped fighting with the windmills. Or perhaps they should be held passively responsible for this assault.
The photo to illustate this story shows a language student named Enrique, 16 who was in Malta this summer and also knew the assaulted girl. She wouldnt want to reveal her face. Yet she agreed to pose to a photo that reminds a series of postcards you can buy in any shop and feature tons of naked women. So here`s your sexist postcard from Malta.
And there`s Malicia`s favourite line from “1984” by George Orwell:
“I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone corrupt.”
Last but (unfortunately) not least Malicia wants to test the sanity of our censors and the society.
Its a very quick and easy test, wont hurt too much either (unless you dont have any braincells left that is).
Its called “What is wrong with this picture?”. It is called “Socialist serenade”. You have one minute. Go.
Did you notice the red and the stars? Where you thinking Lenin, Brezniev and Glasnost? Well, news is this is old paint peeling off an old house in the UK, and some metal construction fragments that keep the house intact. Its an abstract photo of an actual wall, nothing added, maybe just a bit of contrast in the CS2.
You wouldnt believe how many people asked Malicia if she was a Socialist…All`s in the name, nomen omen. All we need to do is to tell a title and you will begin to see things that are not there. Thats exactly the state of mind of our Board of Censors. They are loosing it, to put it mildly. They sense conspiracy, even when it comes to pay per view channels.
Mal would like to leave you with the quote that will go with this print:
“Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion”- David Cronenberg
We hope to see you on the 16th.
Mal and Rita