In Defense of Artistic Freedom
By Clare Hurley, 27 May 2020
Some 95 percent of the world’s museums are currently closed, and more than 11,000 institutions may remain closed after the pandemic recedes.
By Fred Mazelis, 29 April 2020
Freelance and younger musicians are especially hard hit by cancellations and shutdowns.
By Clare Hurley, 29 April 2020
Ninety-five percent of arts workers in the US have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic, with 62 percent now unemployed, according to a recently published survey by Americans for the Arts.
By Shannon Jones, 15 April 2020
Orchestras, opera companies, museums and other cultural institutions face severe revenue strains due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are responding with major cuts.
By David Walsh, 9 March 2020
Hachette announced Friday it would not publish filmmaker-comic Woody Allen’s memoir at the behest of journalist Ronan Farrow and in the face of protests by its own employees.
By David Walsh, 11 February 2020
Parasite deserved to win the most serious awards, being markedly superior to every other film up for consideration. Bong’s effort is a complex, troubling work.
By Sybille Fuchs, 23 January 2020
The Berlin Staatsoper refused to comply with a call for an anti-democratic ban on Domingo performing raised by the “Pro Quote Bühne” group and Green Party politicians.
Modern-day philistinism and reaction: the New York Times considers “canceling” French painter Paul Gauguin
By David Walsh, 25 November 2019
The Times published an article November 18 with a headline that posed the question, “Is It Time Gauguin Got Canceled?”
By Paul Bond, 29 June 2019
Rap artists Krept and Konan’s petition points to the moral bankruptcy of state attempts to blame drill music for violence and crime.
San Francisco School Board votes to destroy left-wing murals they claim are “racist” and “white supremacist”
By Toby Reese, 28 June 2019
On Tuesday evening, the San Francisco Unified School Board voted unanimously to destroy or cover over the historic 1936 “Life of George Washington Murals” at a district high school. The vote is a reactionary decision that marks a new stage in the censorship drive that began last December.
”We can’t erase history to suit people’s feelings”
By Evan Blake and Alex Gonzalez, 28 June 2019
Numerous residents spoke out against the destruction of art and the need to contextualize the murals for a younger audience.
“Everyone should have access to great arts education”
By our reporters, 27 April 2019
As the CSO strike reaches a critical turning point, musicians Emma Gerstein and Max Raimi speak about the strike and in defense of arts and culture.
By George Marlowe, 26 April 2019
As part of his final act on behalf of the city’s financial elite, outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel has offered to intervene to end the nearly two-month strike by Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) musicians
Striking musician: “Art is what makes us human”
By Michael Walters, 21 March 2019
As the strike by CSO musicians in opposition to concessions entered week two, the Democratic Party and the trade unions feigned support for the strike.
“A Weinsteinian sex pest”?
By Paul Bond, 15 March 2018
The ahistorical middle-class moralizing of the sexual misconduct campaign has perhaps reached a new low with an attack on the great Scots poet Robert Burns (1759-1796).
By E.B. Cohen, 20 December 2017
The Pentagon is directing its military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to confiscate detainees’ finished art and has threatened to destroy it.
By David Walsh, 10 August 2017
Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old black youth murdered in Mississippi in 1955, came under attack in March when it was shown as part of the Whitney Museum’s Biennial in New York City.
By David Walsh and Zac Corrigan, 18 July 2016
M.I.A. has every right to criticize Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, who travel in privileged circles around the Obamas and other leading Democratic Party figures.
By Roger Jordan, 16 April 2015
Instead of denouncing the TSO’s barring of Valentina Lisitsa as a blatant act of political censorship, the media has widely portrayed it as nothing more than a public relations blunder.
By Fred Mazelis, 22 October 2014
Despite vitriolic attacks and demands that the performance be cancelled, John Adams’s work went on as scheduled at the Metropolitan Opera on Monday night.
By Fred Mazelis, 26 July 2014
The board of trustees is demanding that musicians and other staff pay for the financial difficulties of the opera company.
By Fred Mazelis, 27 June 2014
The ruling elite is demanding complete control over all aspects of cultural life.
By David Walsh, 21 June 2014
The opera company’s decision to cancel its global video and radio transmission of John Adams’ work is a scandalous and cowardly capitulation to right-wing forces.
By Fred Mazelis, 19 June 2014
Met general manager Peter Gelb’s announcement is an attempt to appease the right-wing Zionist lobby.
By Richard Phillips, 17 March 2014
Attorney-General George Brandis demanded new arts funding protocols following the Biennale’s decision to end a funding deal with Transfield, a refugee camp contractor.
By Tom Hall, 17 March 2014
The EPA announced last week that it would allow BP to compete for new federal oil contracts, lifting a ban instituted in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
By Richard Phillips, 6 March 2014
Australian and international artists protest over Canberra’s incarceration and brutal treatment of refugees.
By Dylan Lubao, 9 October 2013
After detaining them for two months, Egypt's military regime still refuses to let filmmaker John Greyson and surgeon Tarek Loubani leave Egypt.
By Richard Phillips, 8 June 2013
Australian officials have launched a new assault on freedom of expression over the past two weeks, censoring photographs in Sydney and an art installation in Melbourne.
By Paul Bond, 5 June 2013
Artist Jeremy Deller has withdrawn a work of art, criticising the monarchy, from the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale, at the request from Foreign Office-backed British council.
Questions of political principle in the defense of culture
By Barry Grey, 3 August 2012
The millage vote takes place in the context of an unrelenting assault on art and culture in Detroit and nationally.
By Naomi Spencer, 14 April 2012
After a year-and-a-half struggle by musicians, Louisville Orchestra management announced Thursday that it would begin hiring replacement musicians this month.
After first bowing to Zionist McCarthyism:
By Fred Mazelis, 12 May 2011
The City University of New York board initially voted to deny Kushner a degree after one trustee objected to his alleged hostility to Israel and Zionism.
By Richard Phillips, 23 December 2010
Iranian authorities have framed up acclaimed filmmaker Jafar Panahi who now faces six years’ jail and is banned from making films, writing scripts, giving interviews or travelling abroad for the next 20 years.
By Niall Green, 3 December 2010
In an act of prostration before Catholic extremists and the Republican Party, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., removed an art work from one of its exhibitions Tuesday.
By James Brewer, 17 November 2010
Musicians conducted a strong picket of a performance by the Vienna Boys Choir which DSO management held at Orchestra Hall in Detroit.
Interview with striking Detroit Symphony violist Hart Hollman
By Shannon Jones, 19 October 2010
Hart Hollman, a violist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for 38 years, spoke to WSWS reporters Saturday about the ongoing strike by musicians, and its cultural and social implications.
By Kranti Kumara, 26 April 2010
Police in the east Indian state of Chhattisgarh are “exploring” laying charges under the state’s draconian anti-terrorism law against Arundhati Roy.
Held in Swiss jail for two months
By David Walsh, 28 November 2009
The Swiss justice ministry announced Thursday that it would not appeal a court ruling handed down the day before permitting filmmaker Roman Polanski’s release on bail, opening the way for the director to be freed within the next several days.
The issues around the spotlight on Tel Aviv
By David Walsh, 21 November 2009
At the recent Toronto film festival, a number of film and video artists protested the event’s spotlight on Tel Aviv, accusing the festival of colluding with Israel’s “re-branding” effort. David Walsh spoke to some of the protest organizers.
By David Walsh, 18 November 2009
Filmmaker Roman Polanski remains in a Zurich jail cell, while his lawyers fight the efforts by US authorities to extradite him. The director has a half-century-long artistic career that needs to be assessed.
By David Walsh, 8 October 2009
The effort to vilify film director Roman Polanski and have him extradited to the United States has become the rallying point for a broader campaign against “Hollywood liberals,” intellectuals, artists, and non-conformists of all sorts.
By David Walsh, 7 August 2009
Schulberg was a member of the Communist Party in the late 1930s and subsequently “named names” before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in May 1951. To the end of his life he defended his informing, and that experience largely defines his legacy.
16 March 2009
A recent BBC program explored the family history of blacklisted actor Sam Wanamaker
By Gabriela Zabala-Notaras, 9 February 2009
The Australia Council for the Arts, the federal government’s principal arts funding body, has released a code of behaviour for artists, exhibitors and publishers depicting children in their work. The measures constitute an attack on freedom of expression.
City Hall versus the Brooklyn Museum:
the Editorial Board, 1 October 1999
The campaign being waged by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani against the Brooklyn Museum is a crude act of state censorship. Neither Giuliani nor any other politician can be allowed to dictate which pieces of art go on display in a public museum—in the present case, a cultural institution that employs 500 people and draws half a million visitors a year.
Art and freedom
By Frank Brenner and David Walsh, 16 June 1997
In June and July 1938 Leon Trotsky, exiled Russian revolutionary, and André Breton, French Surrealist poet and thinker, collaborated in Mexico on the writing of an extraordinary "Manifesto for an Independent Revolutionary Art." This declaration remains the most eloquent expression yet produced of the commonality of interests of the artist and the revolutionary Marxist.