Back Council of Europe to celebrate the Freedom of Artistic Expression at Venice Biennale

Heimat, 2022 Lesia Pcholka.

Heimat, 2022 Lesia Pcholka.

On the occasion of the 60th Venice Biennale, the Council of Europe is organising an event in Venice on 20 April under the title the Other Session, to discuss and assess, through dialogues, performances and exhibitions, the landscape of artistic freedom in Europe, and to identify measures needed to address remaining challenges to the right to freedom of artistic expression.

The Other Session, held in the context of 70 years of the European Cultural Convention, is being set up at the start of the Venice Biennale under the Free to Create programme, with support from the Council of Europe’s entities dealing with sports, youth and Roma and Travellers, and in collaboration with the Experimental Observatory on Artistic Freedom (OoAF).

Representatives of governments, arts communities and civil society will have the chance to take part in a critical and experimental dialogue (the Performative Talk) with the help of two artistic curators from OoAF, David Liver and Michael Kaethler. The Performative Talk will be accompanied by a performance presented by Gabriel Fontana that engages with questions concerning the role of nationalism in sport.

An exhibition by young Belarusian artist, Lesia Pcholka investigating and reflecting on the harsh realities of repression, war and refugee experiences, while also highlighting the covert expressions of dissent amidst escalating authoritarian regimes, will be featured during the event. Among contributors to the event will be Timea Junghaus from the Berlin-based CoE-supported European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture and Luna De Rosa, an Italian activist and multidisciplinary artist from the Roma diaspora.

Matjaž Gruden, Director for Democracy at the Council of Europe said ahead of the Biennale: “With the Other Session, the Council of Europe wants to hear ideas and criticism from the world of art and design to better identify how we can provide robust and sustained support for silenced and neglected voices.”

The Other Session will review the role of existing cultural institutions in backing the freedom of artistic expression, and the need for alternative spaces, organisations and various systems of support for those operating on the fringes.

 Press release
Council of Europe to celebrate the Freedom of Artistic Expression at Venice Biennale

Council of Europe Venice 19 April 2024
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