Author Topic: Accusations of censorship in Essex  (Read 1030 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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Accusations of censorship in Essex
« on: July 13, 2021, 02:57:02 PM »
The Old Waterworks, an artist-led charity in Southend-on-Sea that provides studios, facilities, and research and development opportunities for artists, has issued a statement criticising a complaint made about the artwork An English Garden by Southend’s Conservative Group of Councillors.

In a statement, The Old Waterworks say:

Quote
...The councillors made a complaint regarding the content of one of the plaques contained within An English Garden, claiming that it is offensive and its content unpalatable. The councillors set unrealistic ultimatums and deadlines regarding the work’s removal, forcing decisions to be made in such a way that put unnecessary and unfair pressure on all those involved with the work’s production.

A demand was made to alter the text contained in the plaque under supervision which undoubtedly would have changed the content and meaning of the artwork, shifting the work’s intentions and putting words into the artist’s mouth. History is not simply a celebratory fanfare and it is everyone’s right to be able to explore the nuances of this shared history and how it has ongoing impacts today.

There has been no positive engagement with the councillors who threatened to play out the dialogue across the media, bypassing all attempts of reasonable discussion. As a result, our co-commissioners, Metal, who hold the site agreement for the installation, ultimately decided that the artwork be removed earlier than anticipated.

This was primarily due to ensuring the wellbeing of all those involved in the artwork’s installation and exhibition for Estuary 2021. TOW supports and understands Metal’s position in reaching this decision, however we must also acknowledge that the artist, Gabriella Hirst, disagrees entirely with this action but respects the responsibility Metal has to their staff and communities in these difficult situations.

How to Make a Bomb, the project of which An English Garden is a part, has been based at The Old Waterworks for nearly three years, during which extensive research has been carried out. The plaque has been informed by this research, additionally demonstrated in an artist book which accompanies the project. We invite Southend’s Conservative Group of Councillors and others to read this and to discuss the project, and its breadth and nuances with us. We have reserved a copy of the book for the group at The Old Waterworks to pick up free of charge.

It was of course not the intent of the work to cause any offence to anyone, particularly residents, but to encourage those that visit the garden to contemplate the complex history of Essex in the UK’s nuclear story, which is very complicated. We believe the comments within the statement sent by Councillor Moyies on behalf of Southend’s Conservative Group of Councillors on Wednesday 23 June grossly misinterpret the artwork and provide inadequate and vague justifications with no satisfactory evidence.

Art is meant to spark debate, provoke thought and encourage new ways of seeing the world, it should not be shut down because what it proposes does not align with the views of individuals, particularly when based on extensive research and historical facts...

The full statement can be read here (PDF): https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5d5c1ae0fd05ea0001467a5a/t/60ec117caa30721e650f302b/1626083708927/TOW+Statement+--+An+English+Garden+%283%29.pdf

You can read more about An English Garden at The Old Waterworks' website:

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An English Garden is the Estuary 2021 iteration of How to Make a Bomb, the durational gardening project by artist Gabriella Hirst. The project is centred on the propagation and redistribution of a nearly-extinct species of garden rose which was created and registered under the name Rosa floribunda ‘Atom Bomb’ in 1953. The project charts the various attempts by Hirst to produce new specimens of the ‘Atom Bomb’ rose through grafting and cuttings. Propagated plants are to be distributed throughout gardens in the UK parallel to the resurgence of long-dormant cold war-era public fear mongering in the media and political rhetoric...

https://www.theoldwaterworks.com/an-english-garden

I haven't seen the plaque the councillors are alleged to have complained about, and we only have one side of the story, but it does feel like another piece of evidence that the right are the real "snowflakes". Have any Cabbers local to Southend been to The Old Waterworks?

Buelligan

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Trouble with the water works?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2021, 03:17:13 PM »
Fuck those cunts, I hope a Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey visits them in their sleep to read Inger Christensen's alphabet, it may save the world.

Glebe

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Re: Trouble with the water works?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2021, 04:00:20 PM »
Fuck those cunts, I hope a Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey visits them in their sleep to read Inger Christensen's alphabet, it may save the world.

It just might!

idunnosomename

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Re: Accusations of censorship in Essex
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2021, 04:13:54 PM »
This is the plaque



https://twitter.com/old_waterworks/status/1414561753137139720?s=19

The complainant was Cllr James Moyies, a marketing director and Tory cunt who defected to Ukip, then got kicked out for some reason, then was regional director for Vote Leave, now is a Tory again. Emboldened little bully who doesnt like being reminded that nuclear bombs are bad.

Edit sorry Moyies
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 05:34:53 PM by idunnosomename »

Buelligan

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Re: Accusations of censorship in Essex
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2021, 05:23:39 PM »
Thanks for tracking down that plaque, I understand completely why a cunt like Moiyes would be afraid of it.  Thankfully Art wins -


Johnny Yesno

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Re: Accusations of censorship in Essex
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2021, 05:45:11 PM »
These days, if you say you're an English garden, they'll throw you to the Mail.

Johnny Yesno

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Re: Accusations of censorship in Essex
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2021, 05:46:28 PM »
Here's the website for the artwork.

https://htmab.cargo.site/

Your green fingers might enjoy this Buellers.

Buelligan

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Re: Accusations of censorship in Essex
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2021, 06:04:34 PM »
Great stuff.  Strongly contemplating sourcing some primary material myself and making a garden here.  Will need to think on't.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Accusations of censorship in Essex
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2021, 10:36:43 AM »
Now covered in the Guardian:

Quote
...Moyies was elected as a Ukip councillor in West Shoebury in 2014 and became Vote Leave regional director in 2016 before defecting to the Tories in 2017. He is now, a little predictably, a Johnson loyalist. He declined to comment to the Guardian, other than to say that he believed the whole story was “concocted”. He has denied allegations of threatening or bullying behaviour. He also took to Twitter to say that the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association, which said the work’s removal was an insult to the veterans and their families, “is now tied up in defending a far left artistic movement”.

How did we get here? The seeds of all this were partly sown in 2016, not just by the politics emboldened by the leave vote, but also by smaller changes to the nation’s cultural politics – specifically, the publication the same year of a cultural white paper put together by the then culture secretary, John Whittingdale, part of which talked up the idea of Arts Council-funded “placemaking”. “We want our national cultural institutions and funders – in the public, private and charitable sectors – to work together and back the vision of local leaders, local authorities, local businesses, local communities, cultural organisations and others,” it said. While this can be read as a commonsensical approach to using arts funding wisely, it could result in local arts trusts and artists being required to talk up the positive image of a place instead of critiquing or challenging it.

Once the furore over the plaque’s removal started to build online, Moyies told BBC Essex radio that he objected to the work as it didn’t “celebrate’’ the people of Shoeburyness, using the Estuary festival’s claim that it “celebrates the lives, landscapes and histories of the spectacular Thames estuary” against it. In this way, “placemaking” becomes the pretext for a kind of soft, cultural authoritarianism...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/19/tory-councillors-essex-censoring-artwork

Re: Accusations of censorship in Essex
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2021, 02:19:27 PM »
West shoebury was Grandfather's ward before we had him locked up, and the UKIP councillor he showered with praise must have been Moyies. Easy to condemn from my ivory flatshare, but we lived different lives, on the mean streets of shoeburyness Grandfather was repeatedly met by groups of smiling somalis who'd tell him "We like coming here because we think you're soft", they were given all the biggest houses because they had so many children. That money could have gone to the RSPB, or "Taxis for old dears" so maybe Grandfather was right to take umbrage. Walk a mile in the shoes of the people of shoebury and you might actually realise why they're so offended, there is always a good reason.

Southend counter-culture has always been like this, ruby tandoh and jack monroe are the ringleaders, they walk too quickly and it makes our eyes sore, they go hatless on a sunday, maybe a bomb-themed cake as penance, make them serve bomb cakes from a kneeling position.

seepage

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Re: Accusations of censorship in Essex
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2021, 02:31:40 PM »
See you later, Teddy Taylor!

jenna appleseed

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Re: Accusations of censorship in Essex
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2021, 08:00:44 PM »
West shoebury was Grandfather's ward before we had him locked up, and the UKIP councillor he showered with praise must have been Moyies. Easy to condemn from my ivory flatshare, but we lived different lives, on the mean streets of shoeburyness Grandfather was repeatedly met by groups of smiling somalis who'd tell him "We like coming here because we think you're soft", they were given all the biggest houses because they had so many children. That money could have gone to the RSPB, or "Taxis for old dears" so maybe Grandfather was right to take umbrage. Walk a mile in the shoes of the people of shoebury and you might actually realise why they're so offended, there is always a good reason.

Southend counter-culture has always been like this, ruby tandoh and jack monroe are the ringleaders, they walk too quickly and it makes our eyes sore, they go hatless on a sunday, maybe a bomb-themed cake as penance, make them serve bomb cakes from a kneeling position.

So it's you  in disguise who've been making all those hate posts on tattle, then.

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