ISAFISPEAK #8 : China and the Suppressed Freedom of Performing Arts

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Today’s ISAFISPEAK will tell you our members perspective on CAPA’s actions to control the restriction of Chinese pop cultures. See below to see what our members have to say about this issue!


1.“Without undermining the restrictions placed for artists in China, I personally don’t believe you can compare the two as the historical and technological contexts are drastically different. A lot of people, mostly the youth, has enjoyed freedom on the internet even with bans placed by PRC’s government. Even so, government intervention in the arts make way for censorship and furthermore, propaganda, which are powerful and dangerous tools to construct certain narratives.”

2.“Artistic freedom in China has a very long and complex history. There are times when artists enjoyed more wiggle room and there are times when there’s not. As artists, and the general population, have experienced or at the very least known of more artistic freedom, I believe that the government enacting new laws and restrictions won’t be accepted easily. Art is an influential political tool in much of history, especially to voice dissent and rebellion. Artists and consumers alike will always find ways to bend and stretch the restrictions placed by the government.”

1.“Well, accepting this emerging or new legal system will put a definitive end to probably creativity or freedom of expression. The propaganda itself also circulates around the democratic mechanism, and that is under unfair conditions, with not to mention, and under systemized international cooperation. Least to speak, the best hope is an unified action by the majority or minority to really respond actively against the rise of blinding power. Also, we have to remember the past circumstance and tragedy from the story of Weimar Republic is that even a state of the modern art democracy can always fail due to an uncontrolled flaws and focus.”

2.“The possible outcome there should be this thing called public disbelief and insecurities Misinterpretation of the information can also lead the public to be distrusting the government or legal bodies, especially in those that correspond well with the agenda. First of all, in the correctly manner, a stance of freedom of expression is always a top priority for all nations to achieve, while also creating a legal structure that can be accepted by the public. Multilateral and public perspective should be discussed with the public’s representative, then, the aftermath of the discussion should be the arrangement that the government should think about, should they proceed with the agenda?”

1.“The Reich Chamber of Culture dictated what films, art, music, and literature were politically acceptable and who could work in these cultural fields. It was a very restrictive move as the chamber prohibited some genres. On the other hand, the China Government’s intervention restrictions on performance’s required artists to serve socialism. Failure to comply will lead to many unwanted things, one of it being the profession ban. China’s government’s intervention on performing arts is quite similar with that of Reich Chamber’s as their restrictions lead to artists not being able to express themselves freely, which is contradictory to the right to freedom of expression.”

2.“I think they would be disappointed at the governments for restricting the artists from making arts freely. The audiences, I believe, are drawn to an artist’s work because they love the way that artist expresses themselves. If the artists can’t express themselves freely because of the restrictions, that would also impact the audiences’ interest in it.”

1.“I’m not sure how to answer this since I’m not very knowledgeable about this topic. One thing that I’m sure of is that China’s intervention on arts clearly shows that they want to further strengthen their social control. however, I believe it’s not very ideal to compare those two since the context is not apple-to-apple. Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda were done under war conditions, meanwhile China’s regulations are designed for domestic restrictions purposes.”

2.“I truly believe that people will hate it. You see, someone enjoys art so they can feel liberated and find inspiration for themselves. Hence, if that thing is intervened with any sorts of political agenda by any government, then there is no point in watching it anymore. Performing arts is supposed to be genuine and sui generis, so if it is restricted in any way, then there will not be creative freedom anymore.”