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In Defense of Artistic Freedom

Questions of political principle in the defense of culture

Why we oppose the Detroit Institute of Arts millage

By Barry Grey, August 3, 2012

The millage vote takes place in the context of an unrelenting assault on art and culture in Detroit and nationally.

Louisville Orchestra to hire replacement musicians

By Naomi Spencer, April 14, 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:

City University of New York restores honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner

By Fred Mazelis, May 12, 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.

Iranian filmmaker sentenced to six years in jail

By Richard Phillips, December 23, 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.

National Portrait Gallery in Washington bows to right-wing censorship

By Niall Green, December 3, 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.

DSO musicians hold spirited picket in week seven of strike

By James Brewer, November 17, 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

“What is happening to the DSO is a poster child for what is happening to the arts in America”

By Shannon Jones, October 19, 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.

Indian writer Arundhati Roy threatened with prosecution under anti-terrorism law

By Kranti Kumara, April 26, 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

Film director Roman Polanski to be freed on bail

By David Walsh, November 28, 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.

A conversation with organizers of the Toronto film festival protest

The issues around the spotlight on Tel Aviv

By David Walsh, November 21, 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.

An evaluation of Roman Polanski as an artist—Part 1

By David Walsh, November 18, 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.

The sordid coalition pursuing filmmaker Roman Polanski

By David Walsh, October 8, 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.