During The Complete Freedom of Truth week at Bryanston, Robert Golden, photographer and film maker, and David Powell, educationalist gave two connected seminars on art and democracy. On the final day of reflection Robert gave us an overview of ideas to help us look deeper into the creativity of the week.
THE COMPLETE FREEDOM OF TRUTH
Why does democracy need art more than art needs democracy?
After all, art has thrived in many different political situations and still does.
George Orwell, who wrote 1984 and many other things,
knew that the belief in democracy is more important to people
than the actuality of its existence which has always been lacking.
This is because democracy has always been corrupted by
the billionaires, the politicians, the bureaucrats and the media
-let me call them the establishment-
and they need to be overseen by us
so that they actually represent us,
so they work for us,
so they create an economy which serves us,
rather than one in which we serve them.
We exist in a place, like all places,
where the establishment
own and control what we know
by controlling the schools, the news and the popular culture.
The establishment create a common knowledge, which we claim as our own
And think to be true, but which serves them.
That is why we must continually ask questions, be noisy, be curious
so that we can establish the complete freedom of truth….
And why ‘the complete freedom of truth?’
Because we cannot be free while living a lie,
a lie which continually surrounds us
and which encourages us to believe in and support the notions embedded in popular culture.
This popular culture,
owned and controlled by the establishment
is, at its centre, stuck, rigid, unaccepting of new ideas
because they do not want change.
Creative people who decide to serve the establishment (for wealth and fame)
must accept its rules, boundaries and assumptions…
in other words they must serve the status quo…
and therefore they serve oppression.
Their work comes to represent the given, the acceptable, the known.
They create dead theatre, dead dance, dead literature, dead fine arts
and a frozen corporate and state understanding of the past and present.
They produce frozen art.
But those of us who have learned to say ‘no’,
who refuse to accept the status quo,
who do not want to accept the way the world is run
who do not wish to be a part of the problem,
who will forsake wealth and fame for not being part of the oppression
must, by our natures, be in opposition.
We must rise to the challenge of being outsiders,
while wishing to encourage transformation of society
and of the consciousness of individuals, including ourselves.
The artist who is in opposition to the established popular culture
has traditionally been alone.
But amongst friends, with support and encouragement,
we need to think:
how can we, together, in a community,
create “the complete freedom of truth”.
ROBERT IS CURRENTLY WRITING A SERIES OF ESSAYS COLLECTIVELY CALLED "WHY?" WHICH HE HOPES TO PUBLISH IN THE NEXT NINE MONTHS. HE IS ALSO LEADING A COMMUNITY PROJECT IN BRIDPORT, DORSET CALLED DEMOCRACY IN 2015 WHICH IS BEING DEVELOPED THROUGH THE LONG TERM PROJECT HOME IN BRIDPORT. ROBERT HAS FILMED AND IS NOW EDITING THE FIRST IN THE SERIES SAVOURING THE BALKANS, ON THE FOOD AND CULTURE OF THE SREBRENICA REGION. HE IS ALSO EDITING THE DOCUMENTARY ABOUT TCFT.