Passion for Freedom Art Festival

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The exhibition showcases uncensored art from around the world, promoting human rights, highlighting injustice and celebrating artistic freedom.

10th-anniversary edition, 1 – 12 October 2018, London

The Royal Opera Arcade Gallery & La Galleria Pall Mall

Royal Opera Arcade, 5b Pall Mall, London SW1Y 4UY

The 10th-anniversary edition of internationally renowned Passion for Freedom Art Festival will open in London on 1 – 12 October 2018 at its new location – the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery & La Galleria Pall Mall. The exhibition showcases uncensored art from around the world, promoting human rights, highlighting injustice and celebrating artistic freedom.

Passion for Freedom was founded in 2008 by a small group of friends and over the past ten years has grown into an international network of artists, journalists, filmmakers and activists striving to celebrate and protect freedom of expression.

The competition attracts much worldwide attention. This year, we received more than 200 submissions out of which we will exhibit over 50 shortlisted artists. From Venezuela to Turkey to the United Kingdom, those artists ceaselessly show the restraints imposed on their art by their societies and question the limits of freedom of speech, expression, and information in their countries. Altogether, we will present you 100 original and brave artworks at a prominent location right in the heart of London. Passion for Freedom recognises artists in various disciplines – painting, photography, sculpture, performance, video installations – as well as authors, filmmakers and journalists.

Competitors will be judged by a prestigious selection panel composed of international artists, academics and curators. Winners will be announced on the 6th of October at the Gala Award Night.

This year’s judges are:

Andrew Stahl (United Kingdom)

Francisco Laranjo (Portugal)

Gary Hill (USA)

Lee Weinberg, PhD (Israel)

Mehdi-Georges Lahlou (Belgium)

Miriam Elia (United Kingdom)

Mychael Barratt PRE (Canada/United Kingdom)

We are thrilled to announce a Special Theo Van Gogh Award which we will be awarding this year to recognise and celebrate his courage and contribution to the fight for freedom of expression in arts.

Furthermore, we have invited renowned freedom artists from all over the world to present their most recent works commenting on the subject of freedom and artistic expression. 

Passion for Freedom 2018 Guest Artists are:

Agata Strzalka (Poland)

Andreea Medar (Romania)

Emma Elliott (United Kingdom)

Jana Zimova (Czech Republic/Germany)

Mimsy (United Kingdom)

Öncü Hrant Gültekin (Turkey/Germany)

Oscar Olivares (Venezuela)

Additionally, we are delighted to present fresh off the press the first edition of our Freedom Book, marking ten years of our exciting journey and our successes so far. The book will be premiered and available during the festival.

Passion for Freedom’s first international art competition and exhibition took place in 2009 in London. Over the years, we have displayed more than 600 artworks from 55 countries, including China, Iran and Venezuela, and 15,000 people have viewed the exhibitions. This initiative is not merely a place where artists from repressed countries can showcase works they would be unable to exhibit in their home countries; it is a grass-roots movement for a life worth living.

Participating artist WankSee said, Passion for Freedom epitomises everything that art should be about.  At a time when many Brits equate tolerance with polite self-censorship, PFF reminds us that tolerant societies allow challenging ideas, “offensive” speech or unpopular opinion, while intolerant societies usurp the rights of individuals to judge for themselves by censoring expression that challenges the status quo.

The festival was recognised by Madonna and highlighted in her Freedom Calendar 2014. Passion for Freedom cooperated with BBC on its 2015 Freedom Year Program and its continuous cooperation with Royal Holloway University on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

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About Author

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Terri (PhD) is an author, blogger, and has taught philosophy and film studies in Secondary and Adult Education for over ten years

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