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Speech issue… March 5, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Entertaining report, sort of, in the Guardian a week or two back about a gallery, LD50 in Dalston which has hosted ‘neo-reactionary’ exhibitions and conferences. A ‘neoreaction conference’ you ask? Why yes, the clue was in the name:

Guests at LD50’s Neoreaction conference last summer included Brett Stevens, the white supremacist whose writing was an inspiration to Oslo far-right terrorist Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people in 2011.

The owner of the establishment is apparently surprised by all this:

In her statement, Diego defended the gallery’s programme, writing: “We feel that the exceptionally aggressive, militant and hyperbolic reaction this has provoked vindicates our suspicion that at some point, as a society, we have drifted into a cultural echo chamber.”
She said the reaction of the protesters was proof that anyone who disagreed with the left was “publicly vilified, delegitimated and intimidated with menaces”.
“Our position has always been that the role of art is to provide a vehicle for the free exploration of ideas, even and perhaps especially where these are challenging, controversial or indeed distasteful for some individuals to contemplate.”

Yeah. But no. I like the line about ‘proof that anyone who disagreed with the left was publicly vilified’ etc… but actually she knows that’s not correct. If she had an exhibition of conservative artists or what have you there wouldn’t be an issue. Open reactionaries and far-rightists though, those like Stevens above who has written in relation to one Breivik  “I am honored to be so mentioned by someone who is clearly far braver than I, no comment on his methods, but he chose to act where many of us write, think and dream.” that’s a different matter. It’s fascinating to see how such rhetoric as that quote directly above is minimised as some seek to mainstream such talk.




1. EWI - March 5, 2017

Looking at the owner’s reported anti-immigration and pro-Trump remarks, and it’s clear that ‘free speech’ is her lame efforts to justify her pro-fascist exhibition, which was held under a veil of secrecy to prevent protests.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 5, 2017

By the way, LD50 is an acronym for lethal dose. Nice – eh?


Alibaba - March 5, 2017

An article about free speech which interests me:



CL - March 5, 2017

‘That is why militant organizations such as the IWW (International Workers of the World) famously carried out free speech battles all over the United States in the early decades of the twentieth century.’ (from the Jacobin article by Farber).
One has to be a little suspicious of writers who believe the ‘I’ in IWW stands for ‘International’.


yourcousin - March 5, 2017

Unfortunately it happens more often than one would think possible.


EWI - March 5, 2017

She’s ‘obviously’ only calling it that to help smash the left-wing echo chamber which causes people to frown down on fascism and neo-nazism, instead of treating them like respectable positions which the liberal classes can safely espouse.


2. Ed - March 5, 2017

I saw a telling exchange about this on Twitter between a young British-Asian journalist and a smug artist (self-styled liberal, etc.) who just didn’t want to hear what was so rotten about an event like this. The former explained that her mam had always told her how, when the NF held public meetings in an area, without fail people with black and brown skin would get beaten up. The latter retorted that the problem could be easily solved if the event was held in an art gallery with a ‘no-violence policy’. All kinds of thoughts went through my head reading that. Does it imply that some galleries DON’T have a ‘no-violence policy’? You can just go along and thump somebody in the gob and it’s grand? And does she really think the fascists have the good manners to confine their violence to organized events? Maybe she thinks the beating of black and brown people would stop once the chair called the meeting to order and explained that it was time for everyone to go home.


WorldbyStorm - March 5, 2017

Wow, just wow. I’ve more exposure than most I suppose to some parts of the wonderful world of the arts and while there are some brilliant people involved there’s also a strain of know nothing indifference to others that informs precisely the dynamics you describe above.


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