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Je Suis Charlie

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I read about what happened in Paris to the cartoonists.
I care a lot about comedy, satire, illustration, freedom of speech. I like the message of solidarity that the Je Suis Charlie is sending out.
The worst thing would for people to get scared and try to tame their art.
It surprises me that there are people in this country who don’t believe in freedom of speech, and who still have a ‘Well, they asked for it’ attitude.
Culture isn’t a given – it is a thing that is created, and maintained because people believe in it. Otherwise our culture will be like the Tricorn Centre in Portsmouth- no roads were built leading to it, and it was neglect to the point that the mob wanted to tear it ALL down rather than repair it.
So I think this is a time for people to think about what culture they want to live in, and how much they care about it.
It’s the job of artists to help people to re-imagine buildings and cultures. Even neglected buildings can be rescued and reimagined. I think similarly – people who live in our culture, and who don’t care about freedom of speech – can be helped to re-imagine it. Some new lighting, some planting, a glass lift to the top floor. Plus people will appreciate the building more if they see how hostile anywhere else is!
We need our creative culture, so we have to make it a brick house. People were shot, and it is awful. The important thing is to keep the building secure. Art is our power, and they know it too or they wouldn’t be attacking it.
The men with guns probably don’t know what satire is. It would be really difficult to explain to them, because the cultural differences are so vast. It’s a problem. People are really angry because of the war, and I guess that has motivated the reaction.