Throughout human history, repression of art has been the way all tyrants and dictators have gone about to spread their propaganda. Being the only medium of expression for the oppressed, it has been considered a risk that can ‘intoxicate the minds’ of masses. When dictators and tyrants use this vocabulary, their definition of intoxication includes any idea of freedom and creativity that goes against their established laws of subjugation.
Censorship of art is the fundamental metric that signifies the eternal demise of a civilization. Sealing an art gallery, banishing and persecuting artists for having a difference of opinion, murdering advocates of freedom of speech are sadly, rituals that all oppressors follow.
Even now, there are countries and states that exercise censorship of many forms of art. The only form that abides by their laws and customs is the one they use to spread their propaganda. In the case of Nazi Germany under Hitler, it was solely dedicated to being around the lines of Classic Greek or Romantic art. All other forms would be considered rebellious and be persecuted as such.
However, the world has come a long way and many countries have understood why art is important. These reasons should be enough for anyone to understand why art shouldn’t be censored:
Censorship Takes Away Creativity
Imagine going back in time and censoring works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian and other influential artists. It’s impossible to wonder what the world would be like if these people hadn’t used their creativity and art forms to come up with astonishing new ideas. Some of the world’s most cherished masterpieces that have revolutionized countless aspects of our daily lives would’ve never existed.
Art has been the fundamental form of encouragement every individual has to go outside the boundaries of what’s known. Fostering a sense to think outside the box and come up with something new, art basically hones creativity. Someone who hasn’t practised and spent time with various forms of art will be devoid of curiosity and interest. This will lead their lives to a point of rigidity that lacks emotional as well as artistic value. These will be the very individuals that end up being conservatives and holding up the status quo regardless of how bad it really is.
Censorship Takes Away Freedom of Expression
Some of the world’s most important social movements owe their very existence to art. If it weren’t for like-minded artists that managed to change the perception of masses through simple artworks, we wouldn’t be here.
When you censor differences in opinions, you take away the society’s hope and ability to ever rectify or change itself. Since the only opinion that circles around is the one that has been forced upon everyone, it’ll never change. Gradually, and surely, things will start to become worse and people will become exhausted. Not to mention the countless problems that will start taking roots amid the silence.
Another aspect that signifies art as the representation of freedom of expression is the fact that it’s the universal form of communication. It is a well-known fact that even a person without the ability to speak can send out a powerful enough message through art to change the minds of people across the world. Whereas, censoring art would mean that only those in power have the right to say anything at all. Surely, no one would think to advocate such a merciless and tyrannous system in the 21st century.
Censorship Renders A Nation Voiceless and Mindless
What’s the best way to turn a nation of people into zombies with no sense of humanity? Have them censor art.
It’s true. Art is perhaps the only difference between man and machine in today’s day and age. Since robots are able to do almost everything humans can do, creativity and art are the only aspects that distinguish us as humans. Take away art and you’re left with a society that doesn’t question, doesn’t think anything other than it’s told to think, does everything that it’s told and suffers silently.
Repressed societies ultimately reach a point where violent rebellions are the only choice for the oppressed masses. They see no way in which their voices will reach the world and if you censor art on top of it all, they’ve nothing left.
If it’s happening around you, move out. There are thousands of people who would love to go to an art exhibition in 2021 but not many get the chance. That’s why it’s important for those who can to start encouraging everyone around them to appreciate and understand art. It might be just a painting for you. However, it was the gruesome reality of someone else that no one listened to. So, take a moment and glance into the minds of the countless artists that are trying to speak up.