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Swedish art 'contributed' to Serb pride parade ban

AFP/The Local · 5 Oct 2012, 07:06

Published: 05 Oct 2012 07:06 GMT+02:00

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The exhibition "Ecce homo" by Swedish artist Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin, organized as part of Belgrade Pride Week, features photographs portraying Jesus among homosexuals, transsexual people and people with AIDS.

Ivica Dacic told the Beta news agency that the art show, which opened Wednesday under heavy police protection, was "a clear provocation that contributed a great deal to the ban on the pride" parade.

The prime minister also drew a comparison between the art exhibit and the US-made anti-Muslim film "Innocence of Muslims", which sparked deadly protests across the Islamic world.

"Just imagine that we saw a caricature of Muhammad as a gay man," he said, recalling the protests following the release of a crudely made trailer for the film.

"This is not about freedom of expression, this is a direct provocation that can destabilize relations within the country," Dacic said, stressing that "no one has the right to make fun of religious feelings".

Serbian authorities announced Wednesday that the gay pride march has been banned, for the second consecutive year, again citing security concerns after extremist groups issued threats.

After the ban was announced, gay pride organisers said they would hold an "indoor" gathering on Saturday, when the march would have been held.

"We demand the auhtorities reveal what kind of threats were the reason for the ban," organiser Goran Miletic said.

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He insisted that the activists would keep on preparations for a pride parade to be held next year.

"Pride is not a circus that will leave this city, and we are staying here, this is where we live," Miletic said.

In 2010, Serbia held its first gay pride parade in a decade but violent riots followed. More than 150 people, mostly police officers, were wounded in clashes between security forces and ultra-nationalists and hooligans.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:38 October 5, 2012 by RobinHood
A few months ago, Makode Linde's cake installation turbocharged worldwide goverment action against female genital mutilation. FGM quickly became front page news on the world's most popular on-line newspaper, and people who engaged in FGM have since been arrested and will hurt no more little girls? A British goverment minister quickly reminded us the maximum sentence for FGM there is 14 years, a term she expected judges to give for such a disgusting crime.

If Makode Linde's work saved even one little girl from the rusty razor blade, it was a success.

All art should be meant to achieve positive results. If is meant only to insult and provoke, it ceases to be art and becomes only base propaganda. It is significant Ms Olsson Wallin's latest work on the King, was comissioned by the Social Democrat Party. It is cheap, cruel, insulting beyond the point of racism, but it is propaganda not art. Not even poor art. Just poor propaganda.

Ms Olsson Wallin's work on Jesus had similar intentions: to provoke, to hurt, to insult. I can't think of one single positive adjective. Again if her art was not meant to achieve anything positive (it succeeded purely in achieving negative ends) is it art?

I suspect Ms Ohlsson Wallin is envious of MakodeLinde's talent and success and is desperate to emulate him. Her problem is that he is an artist, and she is not. Her difficulty lies not with her talent, but in her corrupt heart.
10:21 October 5, 2012 by ?????
Hm, what if a Serbian artist would come to Sweden and exhibit art that pisses Swedes off? Don't know, something about women or children that this country seems kinda sensitive on. How would Swedes like that? Well, Sweden almost banned Tin-Tin for not liking its contents! See? Before you laugh at other peoples' narrow-mindedness, go have a look at the mirror first.
14:00 October 5, 2012 by bcterry
All this religious over the top reaction to this provocative art, is exactly the reason we need more of it.

There is nothing more provocative than religion itself.

Religious hypocrisy is stinking out the joint.
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