Thursday, June 15, 2006

Art on trial in Turkey

Michael Dickinson - or Mick Dick as my friend Frank Jackson and I knew him in Brixton - faces trial in Turkey for displaying a collage.

Tony Blair has intervened asking the Turkish PM for his release. As Mick is an anarchist I'm not sure of his attitude on this!

Anyway, he's also performed a play in Istanbul which insults both Islam and Christianity.

Regardless of the merits of both works, we should support is right to perform and exhibit. Many people are under trial in Turkey for speaking out - like Orhan Pamuk, one of my favourite writers, who got off due to his fame and an international outrcry.

Here is Mick's latest email bulletin.

At present I'm still waiting to hear the date when I will be called to court.

The story has sparked interest.

Tony Blair's appeal for my pardon was featured on the front page of a popular Turkish daily yesterday, and last night an interview with me was shown on a Turkish tv station.

Today I was interviewed and filmed by an international tv news agency, along with pictures from my latest collage exhibition at a local cafe.

You can see the picture (and others) and read the story at the Stuckism site -

Charles Thomson, the founder, has been very supportive in the troubles I've had since I joined the Stuckists.

Talking of the real story behind Easter, I finally got that darned play on at a theatre here in Istanbul last month with an international amateur cast. If I do get imprisoned for this (?), I would like my supporters to hold public readings of the script in support.

Seriously though, who knows what the next stage is?

Perhaps, as Charles Thomson said in his last letter to me -

"I think it's win-win now. Either they think better of prosecuting because of the fuss it could cause, or they go ahead, and everything's primed for an international outcry, which could have much bigger political repercussions on Turkey."

It could drag on.

I'll let you know when things get official.

This is a good site about cases of people being charged in Turkey with this sort of thing.

I spoke on the phone to them today and told them about my situation.