IHME’s The Trial: Is freedom of expression a sham?


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The IHME Contemporary Art Festival’s sixth edition of The Trial – a debate in the form of a court case – is about art and freedom of expression. Do all limitations on freedom of expression violate a basic civil right? Do the same criteria apply to freedom of expression in art as in other areas of human communication? As is customary The Trial will be judged by philosopher Tuomas Nevanlinna; the prosecutor is the artist Riiko Sakkinen and the counsel for the defence the artist Merja Puustinen.

“Freedom of expression is a sham. If it could have any effect, it would be banned. The product is capitalism, but the brand is democracy and freedom, including freedom of expression. Capitalism and democracy are so powerful as systems that they even permit freedom of expression. But that still does not make things right or just. You can’t feed children on freedom of expression,” says Riiko Sakkinen.

“Freedom of expression is not a sham. It is because talking, writing and images can have an influence that so many restrictions are placed on freedom of expression. Some systems use censorship, imprisonment, murder and execution. Others seduce people into self-censorship with the lure of money, power and good manners,” replies Merja Puustinen.

Come and hear how this discussion develops at 18:00 on Friday, March 27 at the Old Student House, Helsinki. Also speaking will be the expert witnesses: Jari Tamminen, a journalist on Voima (force) magazine and an expert on cultural disruption; and Päivi Mattila, PhD, Secretary General of the Finnish League for Human Rights. Apart from The Trial, there are lots of other talk-based events on the IHME Days. Info here >

Jeremy Deller’s IHME Project 2015 Do Touch ends its round of public spaces in the metropolitan Helsinki region on Sunday, March 22. The Festival’s audience can still see the objects in Do Touch at the Old Student House at 14:00–18:00 on Sunday, March 29, when all the museum objects borrowed for the work will be brought out for the public to hold one last time. The objects will also be paraded to the sound of fanfares. More about the IHME Project >

Entry to all IHME events is free. Full Festival programme >

Further information:
IHME Contemporary Art Festival Executive Director Paula Toppila, paula.toppila@ihmefestival.fi, +358 (0)45 124 0096

Press materials and photos: http://www.ihmehelsinki.fi/en/media/

For a username and password contact Assistant Vappu Tainio, vappu.tainio@ihmefestival.fi, +358 (0)45 632 6267


Each year, IHME produces a work in public space by an international artist. The public is able to witness the initial stages of this unique creation. The artwork and the interpretations it evokes encourage independent thought and discussion. Art and science, past and present, meet in a multi-faceted programme of events. IHME is open to everyone who is interested in life and contemporary art.