Would you die for your art?

In light of the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks I’ve heard a question being asked among many of my artist colleagues. ‘Would you die for your art?’ and my answer is a solid ‘No’.

Forgive me now for my jumble of thoughts but…

It’s not that I don’t love what I do but for me my art is a vehicle for my voice. You see, the art for me is simply a means to an end. My mission in going into art was and still is to someday have people come to understand what it is that goes on in my mind. To see and hopefully feel my world. I can say it in words, I can try to act it out, put it into music or whatever but it still wont be enough. For me, it’s about making a point and I would go to any end to make a point of myself. That being said, I wouldn’t die for my art but I would be willing to die if I can make a point of myself. If my death would result in a greater understanding of what I want to achieve then so be it. If my death is the only way for me to achieve what it is that I wish for then so be it. I guess that some of you can say that I would die for my art but I don’t like to think that I would. I would like to believe that my life is worth more than the temporary marks im going to make on paper or other media in this life.

Die for a cause and in the case of the artists at Charlie Hebdo, regardless of what they said, they died for the cause of freedom of speech. Now I’m not one to completely ignore that this entire event was born and bred of ignorance on both sides. Alas, I respect the people who died at Charlie Hebdo because regardless of how offensive the material they created was and regardless of the heat they took for it, they stuck to their guns. Too bad, the response taken by some offended parties was to get actual guns…

I could go into a long tirade about freedom of speech and all of that but you’ve read it before from someone else who wrote it a lot better than I ever plan on doing. What I will say is that we should always be willing to stand by our words and our actions no matter what but we should also be willing to admit when we were wrong. I think that a big problem with a lot of people today is that we’re willing to say so much yet rarely is anyone ever ready to admit to being wrong and accepting responsibility for their actions.

Hopefully, the shooters are caught soon and put to justice. Hopefully, those affected by the incident are not drenched in hatred for a group of individuals because of the actions of a few black sheep. Hopefully, everyone involved can someday admit to their wrongdoings and see that the blame for this is not just the fault of one party but all parties involved.

Entertain me with your thoughts

One thought on “Would you die for your art?

  1. We forget how good we have it in Canada…
    Don’t get me wrong, it was wrong for the extremists to kill the cartoonists over photos – from what I understand Charlie Hebdo made fun of every religion regardless of what it was. But Muslims are already a marginalized group in France. France does not allow any person in the country to identify themselves according to their faith – hence the hijab is forbidden. There are lots of other Islamic practices that are already banned in France (can’t remember what). Islam also forbids that Muslims view a portrait of the Prophet – personally, if I was a devout follower of a religion with that rule I would appreciate a warning before the cartoon so that I may have the option to skip it. Another point I would like to add is that from the sounds of it, France has had insanely unfair assimilation laws against Muslims specifically, and if I were a Muslim living there – I would find the Charlie Hebdo incident to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
    There is freedom of speech – yes. But freedom of speech only protects you from being arrested by the government over the material you choose to print. That does not give you the right to be rude and disrespectful to other people. As a friend of mine once put it, “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that you can’t be an asshole just the same.” People also have a right to choose to be offended at whatever it is you may print.
    Violence is never the answer though and we should never have to fear the consequence of death over a very rude and uninformed joke. But I am torn about this issue. People shouldn’t have died, but I don’t think Charlie Hebdo needed to print photos of the Prophet in such a manner for the sake of being offensive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s