George Town festival director ‘disappointed’ with removal of LGBT activists’ portrait

10-Aug-2018 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:02 AM Print This Post

George Town Festival (GTF) director Joe Sidek today expressed his disappointment that the festival was asked to remove portraits of two Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activists from the festival photo exhibition.

In a statement, Joe stressed that he believes in unconditional freedom in the arts.

“I am disappointed that I had to remove these two photographs as I believe in the freedom of the arts unconditionally,” he said.

Joe also pointed that the instructions for the removal came from the office of Penang State Secretary Datuk Seri Farisan Darus.

Islamic Affairs minister Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa earlier today confirmed that he requested for the removals, as he saw the photos as a sign of “promoting LGBTs”.

Joe said that he appreciated the total freedom that the Penang state had given him to curate the festival, for which he had been the director for the past eight years.

“I thank all the festival goers and supporters who have all these years supported and celebrated the freedom of arts,” he said.

The pictures of activists Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik holding the Malaysian flag was part of the Stripes and Strokes exhibition by photographer Mooreyameen Mohamad at the GTF.

It was part of a set of portraits of citizens posing with the Malaysian flag.

GTF is currently running from August 4 to September 2.


Category: Malaysia

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