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Sport 'Suffocated': Art becomes form of protest against Olympics

09:50  17 june  2021
09:50  17 june  2021 Source:   ap.org

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In protest , O’Connor scaled a 20 foot flagpole in the stadium, waving a green flag with the words “Erin Go Bragh” (Ireland forever) while his co-athlete Con Leahy distracted Greek authorities. While Olympic officials frowned upon O’Connor’s protest , he was never expelled or put on probation. Čáslavská, who had spoken out against Soviet rule, was forced to flee to a forest hideout, interrupting her training schedule. Rather than practicing in a state of the art gymnasium, she trained on homemade gymnastic apparatuses. Despite her challenges getting to the Olympics , Čáslavská won four gold and two silver

The article says he was protesting against VW's emissions scandal. That happened 4 years ago, and VW got the long dick of the law shoved up their ass, paid billions in fines and endured a major restructuring, and are investing more than any car maker in EVs There are billions of things to Their message may be admirable, their methods are detestable and they're largely responsible for throwing back advances in food ( against genmodding) and the transition of power supply (heavy anti -nuclear campaigns) several decades. Nowadays the understanding of nuclear power and safety would've

TOKYO (AP) — Miwako Sakauchi stands in her studio and brushes spinning swirls on torn cardboard and drawing paper, using the five colors designated as symbols of the modern Olympiad.

Japanese artist Miwako Sakauchi speaks about her art work for Art Exhibition © Provided by Associated Press Japanese artist Miwako Sakauchi speaks about her art work for Art Exhibition "Declaration of the end of Olympic games" in Chiba near Tokyo Thursday, June 10, 2021. Polls have found an overwhelming majority of Japanese people are skeptical of the Tokyo Olympics being held this summer during a pandemic, but only a few have publicly marched to protest. But there are creative projects that are looking to protest the increasingly unpopular Tokyo Olympics, even as authorities seek to shut them down. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Titled “Vortex,” her paintings show the “anger, fear, sense of contradiction and state violence” over the residents evicted and the trees felled so enormous Olympic stadiums could be built, Sakauchi said. “I can’t think of it as a ‘festival of peace’ in this situation. It's totally nonsensical."

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Swimmers training in Adelaide, Australia, before trials for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. A Palestinian activist throws a burning projectile towards Israeli forces during protests against the Israeli ultranationalist March of the Flags in Jerusalem’s Old City. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images.

What makes art as political commentary possible in early modern times is the development of printmaking. That makes sense, because the goal of political protest or satire is to spread a message and prints allow their messages to be widely disseminated. As far as I know, this is the first Catholics also produce anti - Protestant prints. This process continues to develop alongside politics. One of the landmarks of political protest prints are etchings by Jacques Callot (1592-1632) collected as The Great Miseries of War (1633). Callot was from Lorraine, a state devastated during the Thirty Years War.

The Japanese public mostly opposes holding the Tokyo Olympics next month during a pandemic, polls have shown, even though outward dissent such as protests has been small.

One little-recognized outlet where people have expressed their frustration and fear over the Olympics has been art.

T-shirts, drawings and other artwork have become a form of protest over the decision to hold the Games against medical advice and the public's opposition. Officials have responded in some cases by demanding the sometimes satiric art and merchandise be removed, and the artists say their freedoms are being curtailed.

People who are against the Tokyo 2020 Olympics set to open in July, march around Tokyo's National Stadium, back, during an anti-Olympics demonstration Sunday, May 9, 2021. Polls have found an overwhelming majority of Japanese people are skeptical of the Tokyo Olympics being held this summer during a pandemic, but only a few have publicly marched to protest. But there are creative projects that are looking to protest the increasingly unpopular Tokyo Olympics, even as authorities seek to shut them down. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) © Provided by Associated Press People who are against the Tokyo 2020 Olympics set to open in July, march around Tokyo's National Stadium, back, during an anti-Olympics demonstration Sunday, May 9, 2021. Polls have found an overwhelming majority of Japanese people are skeptical of the Tokyo Olympics being held this summer during a pandemic, but only a few have publicly marched to protest. But there are creative projects that are looking to protest the increasingly unpopular Tokyo Olympics, even as authorities seek to shut them down. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

“What I can do instead of going to protests is to use my expertise in art,” said Sakauchi of her motivation to produce the paintings. She has never participated in street protests or incorporated political issues into her abstract paintings in the past, but the Tokyo Olympics have been a tipping point.

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An anti -government demonstrator, with a sticker which reads "boycott" on his mask, attends a protest on the Rio de Janeiro state economic crisis and against 2016 Rio Olympics , in Rio de Janeiro on July 6, 2016. But protests are an important part of Olympic history. Activists help politicize and publicize the social, environmental and economic consequences of the Games. Over time, the issues that protesters have adopted have shifted from who can and can’t compete to the belief that the global sporting spectacular, in alliance with over-blown urbanism and city branding, has become a disaster.

A protester demonstrates against the upcoming Olympics on May 9, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images. Japan is set to host the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this July and August. "I do not understand the reason to hold the Olympics when our medical care system is already in a state of collapse," a Japanese nurse who signed the petition said. 'As much as I feel sorry for the athletes, there are others who I feel more sorry for'. A protest against the Olympics on May 9, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Japanese artist Miwako Sakauchi speaks about her art work for an art exhibition © Provided by Associated Press Japanese artist Miwako Sakauchi speaks about her art work for an art exhibition "Declaration of the end of Olympic games" in Chiba near Tokyo Thursday, June 10, 2021. “What I can do instead of going to (anti-Olympics) protests is to use my expertise in art,” said Sakauchi of her motivation to produce the paintings. She has never participated in street protests or incorporated political issues into her abstract paintings in the past, but the Tokyo Olympics have been a tipping point. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

The risk of infection from the virus may have prevented skeptics from taking to the streets to express their frustration. Unlike in Rio de Janeiro where, in 2016, thousands marched for weeks against the last Summer Olympics, recent protests in Japan have attracted dozens at most.

Sakauchi created the paintings after she was contacted by a group of artists who organized an anti-Olympics art exhibit last summer. Her works were displayed in another exhibition in February.

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Extinguishing the Olympic torch has become a goal of some of Brazil's most disenchanted citizens, many of whom feel the Olympics couldn't come at a worse time for the weakened country. The protest in Angra was the most successful thus far, in the protesters ’ minds, of those attempts. But other Brazilians feel that dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in Brazil should not be borne by those carrying the Olympic torch, many of whom earned that honor through personal achievements and heroic acts.

Some protests led to significant change, like Ghandi’s passive resistance against the British oppression of indentured Indians in South Africa, and the National Woman’s Party Suffrage Campaign which resulted in the groundbreaking move to allow women the right to vote in U.S. The protest march is but one weapon in your arsenal. Activism aims to change policy, actions, and injustice through a variety of activities such as picketing, publicity stunts, lobbying and petitioning, creative cultural resistance, and civil disobedience in the form of either passive resistance or aggressive agitation until

Kai Koyama, the main organizer of the exhibition, said it is his professional duty to protest, even though he knows many Japanese are hesitant to openly show their opinions.

“We’re artists. We wouldn’t exist if we didn't express ourselves,” Koyama, 45, told The Associated Press in an interview. More than 20 artists have gathered for the project.

Another artist who joined the anti-Olympic exhibition is Sachihiro Ochi, 52, a social worker and doctor in a clinic near Yokohama Stadium, which will host Olympic baseball and softball games. He says Tokyo and Yokohama, the nation's largest cities, have hardened their policies on the homeless because of the Olympics. Public spaces that were once open are now covered with colored cones and obstacles, he said.

Doctor Sachihiro Ochi holds his work during an interview with the Associated Press in Yokohama near Tokyo, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Ochi, artist who joined the anti-Olympic exhibition, also social worker and doctor in a clinic near Yokohama Stadium, which will host Olympic baseball and softball games. He says Yokohama and Tokyo, have hardened their policies on the homeless because of the Olympics. Public spaces that were once open are now covered with colored cones and obstacles to keep away the homeless, he said. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) © Provided by Associated Press Doctor Sachihiro Ochi holds his work during an interview with the Associated Press in Yokohama near Tokyo, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Ochi, artist who joined the anti-Olympic exhibition, also social worker and doctor in a clinic near Yokohama Stadium, which will host Olympic baseball and softball games. He says Yokohama and Tokyo, have hardened their policies on the homeless because of the Olympics. Public spaces that were once open are now covered with colored cones and obstacles to keep away the homeless, he said. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Ochi has tried to illustrate that displacement, along with satirical motifs, in his paintings of the marathon and the national stadium.

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“There are people who lost their jobs and housing during the pandemic," Ochi said.

Some creators of anti-Olympics art say their freedom of expression has been cramped even though their feelings align with growing public disapproval of the games.

Before the pandemic, designer Susumu Kikutake made parody anti-Olympics T-shirts because of bribery and plagiarism scandals surrounding the Tokyo event. Online comments were harsh and he only sold around 10 shirts a month.

But amid a recent virus surge and rising public concerns, the owner of the P&M shirt shop in Tokyo says demand has boomed. Sales reached 100 shirts in April and 250 in May.

Kikutake said the spike reflects public resentment against a prolonged state of emergency issued by the government.

“My kids’ sports events and school trips have been canceled, and we have been forced to put up with it … but they say they can hold the Olympics,” said Kikutake. “It really irritates me that (the prime minister) does not explain why they are holding the Games, and he just keeps saying it will be ‘safe and secure’.”

The Tokyo Games’ organizing committee demanded Kikutake stop the production of the T-shirts over copyright concerns, he said. He started over with a new design that includes fewer Olympic rings and a misspelling of Tokyo as “Okyo.”

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Similar attempts to satirize the Tokyo Olympics have been suppressed by the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, citing copyright infringement. The organizing committee told AP that protecting intellectual property is crucial for Olympics sponsors that have paid huge fees in return for exclusive rights to use the games’ symbols. It declined to comment on specific cases.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan removed a parody drawing that uses the Tokyo Olympic logo combined with features of the coronavirus from their website after receiving a demand for withdrawal from the organizing committee.

Koyama, the art exhibit organizer, is planning a third anti-Olympics art event late next month, when the Olympic opening ceremony is slated to start.

But galleries are wary of subversive exhibitions like his, the artist said. One that agreed to host the exhibit backtracked after far-right activists targeted the space with loudspeaker trucks demanding the cancellation of another exhibition they claimed was unpatriotic.

“Freedom of speech is about to be extinguished because of the Tokyo Olympics,” Koyama said. ”We’re being suffocated.”

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