Monday, 10 September 2012

Symbolet som afsæt og undskyldning

THE SYMBOL AS A KICKOFF AND AN EXCUSE

ENGLISH TRANSLATION IN ITALICS


I weekenden mødte den indiske tegner Aseem Trivedi op på en politistation i Mumbai, hvor han frivilligt lod sig anholde. Det har været ventet i et par dage, og reaktionen nåede derfor at blive så meget mere omfattende i offentligheden. Selv har han meldt ud, at han står ved sine handlinger som tegner.

Tiltalen skal findes i en 2005-lovgivning, der skal beskytte flaget og nationale symboler iøvrigt mod fornærmelse - og tegninger som den nedenstående af Trivedi... er det nødvendigt at gennemgå tegningen i grunden?

For personligt var min første reaktion i sin tid, et åh nej, endnu en af de gennemtyggede fremstillinger, der er mere tekst end tegning. Reaktionen handler ikke om uenighed, men savnet efter at få lov til at tage del. Intet på tegningen er overladt til beskueren at se, endsige tænke selv:

This weekend the Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi turned up at a police station in Mumbai, where he voluntarily placed himself under arrest. He had been expected to do so for the past few days and the public reaction had had all the more time to gain ground. As for himself he has declared that he stands by his actions as an artist.

The indictment comes from a 2005-law designed to protect the flag and other national symbols from insult - and drawings such as the one below by Trivedi ... is it even necessary to explore its contents any further?

Personally my first reaction at the time was an "Oh no, another one of those stale representations, more text than drawing". I was not so much disagreeing with it, as I was yearning to be allowed to take part. Nothing in the drawing is left for the beholders to see, let alone think for themselves:


http://www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.blogspot.in

Det er til gengæld også pointen. Den er så pågående entydig, at beskuere og Mother India er under ét. udsat for overlagt overgreb. Aseem Trivedi oprettede i 2011 Cartoons Against Corruption, der indgik i en større kampagne mod korruption i Indien. Kampagnen har flere udløbere, end vi kan komme ind på her - stadig nye aktioner affødt af myndighedernes indgriben. Det er for eksempel aldrig helt til at vide, om Cartoons Against Corruption er forbudt eller igen er oppe. Denne tegning udgør en kampagne i sig selv og kan af samme grund synes vel entydig. Men den taler med klar stemme, fordi det er hensigten, at alle skal (nå at) se og forstå.

Det har været argumenteret, at korruptionen i Indien rammer nogle, mens forulempelsen af landets symboler rammer alle. Men bliver Mother India nu også forulempet?

Ikke visuelt. Hun bevarer sin værdighed som ikon. Hendes ikonværdighed som tegningens centrum snarere understreges, idet ingen handling finder sted. Dens sandsynlighed forbliver en trussel - mod os, som den udpeger skylden hos embedsmænd og politikerstanden. Uden fastholdelsen af hendes ikonværdighed ville der ingen tegning være tilbage. Alene af den grund burde tiltalen frafaldes.

Men det er nu engang ikke hende, sagen drejer sig om. Hun er kun undskyldningen fra myndighedsside. Og hvad er i grunden hendes status som nationalt symbol, siden det er nødvendigt at skrive hendes navn ovenover?

It is however the intention. The beholders and Mother India are so very palpably in this together. Subjected to abuse. In 2011 Aseem Trivedi created Cartoons Against Corruption as part of a larger campaign against corruption in India. The campaign has more ramifications than we can go into here with new actions born of the response from the authorities. It is never quite possible to know when the Cartoons Against Corruption-site is up and running or has been shut down. This particular drawing constitutes a campaign in itself, and may seem rather categorical while doing so, but its intention is univocal. Everyone should (have the time to) see and understand.

It has been argued that the corruption in India is an issue for some, while assaulting the country's symbols affects everyone. But is Mother India actually molested here?

Not in any visual sense. She retains her dignity as an icon. Her status as the center of the drawing is all the more accentuated in that there is no action in the scene. The probability of it remains a threat – to us, while putting the blame on officials and politicians alike. If she lost her dignity there would be no drawing. For this reason alone the indictment ought to be ditched.

She is not the one who is at issue here, but she has become the excuse from the authorities for banning the whole thing. What is after all her status as a national symbol, since it is necessary to state her title above her head?



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