Sunday, October 2, 2022

National Folklore Festival cancels Australian political cartoonist Michael Leunig’s quotation of vaccination views

The artwork of Michael Leunig, a famous Australian artist, poet, and political cartoonist, was withdrawn from the planned poster for the National Folk Festival (NFF) in 2022 because of his views on the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement to The Epoch Times, the NFF board recognized the importance of Leunig in Australia’s creative field, but stated that the festival did not know his views on vaccinations when they collaborated and will withdraw the artwork.

In a statement on August 30, NFF said: “The National Folklore Festival is firmly committed to respecting individual beliefs and opinions and the right to hold them. However, Mr. Leunig’s position and the National Folklore Festival’s vaccination are what enables the festival to be One of the important tools to be held in 2022.”

Leunig was declared as national treasure In 1999, the National Trust Organization told The Epoch Times that he had not been informed of the NFF’s decision and was shocked.

“They didn’t ask me. I was not asked:’Well, what do you think?'” He said on September 1, insisting that he is not actually opposed to vaccination.

The artist explained that his position on the COVID-19 vaccine is that anyone should follow his own instinct and understanding, and it is a person’s right to choose what to do with his body.

“I think there is something so radical and fundamental about the boundaries of our bodies. If people want to do this to make themselves feel better…be nice to them, I support them. I support anyone’s choice,” he said.

Leunig said that his views on vaccines have been distorted for many years and this is because he Publish A painting in the Fairfax Media in 2015 conveyed the message about parents’ right to decide whether their children receive immunizations.

“I made a cartoon, basically saying don’t be too harsh with a mother who has a stand on it. Take it easy,” he said.

Leunig pointed out that he is not making an anti-vaccine statement; instead, he is saying: “If people have a serious stand and are working to solve this problem, please stay away from them.”

At the time, Australia was debating whether to implement mandatory vaccination for school-age children.However, the cartoon caused strong opposition from some departments that marked his views as dangerous, Leunig told National Radio At that time he and his family received death threats.

He also questioned how folk music festivals—a music genre that evolved from a traditional music form often used in social commentary—choose to silence someone’s art.

Leunig pointed out that after becoming a conscientious opponent of the Vietnam War, he had previously been pressured by insisting on his beliefs. But he pointed out that more people in the eyes of the public have recently been condemned for their presumed views, especially if they run counter to popular social narratives.

“I was just labeled as a permanent dye,” he said, referring to people who were considered anti-vaccine after the comics were published.

Leunig said that as a political and social commentator, part of his job and job is to use his art to become the voice of the smart opposition and question what is happening in society.

Despite the strong opposition, Leunig is unremarkable about the recent censorship system, pointing out that the environment of today’s society needs more work to convey a sane message.

The artist said: “I don’t think I will be self-censoring, but I must use three times the effort to convey reason when I am in a state of insanity.” “I must use metaphors and fables to speak.”

The NFF’s decision to cancel this artwork coincides with Australia’s third outbreak of COVID-19 (delta variant) in two states and one region. In Greater Sydney, there are an average of approximately 1,000 new community-transmitted cases per week per day.

Currently, both federal and state authorities are promoting vaccination as a way of blocking measures as part of Australia’s national strategy to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Cabinet-a national agency composed of state and territory leaders and prime ministers-agreed to a four-phase plan that requires each jurisdiction to take steps to “speed up Vaccination rate”. plan.

Phase B is unlocked when 70% of people are vaccinated, which may mean that restrictions on fully vaccinated people are relaxed, while Phase C is triggered when 80% of people are vaccinated. This phase may include the opening of international borders.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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