Monday, October 19, 2009

Save Sandow Birk

Sandow Birk is an artist. His main passion: puppetry. Before I continue, decide whether puppetry is up there in your list of professions that should or should not have to live in fear. I think I know your decision.

in 2006, Sandow made a film, using puppets, based on Dante's Inferno. According to Dante, Mohammed occupied a ring of hell due to his creation of schisms. Being true to the work, Sandow made a Mohammed puppet. Being scared of terrorism and not scared of the eventual destructive effects of self-censorship, the movie's producers took out the Mohammed section, the puppet, the character and the meaning of Dante's work.

Today, Sandow is set to release American Qu'ran, an artistic study of the Holy Book that encourages violence, murder and death (among other things - like prohibition on liquor). Unlike my description, his work is not inflammatory. In fact, it is quite an honest and human portrait of the Koran. It is fair and artistic and an important voice in the dialogue of understanding.

Already, there is fear. Already, there are calls for censorship. Already, Sandow is being threatened. Artists 4 Israel hopes for his safety and for our courage.

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