On the 19th of June the singer Sinead O’Connor is to perform on Wyspa Słodowa in Wrocław.
Am I fan of Sinead O’Connor? No. Why, then, this article? Because I am a fan of democracy and one feature of democracy is free speech. Why am I saying that? Because some Wrocław (“the most tolerant city in Poland”) city councillors are against her performing in Poland, the reason being for this:
What she actually did was a protest against child abuse within the Roman Catholic church, hence her symbolic attack on the then Pope, who just happened to be Polish. This has been seen as an attack on Poland by city councillors Maria Zawartko and Wojciech Blonski. “How could she receive an invitation to a (Roman) Catholic country”? said they.
I’ll tell you why. Poland is a democracy. Poland signed up to the UN articles of human rights, whereby freedom of expression is an enshrined right. While anti-Christian art can sometimes be simply for the shock-value/marketing (say, by Marilyn Manson), Sinead O’Connor was doing a taboo-breaking thing: Protesting against child abuse within the RC church. One doesn’t have to like that, or like her singing, but if one believes in democratic values one doesn’t try to ban them.
If one believes in democratic values, that is. Anyway, as this is not my other, more political blog, I won’t say any more (apart from saying that Poland is not a “(Roman) Catholic country”, despite popular misconceptions). I’ll just that that I respect her as a campaigner against child abuse and homophobia, and as a singer, and as this blog concentrates on singing, I’ll mention how she sings with passion, technique, clearly and with an individual style (something not often seen).
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