Art And Culture

Art Has No Frontiers

Cheryl Boone Isaacs Cheryl Boone Isaacs
Boone Isaacs: Strong societies don’t censor art, they celebrate it

The 2017 Academy Award nominees came together on Monday, February 6, for the annual Oscars luncheon, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where Iran’s only contender Asghar Farhadi was conspicuous by his absence.

The renowned Iranian filmmaker who is in Oscar race for his film ‘The Salesman’, nominated for the best foreign language film, announced last week that he will not attend the Oscar ceremony following President Donald Trump’s  unfair executive order that banned residents of seven Muslim countries, including Iran, from entering the US for at least three months.

The order, however, was overruled by a federal judge shortly after and Trump’s appeal was also denied in the court. Yet it seems Farhadi still does not intend to take part.

In a forceful speech at the event, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs addressed Trump administration’s travel ban. “Each and every one of us knows that there are some empty chairs in this room,” she said, referring in particular to Farhadi and his lead female star Taraneh Alidoosti who had announced her decision not to attend the Oscar ceremony because of the Trump policy.

Boone Isaacs also reinforced the Academy’s commitment to diversity by reminding the group of the 683 new members from around the world invited last year to join the Academy - the largest incoming class ever - and by “the new faces among this year’s nominees,” Los Angeles Times quoted her as saying.

“With your nomination, you are part of an almost century-old community, which is not just a Hollywood community, or an American community, but a global one,” she said.

“There is a struggle globally today over artistic freedom that feels more urgent than at any time. Art has no borders. Art has no language and doesn’t belong to a single faith. No, the power of art is that it transcends all of these things and strong societies don’t censor art - they celebrate it,” she added.

The 89th annual Academy Awards will be held on February 26.


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