The rights of the artist
Monday 12 June 2006 21:30-22:15 (Radio 3)
Paul Allen is joined by David Edgar and others in front of an audience at the Harris Museum in Preston, to debate the rights of the artist.
Tonight, there's a special edition of Night Waves, recorded in front of a live audience at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston.
In association with the Arts Council of England North West's annual festival, art06, Paul Allen and guests including the playwright David Edgar explore one of the most pressing artistic dilemmas of our day: does the right of the artist to offend outweigh their duty to respect faith?
This question has become ever more urgent recently as artists of various backgrounds have found themselves colliding with religious sensitivities, from the Sikh playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti with her play Behzti, through Jerry Springer: The Opera to the calls for a boycott of the film of The Da Vinci Code.
In a country of many faiths, can the artist still claim total freedom of expression? Or do we need to find a new way of communicating so that social groups that currently - and often dangerously - feel excluded can be part of a public debate?
To discuss these questions, Paul Allen will be joined before a live audience in Preston by a panel including leading playwright David Edgar, Jatinder Verma, artistic director of Britain's first Asian theatre company and the historian David Cesarani.