I am getting tired and very sickened of the hatred I am constantly coming across on deviantART. Not hatred from one individual to another, but the use of this site by racists and racial supremacists to post their propaganda and spread their vile beliefs. As we are all aware, art has always been and always will be contentious in that what appeals aesthetically to one man or woman can baffle or even offend another. Nudity is one such area; radical reworkings of the techniques and technicalities of art is another. A third even greyer area, yet with more power than the first two put together is the use of art to express personal belief, to convey ideas; in that respect art, as a creative medium, is something so inherently human - to attempt to influence and change the world around you and not just blindly depict it is a strand of existential thinking that lifts art to another plane. But how far should that 'art' be allowed to go ? Just where is the boundary between creativity and outright propaganda ?
I have to lay my cards on the table here: I am British; we are proud of the level of tolerance towards others that we display in our country. Our mindset is not to strut around with the belief that we can say anything we like and not pay a price for it, hiding behind the defence of 'free speech'. We recognise that while freedom of speech is important, that freedom is damaged if abused, pushed to the extreme: to think that it is acceptable to go through life wantonly causing offence to others, particularly racial offence, is beyond the pale. It doesn't make the world work any better; moreover it is a breeding ground for future conflict, whether that is on an international basis or something much more localised.
So, back to art: what is often found 'offensive' in art is very subjective, as I have said. To blindly police art is something that very few would want and would be impossible to achieve: we would end up living in Taliban-style regime where everything ended up being banned. But, there is a boundary; there is a line we can draw when it comes to distinguishing between art and propaganda. Art is something original, a personal creation; it must be appreciated for its uniqueness. Propaganda, on the other hand, often utilises art - but not the sake of art; art becomes secondary to the message - and so often, as can be witnessed in many, many uploads to deviantART, the 'art' element within that upload is conspicuous in its absence. To take a photo and add a racially poisonous tagline beneath it IS NOT ART - IT IS PROPAGANDA. It should have no place on deviantART or any such website.
I abhor racism, I particularly abhor anti-semitism - something which sadly seems to be growing in the world today. I am thoroughly sickened by the number of Neo-Nazis on deviantART, using this site to spread their vile message of hatred and racial supremacy. A number of times I have vowed to myself to quit this site permanently, so disgusted have I been. DeviantART must do something to address this situation: this is supposed to be a website for people to share their art with others, for creative people to inspire each other - not a vehicle for supremacists to spread their propaganda of racism and racial hatred.
To add a postscript to this journal, I am happy to say that the page of the Neo-Nazi that I came across this morning, whose 'work' compelled me to write this piece has apparently been deactivated. Did he jump or was he pushed ? I do so hope he was pushed - and I hope deviantART treads heavily on every vile insect like him.