PAL Impact examines sensitive topics such as freedom of speech and censorship in the arts, arts and mental health and an ageing population. This strand has a special focus on influencing policy change.
PAL IMPACT identifies and supports courageous writers and artists who challenge the status quo; who can open up spaces for controversy between different ideological positions. They explore the tensions creating constraints on freedom of information, freedom of expression and a climate of growing self-censorship in contemporary culture.
As audiences have ever more influence over what is produced in our theatres and cinemas we believe the most censorious voices offer some of the greatest value in our cultural landscape today.
At these PAL Labs, writers and artists are examining fundamental questions around freedom of expression and information. Do we address freedom of expression in the arts in the same way that we address political freedom of expression? Should a play be regarded in the same way as a political rally? (eg. a group of people exercising their right to express their opinion within a community that is known to be hostile to that opinion)? What are the alternatives? How effectively do the police handle freedom of expression in the arts? Is potentially offensive art necessarily a public order issue?
PAL is currently developing a partnership with Index on Censorship to develop a three year international artists residency programme called The Line.
In one occasion I was the only Arab artist promoting and singing about peace in Bali after the bombing there. I was promised a tour in the USA with my band, but it never happened. As a musician, singer and composer, music has always been my life. I am here at this Lab to promote peace and share my gift. Nothing else. I believe we can make changes if we work hand in hand as a team with local governments, the police, the mosques, churches, synagogues and schools by sharing our ideas and talent. Abdelkadar Saadoun