Around four months ago our local organiser in Northern Ireland asked to Belfast City Council for permission to use the Belfast City Hall for a poster for tomorrow exhibition. In September the city council finally gave its approval after two deliberations, the first one dating back to June.
So when the final posters had been determined, we supplied the city council with a copy of the posters that were going to be exhibited, only to discover that the local councillors from the Democratic Unionist Party, the larger (and ruling) of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland, were horrified by our pictures and didn't want at least 10 of the ones they considered the most shocking to be exhibited in their city hall.
The story was covered by the Irish News last Saturday. The article contains the thoughts of David Rodway, a DU Party councillor who sees himself as "a relatively open-minded person" who "can't understand why anyone would want to look at images of people being hanged", before calling poster for tomorrow a "communist committee".
The article was illustrated with one of the posters in question, made by Vladimir Sabillon, in which it is possible to see one of Goya's masterworks: "El tres de mayo 1808 en Madrid" inside a human silhouette surrounded by China's national colours. It's remarkable how a 200 years old painting of people being shot, as David Rodway might say, is still able to cause such debate.
There are other parts of the world where poster for tomorrow is not being welcome by governmental institutions. In Pakistan our local contact was arrested and released after three days for having tried to organise an exhibition in his home town. Also our local organisers in Malaysia and in Syria have been arrested on similar grounds.
As Hervé Matine told The Irish News: "we won't be censored by anyone". Many underground exhibitions are being organised at the moment in those countries where the death penalty is most controversial, China and Iran, and our supporters in Belfast are ready to place the posters in the streets if the city council will not allow us to hold the exhibition.