Mr Democracy

A written constitution for the UK (made in China)

  • Welcome to Mr Democracy, the story of a British artist who set off to get a written constitution for the UK made.
    Understanding the changing balance of power in the world, and with a nod to Britain’s ‘democratic’ ventures across the world, he chose to get it written in China, and ship it back to the UK.
    Read more under 'about' and in the many blog entries.

Archive for the ‘Introduction’ Category

Local Press

Posted by mrdemocracy on 14,11,2008

Just a quick link to a feature in the Daily Post, here. Not sure about the title, but overall its pretty positive about the project, and I hope it raises some interest.

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Hong Kong

Posted by mrdemocracy on 24,07,2008

You can’t visit HK without reflecting on our relationship and history with this corner of the world, the stamps of colonialism are still fresh, the handover (UK term) or reunification (Chinese term) was in 1997. British passport holders get a 6 month visa stamp, no-one else does. What do Hong Kongers get in the UK I wonder? Hong Kong is now under Beijings eye, but enjoys a great deal of freedom, Beijing doesn’t want to damafe the cash cow. Having said this, I think its Chinese freedom – do and say whatever you want, just don’t criticise the government.

The agent the British Council had recommended did seem to be the best, a badly singposted scruffy 2nd floor office, (as opposed to the ubiquitous China Travel Services, the Chinese government run visa agency). I visited 3 times that day, each with a different amount of hair. The first as I left Germany, unkempt beard and scruffy long hair, the second time clean shaven, (hair tied back for the photo) and the third with the shaving extended to the top of my head, albeit only a number 4. I think I made their day.

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Criticism in Berlin

Posted by mrdemocracy on 06,04,2008

Here in Berlin I’ve received much essential support, suggestions and astute criticism from peers and colleagues, but also some ‘woooo, hang on’ criticism, especially this week during the Olympic flame’s rather unhappy travels. Suprisingly, otherwise liberal and supportive professors have shown great caution and wanted to really avoid the project. I’m always very hesitant to think of myself as radical, certainly too radical. In my experience, this is rarely the case, and those who think they are too radical are often simply missing something, some experience that someone else has.

See Clashes along Olympic torch route

A Chinese artist and curator colleague has also been cautious, claming up when I asked her if she knew any writers, teachers or political science students. She reacted in a way I’ve never seen before, laughing nervously and saying, ‘no, of course I don’t know anyone involved in these areas, only artists’, but almost as if there were a thrid person in the room, checking her response. I think this was my first experience of the effects of an all-knowing dictatorship, though I suspect my colleague was more cautious than absolutely necessary. She, I now understand, is most likely a party member. She suggested I do something less confrontational, more concillatory. I don’t find the project that critical, but as the media spotlight turns to China, and Chinese hackles raise, I’m happy with the concept -rather than a westerner looking across and opinionating about China, it enables a reverse, of sorts. The project appears to be becoming more relevant with current events, not less. And I don’t think its an artist’s job to make things that are necessarily ‘nice’.

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