What is art? To me, this has always been a curious question because it is something that is constantly redefined based on the time period and the person. Personally, I think societies
spend too much time deliberating and defending this question. Because of art’s ever-changing definition, I always thought it was more important to ask “What does art do?” Art communicates ideas. It raises social awareness. It presents a medium to protest. It is therapy for some. It is entertainment for others. It is pure and disgusting, and sometimes offensive.
As an American, I have a wonderful right to free speech that is usually liberally applied. Although the United Kingdom does guarantee the freedom of expression, there are a number of broad exceptions against:
-threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior intending or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress or cause a breach of the peace (which has been used to prohibit racist speech targeted at individuals)
-sending any article which is indecent or grossly offensive with an intent to cause distress or anxiety (which has been used to prohibit speech of a racist or anti-religious nature)
-incitement to racial hatred and religious hatred
-incitement to terrorism including encouragement of terrorism and dissemination of terrorist publications and glorifying terrorism
-collection or possession of a document or record containing information likely to be of use to a terrorist
-treason including advocating for the abolition of the monarchy (which cannot be successfully prosecuted) or compassing or imagining the death of the monarch
– indecency including corruption of public morals and outraging public decency, defamation
-restrictions on court reporting including names of victims and evidence and prejudicing or interfering with court proceedings prohibition of post-trial interviews with jurors
-scandalizing the court by criticizing or murmuring judges, time, manner, and place restrictions,
-privileged communications, trade secrets, classified material, copyright, patents, military conduct, and limitations on commercial speech such as advertising.