Charade is a video by David Birkin filmed in collaboration with the human rights organisation Reprieve, together with over 50 actors and artists including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Trevor Paglen, Peter Kennard, and Martha Rosler. The work is a response to a classified directive, issued by the Prime Minister, authorising British military intelligence agents to engage in undisclosed criminal activity. Civil liberties lawyers have speculated that this may provide legal protection for MI5 operatives carrying out extreme forms of interrogation, or committing violent acts while working undercover; yet its true purpose remains unknown. Birkin’s video uses gesture to reflect on questions of censorship, secrecy, and political voice, and to support Reprieve’s ongoing campaign to protect people of all nationalities from abuses of state power.
Presented by artist David Birkin in collaboration with Reprieve
www.davidbirkin.net/charade | www.reprieve.org.uk/charade
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