Kseniia is the Chief Content Officer of Coinspeaker, holding this position since 2018. Now she is very passionate about cryptocurrencies and everything connected with it, so she tries to ensure that all the content presented on Coinspeaker reaches the reader in an understandable and attractive way. Kseniia is always open to suggestions and comments, so feel free to contact her for any questions regarding her duties.
An NFT collection featuring portraits of imprisoned WikiLeaks activist Julian Assange is set to be part of the 2022 Biennale Arte, the International Art Exhibition held annually in Venice. The series, dubbed “This Cannot Be Erased”, is the brainchild of Colombia-based artist Miltos Manetas and British composer Howie B.
In all, the collection comprises 111 NFTs which provide holders with access to 1-of-1 digital versions of hand-painted oil-on-canvas works created by Manetas over the last two years. The “This Cannot Be Erased” NFTs will be dropped during three phases starting June 23.
All money raised from the NFT sale will be entered into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) linked to the Internet Pavilion, the dedicated tech tent that appears at the festival every two years. Coincidentally, Manetas created the Pavilion in 2009.
Art Shines Spotlight on Assange’s Legal Battle
Manetas is not just supportive of Assange’s cause, he has met the WikiLeaks founder on several occasions and counts him as a dear friend. According to Manetas, his ambition with the NFT collection is to shine a spotlight on the case since many major media platforms have washed their hands of Assange in recent years.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently gave the green light for Assange’s extradition to the United States, where he faces a probable 175-year prison sentence. At this time, the journalist remains imprisoned in Belmarsh after more than three years at the behest of US prosecutors, a situation roundly criticized by human rights organizations.
The implications of Assange’s incarcerations are far-reaching, threatening press freedom in countries that proudly purport to be liberal democracies. For this reason, the Assange-themed exhibition at the Venice Internet Pavilion is being held in the foreboding, prison-like domain of The Gervasuti Foundation, on the site of the family’s artisan wood workshop.
Manetas began painting portraits of Assange during the 2020 lockdown and later donated his work for free to supporters of the #AssangePower movement. While one portrait shows Assange holding up a clenched fist of defiance, another depicts the bespectacled Australian peering cagily from his prison van. Each NFT in the collection is accompanied by a piece of music composed by Manetas’ long-term collaborator Howie B.
The seventh edition of the Internet Pavilion is based around the theme “AIIA: Assange is Internet Internet is Assange,” a cornerstone of which is the NFT mint, which is being facilitated by art-centric blockchain platform Materia. The exhibition is supported by the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25).
Beauty of Blockchain
When the exhibition opened in June, Manetas dedicated the seventh Internet Pavilion to Assange, adding:
“Thanks to NFTs he cannot be erased or silenced – the blockchain exists and everything that happens can be recorded there. Destroying his body doesn’t destroy his spirit or our spirit. We are free to join the Venice Biennale during these 222 days, but Assange will be imprisoned.”
Amid Assange’s efforts to block the extradition ruling, China has branded the US and UK hypocrites on press freedom, accusing the former of pursuing ‘trumped up’ charges against the activist for exposing secrets about the US military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.