Lars Vilks

Denis Sinyakov

Published on 03/04/15

© Denis Sinyakov

In 2007 Lars Vilks cre­ated a series of draw­ings depict­ing the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a head on the body of a dog. Ini­tially inten­ded to be shown at a local art exhib­i­tion at Tällerud, Sweden, they were removed from the exhib­i­tion by the organ­isers, due to secur­ity con­cerns and fear of viol­ence from Muslims. Later this year a num­ber of other gal­ler­ies declined to show the draw­ings for the same reason until a regional news­pa­per, Nerikes Alle­handa, pub­lished one of the draw­ings on August 18th.
Since that very moment the Swedish artist became the prime tar­get for rad­ical Muslims. Pub­lic­a­tion imme­di­ately led to protests from Muslim organ­iz­a­tions in Sweden as well as con­dem­na­tions from sev­eral for­eign gov­ern­ments includ­ing Iran, Pakistan, Afgh­anistan and Egypt. In 2010 he found him­self on Al-Qaeda hit list, hav­ing sur­vived 2 assas­sin­a­tion plots and 3 viol­ent attacks by that time. Vilks has been liv­ing under police pro­tec­tion ever since he received first death threats back in 2007. At home in Sweden he has round-the-clock armed police pro­tec­tion and while in Den­mark he travels with body­guards from the Swedish secur­ity ser­vice, Säpo. After the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, Vilks reques­ted that the secur­ity around him be stepped up and later con­firmed it had been, without giv­ing details.

Denis Sinyakov filmed Lars Vilks’ daily routine in Linköping where he lec­tured at local Uni­ver­sity and was inter­viewed by HS journ­al­ists. The secur­ity guards fol­lowed him every­where dur­ing shoot­ing.
Only 3 days later, at an event called ‘Art, blas­phemy and the free­dom of expres­sion’ in Copen­ha­gen the artist sur­vived another attempt on his life. Auto­matic gun­fire left one civil­ian dead and three police officers wounded. The gun­man was killed in gun­fire with police early next morn­ing. How­ever, In March 2015, Vilks appeared in pub­lic again to receive the Sap­pho Award from the the Dan­ish Free Press Society.



Share on Twitter

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin
salt images - photo agency