Charade is a video by David Birkin, filmed in collaboration with the human rights organisation Reprieve and over 50 actors and artists including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Trevor Paglen, Peter Kennard, and Martha Rosler. It’s a response to the fact that the Prime Minister has issued a classified directive authorising British military intelligence agents to engage in undisclosed criminal activity. Civil liberties lawyers speculate that this may provide legal protection for MI5 operatives carrying out extreme forms of interrogation and intimidation, or committing violent acts while working undercover. Birkin’s video uses gesture to reflect on questions of censorship, secrecy, and political voice, and to support Reprieve’s ongoing legal battles to protect people from abuses of state power.
Presented by artist David Birkin in collaboration with Reprieve