Exposing the Censor Within is a traveling installation that invites people to enter a “confessional” booth and write their story about self-censorship on an index card. The (anonymous) cards are then processed into site specific poster-portraits of self-censorship. Exposing the Censor Within opened in Redwood City, CA on March 2, 2007 and then traveled to the Montalvo Arts Center and the College Art Association 2008 Annual Conference in Dallas, TX. It continues to travel and is now available for bookings and in Second Life.
Self-censorship is far more effective in suppressing speech than external censorship, yet, few would go on record confessing a decision to silence themselves. By guaranteeing the anonymity of the confessors, who might not want to share their stories publicly, Exposing the Censor Within seeks to explore the extent to which we censor ourselves – in everyday life encounters with family, teachers, friends and colleagues as well as in our creative lives as writers, journalists, teachers, curators, painters, filmmakers or musicians.
Stories of self-censorship are gathered from the physical installation and from visitors to the website and posted here. We invite you to contribute by submitting your own story below.