A year into one the most divisive presidencies Americans have seen in their lifetimes, free speech is in crisis. NCAC’s Director of Programs looks at the most representative issues affecting artistic freedom in the first year of the Trump administration.
During a year of marked ideological divisions, the right to free expression has been challenged by everyone from the alt-right to the far left. Our core values have been attacked by activists across the political spectrum. In this tumultuous year, we commend the allies who refuse to be silenced and continue to defend the right to free speech and its value to our society.
A sneaker and apparel company has bricked over an iconic Harlem mural as they re-brand the exterior of their new store. Community members are concerned about the erasure of this tribute to the Harlem Renaissance and the the artists living and working in Harlem today and are questioning its legality.
More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition demanding the removal of a Balthus painting in response to “the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day.” The Met has refused to remove the work.
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) vehemently objects to the violation of the public’s right to access art by Guantanamo detainees and thus fully participate in the political conversation around Guantanamo. The new directive also violates the human rights of the detainees under international norms and further destruction of the work would impermissibly suppress documents of historical importance.