About Svetlana Mintcheva

is NCAC's Director of Programs. She joined NCAC after years of academic teaching and research on post World War II art and literature. Having spent a large part of her academic career analyzing provocative art and its socio-political contexts, she is happy to be on the front lines protecting the coexistence of a diversity of voices in the cultural sphere. Svetlana has published and presented multiple papers on contemporary art and writing — most recently, she co-edited Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression (2006, The New Press). She curated the 2007 exhibition Filth, Treason, Blasphemy?: Museums and Censorship, at the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum in Chicago, IL and conceived Exposing the Censor Within, a traveling interactive public art installation, which opened in California in March of 2007. An academic and an activist, Mintcheva has taught literature and critical theory at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria and at Duke University, from which she received her Ph.D. in critical theory in 1999. She currently teaches part-time at New York University. Her academic research and writing focus on postmodern literature and aesthetic provocations as well as issues in censorship and ethics.

Obama, the Arts and Free Expression

By |2019-03-15T15:18:07-04:00January 21st, 2009|Blog|

The new president is giving every mildly liberal person reason to hope their pet cause might be advaced in the next four years. So what about my pet cause: creative freedom? Things appear optimistic. After all Barack Obama enters office with the first-ever presidential arts platform drafted during the campaign. Among other things the platform promises increased funds for the [...]

EU Presidency “Entropa” Controversy or the Art of Offense

By |2019-03-13T15:03:17-04:00January 15th, 2009|Blog|

An art installation, sponsored by the new Czeck EU Presidency, and displayed in the European Council building in Brussels has become a litmus test for EU sensitivities. The conceptual artist David ?erný was commisssioned to invite 27 artists from EU member states to represent their country as they see it.  The idea was to gather specifically personal, non-government approved and possibly [...]

Nipplephobia – Facebook and beyond

By |2020-01-02T15:58:26-05:00January 14th, 2009|Blog|

The latest scandal around Facebook's ban on images of nursing mothers, which show a glimpse of the areola or nipple, only presents us with the latest case of nipplephobia - an extreme panic reaction at the view of the female nipple (to my knowledge the male nipple fails to exert such power). Facebook's action was a misguided enforcement of its [...]

Berkeley: From Free Speech to No Offense Permitted

By |2020-01-02T15:33:21-05:00December 8th, 2008|Blog|

A recent incident a Berkeley's Addison Street Gallery forced the City to review its guidelines on art shown in the gallery. The guidelines, which included a blanket ban on any representations of guns, had led to the cancellation to The Art of Democracy, a touring poster show. After letters from the ACLU and NCAC, the City decided to modify its [...]

Terrorizing Art

By |2019-03-15T18:06:54-04:00June 23rd, 2008|Censorship News Articles|

In a highly publicized incident this March, the San Francisco Art Institute cancelled Don't Trust Me, an exhibition by Algerian-born French artist Abdel Abdessemed consisting of video footage of animals being killed by a single blow from a sledgehammer.

The Trouble With Balance

By |2019-03-08T00:03:38-05:00February 5th, 2008|Censorship News Articles|

“Balance” has become the stalking horse for efforts to undermine academic freedom, to pressure journalists to self-censor or tone down critical reporting, and to justify censorship of art. What the proponents of "balance" demand is that any expression on a controversial topic be accompanied by opposing views, no matter how prevalent the latter may already be in public discourse. Frequently, the demand for “balance” results in the cancellation of the entire discussion. Such situations suggest that the rhetoric of balance has been co-opted as a subtle and insidious disguise for censorship.

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