Guest Blog: John Davis Malloy on the Smithsonian After Hide/Seek

By |2020-01-03T13:40:44-05:00May 11th, 2011|Blog|

It’s true that the Smithsonian’s Flashpoints and Faultlines forum was too late for Hide/Seek, but keeping the issues alive months after the exhibit closed may be the right timing for the future of this public institution. It was no surprise that in his welcoming remarks Wayne Clough described himself as having no choice but to censor the artwork.  Less expected [...]

CUNY Likely to Reverse On Kushner, But The Pattern Stands

By |2020-01-03T13:40:36-05:00May 9th, 2011|Blog|

A Seattle billboard removed by Clear Channel Outdoor It is appalling that the trustees of CUNY voted not to bestow an honorary degree on Tony Kushner, the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, because a trustee disagreed with his views on Israel. Denying him this honor solely because of his political views violates core First Amendment principles and is [...]

Clough Stands By Decision To Pull “A Fire In My Belly” From Hide/Seek

By |2020-01-03T13:40:35-05:00April 27th, 2011|Blog|

Despite concerns the Smithsonian's Flashpoints and Faultlines forum would be a bland showcase designed to obscure the institution's commitments to First Amendment principles instead of examining them, last night's opening panels included direct criticism from the dais of Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough's decision to censor David Wojnarowicz's "A Fire In My Belly" from the Hide/Seek exhibit at the [...]

NCAC and FAP Send Letter To Marin Civic Center re: Nudes Censorship

By |2020-01-03T13:40:29-05:00April 14th, 2011|Blog|

As blogged earlier this week, admins at the Marin Civic Center censored a painting of a nude female from an annual art show because an employee claimed it constituted sexual harassment. This morning, NCAC and the First Amendment Project sent Marin County a letter to show them the error of their ways. In it, we sought to explain [...]

Nudes In The News! Marin County Civic Center Censors Artist

By |2020-01-03T13:40:26-05:00April 12th, 2011|Blog|

The Marin County Civic Center has chosen to eliminate a nude painting by San Rafael artist Sylvia Cossich Goodman from a public exhibition. The full-frontal nude was accepted through what we can assume was a standard submission process, and was up in public for a week. So why take it down now? Because an employee complained it created "a hostile [...]

NCAC Calls For Release of Ai Weiwei

By |2020-01-03T13:40:25-05:00April 8th, 2011|Blog|

NCAC is adding to the global community of artists and institutions calling for the immediate release of the renowned Ai Weiwei, one China's most innovative and socially engaged creators. He was arrested at Beijing Airport this week for "economic crimes", and he alleges that in 2009 the security police attacked and beat him. Check out our call to [...]

The Logic of the Censor

By |2016-01-15T10:43:44-05:00April 6th, 2011|Blog|

Susan Burns, the woman who tried to tear a Paul Gauguin painting off a wall at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., stated her reasons thus: “I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. [...]

WEAR IT PROUD

By |2020-01-03T13:40:08-05:00March 28th, 2011|Blog|

Button brought back from the March 2011 Culture Wars symposium with the Corcoran and Transformer DC.

Maine Governor to Censor Labor Mural

By |2020-01-03T13:40:07-05:00March 24th, 2011|Blog|

Earlier this week, Maine Governor Paul LePage ordered that a mural in the Department of Labor depicting scenes from Maine’s labor be removed. Why? Because the mural “sends a message that we’re one-sided, and I don’t want to send that message.” Of course – why else would the Department of Labor have a mural of labor history, if [...]

Our ever more private public spaces

By |2020-01-03T13:40:03-05:00March 1st, 2011|Blog|

The latest billboard controversy, around the removal of a billboard paid for by a Texas anti-abortion group from an advertising space in SoHo, owned by Lamar Advertising, comes as no surprise. In 2006 Lamar refused to run photographs by Polish artist Karolina Bregula that show same-sex couples holding hands. The photographs were to be displayed as part of a Real [...]

Rob Kall Post On Arrest And Bloodied Treatment Of Silent Hilary Clinton Protestor

By |2020-01-03T13:40:00-05:00February 25th, 2011|Blog|

(image from JusticeOnline) The audience stood to greet and applaud Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she took the podium at George Washington University. But as the audience sat down again, a retired CIA analyst named Robert McGovern remained on his feet and calmly turned his back on Clinton in silent protest of her votes and policies regarding the wars [...]

VIDEO: Policing The Sacred Panel at CAA, Organized by NCAC

By |2019-03-13T15:37:35-04:00February 22nd, 2011|Blog|

Were you unable to make it to NCAC's "Policing the Sacred" panel on religion and freedom of expression at this year's CAA? Now is your chance to take in the discourse and debate with these full-length videos! The National Coalition Against Censorship has edited video of “Policing the Sacred: Art, Censorship, and the Politics of Faith,” a session held during [...]

http://www.nationalportraitgallery.us/

By |2019-03-13T15:39:47-04:00January 21st, 2011|Blog|

ARTINFO reports: After outraging the art world, several of its funders, and a giant chunk of its constituency with its fatal decision to remove David Wojnarowicz’s “Fire in My Belly” from the National Portrait Gallery’s “Hide/Seek” show, the Smithsonian has chosen to respond to its critics in a dramatic, and rather odd, fashion: instead of returning the work to the [...]

Wilson Play Will Go On!

By |2019-03-07T23:29:00-05:00January 20th, 2011|Blog|

Overruling a decision by the schools' superintendent, the Waterbury, Conn Board of Education allowed a high-school production of August Wilson's play,  Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, to go on. Superintendent David L. Snead had opposed the production, saying that the school and educators should not be staging a play that might encourage use of the word "nigger." The play will [...]

Waterbury CT School District Attempts to Cancel August Wilson Play

By |2019-03-07T21:45:25-05:00January 18th, 2011|Blog|

Censorship continues full front attacks on all the arts. Two weeks into 2011, we've already seen censorship of David Wojnarowicz at the National Portrait Gallery; a new edition of Mark Twain's Huckelberry Finn hit the bookstores, without the N-word; the arrest of Belarus theater director Nikolai Khalezin of Belarus Free Theatre and now the Waterbury Connecticut school district is attempting [...]

Protest against Censorship at National Portrait Gallery

By |2016-01-15T10:36:39-05:00December 3rd, 2010|Blog|

This is from an attendant at the protest organized by Transformer on Thursday, Dec. 2nd: The protest's silence was very effective.  The rows standing mute along the entire width of north steps of the Portrait Gallery for about 25 minutes until the museum closed at 7:00 was eloquent and impactful in a way beyond the quantity of supporters or passion [...]

Art School Pulls Student Pieces From Exhibition

By |2019-03-07T21:50:51-05:00November 24th, 2010|Blog|

A photograph of a male nude by Savannah College of Art & Design student Nicole Craine was among the several artworks taken down before an Open Studio Exhibition at the school in October. Reportedly, the students were given no explanation as to why their work was taken down. College administrators later admitted that the content would be “unacceptable” for a [...]

Plano School District Decides Not To Ban Art Textbook

By |2019-03-13T15:39:52-04:00November 19th, 2010|Blog|

Last week, the Plano Independent School District in Texas decided to pull a humanities textbook that is used by freshmen and sophomores in the district's gifted and talented program. The book in question, Culture and Values: A Survey of the Humanities: Alternative Volume, is a survey of various pieces of artwork throughout history.  Apparently, a couple was concerned that their [...]

The Rabbit Proof Firewall

By |2020-01-03T13:38:24-05:00July 29th, 2010|Blog|

China has been dominating censorship headlines recently, but, while we’ve been focused on the Great Firewall of China, a Great Firewall Reef has been growing in the democratic West. Australia has one of the harshest censorship regimes among the world’s democracies.  Films like Ken Park (Larry Clark) and Salo (Pier Paolo Pasolini) have been Refused Classification and are not allowed to [...]

What the City Lost in Almontaser

By |2020-01-03T13:34:28-05:00September 8th, 2009|Blog|

In August, 2007, Debbie Almontaser was the interim principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, an Arabic language public high school she had worked with the New York City Department of Education for two years to establish. Though the school was secular (a point Almontaser sought to emphasize by naming the school for the famous Christian Lebanese poet), [...]

Reason Prevailed Somewhere this Week

By |2020-01-03T13:20:05-05:00February 27th, 2009|Blog|

But not in La Grande Oregon, where on Wednesday night, school board members voted to uphold Superintendent Larry Glaze’s decision to censor a student production of Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile”, ignoring spirited and articulate appeals from the High School principal and drama teacher. It was yet another disturbing case of school officials catering to the more censorious [...]

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 [...]

Covering War

By |2020-01-02T15:58:24-05:00January 15th, 2009|Blog|

Now Twittering: AJGaza The New York Times recently  printed an article by Noel Cohen about the limited access Americans have to Al Jazeera’s coverage of Israel’s invasion of Gaza.  This, as Cohen notes, is in part because the station is carried only by cable providers in Burlington, Vt.; Toledo, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. Why is it so important that Americans [...]

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 [...]

A School Grows in Brooklyn?

By |2020-01-02T15:33:39-05:00December 12th, 2008|Blog|

A new article in Color Lines revitalizes the discussion around the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, NY. The school, which teaches classes in both Arabic and English, was conceived of in 2005 as a multicultural learning environment. “Since 9/11, Arabs have been targeted in New York,” said one Arab parent who did not want to be named for fear [...]

High School Censorship Poll

By |2019-03-07T22:31:36-05:00December 12th, 2008|Blog|

[polldaddy poll=1188091] Sherman Alexie book pulled Student sues for Facebook suspension RENT cancelled by director Bumper sticker suspension upheld Censored Girl, Interrupted replaced

Barney Rosset

By |2020-01-02T15:33:22-05:00December 9th, 2008|Blog|

Following Barney Rosset's National Book Award in November (and NCAC's honoring Rosset as a Free Speech Defender), Newsweek has published a long piece on Rosset, his work and his role in bringing new literature and thought to the American conversation. An excerpt: Before Rosset challenged federal and state obscenity laws, censorship (and self-censorship) was an accepted feature of publishing. His [...]

Poll: By censorship, you mean…

By |2019-02-25T12:23:48-05:00December 2nd, 2008|Blog|

2009 is approaching, and as we plan our next year, we want to know: what censorship issue is nearest and dearest to you? Your answers can help shape this blog and the kind of projects NCAC pursues. Feel free to write in answers. And send it along to friends and frenemies. [polldaddy poll="1158458"]

Seeing Stars: I **censored**ed your blog

By |2016-01-14T16:20:26-05:00December 1st, 2008|Blog|

A friend of NCAC reading this blog at work saw the following: An 11th grade student was recently told to remove her bumper sticker from her car parked in the Wala Wala High School (WA) parking lot. The content of the sticker: "I **censored**ed Your Boyfriend." Content filtering at the office censored the anti-censorship blog. Brilliant.

Good idea.

By |2019-03-14T17:32:03-04:00November 22nd, 2008|Blog|

We've addressed the study that links sex on TV to teen pregnancy, and came on the side of education rather than fear about content on TV. Not everyone agrees: In reference to the article, “Study suggests TV shows may spur teen pregnancies,” is censorship still in existence as it was many years ago? If not, perhaps it’s time to go [...]

Rogue censorship

By |2019-03-12T18:32:33-04:00November 10th, 2008|Blog|

Editorial from the Detroit Free Press: Television broadcasts shouldn't be filled with curse words uttered without regard to purpose, time of day or relevance. But it's equally true that the Federal Communications Commission, which has adopted increasingly aggressive but vaguely defined standards for punishing broadcasters who air curse words, shouldn't have such a free hand in suppressing speech. [...] Assuring [...]

The Supreme Court debates fleeting expletives

By |2020-01-02T15:24:50-05:00November 5th, 2008|Blog|

CommLaw Blog is covering FCC v Fox Television in the Supreme Court. But as Marjorie Heins points out at the Free Expression Policy Project, it looks like the case will turn on what should be censored for "indecency" rather than whether or not the FCC's censorship poses a threat to the First Amendment. She writes: Anyone hoping to hear outrage [...]

NCAC Benefit Photos

By |2020-01-02T15:24:45-05:00October 28th, 2008|Blog|

We had our Annual Free Speech benefit last week and we have pictures to prove it. It was held at the incredible Rubin Museum of Art. Honorees were Ruth Gruber, Caroline Hirsch, Anthony Lewis, Barney Rosset, and finally Dan Rather. The winning films from the youth film contest "My Vote For Free Speech" premiered and the first place winners won [...]

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