The Censorship in Camouflage Project consist of a series of discussions and publications exploring structural, economic, political and cultural factors—in addition to the more frequently debated legal issues—constraining artistic expression. The project is conceived as a laboratory of ideas, where problems are investigated in depth and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Our focus is on presenting the issues in all their complexity, rather than providing simple (and simplistic) “answers.”

The Project is closely connected with The File Room (, an interactive Internet archive documenting 500 years of censorship. The File Room was initiated by Antoni Muntadas in 1994 and originally produced by the Randolph Street Gallery in Chicago. The archive is presently maintained by the National Coalition Against Censorship. The wider definition of censorship adopted in The File Room allows it to record instances of censorship through market mechanisms, the censorship of private galleries or that of educational institutions, as well as suppression of work by limiting its distribution or refusing it publicity. The Censorship in Camouflage Project shares this understanding of the nature of censorship and aims to explore the multiple and subtle ways in which freedom of speech is suppressed.

The Censorship in Camouflage Project operates from the assumption that censorship is a far larger phenomenon than its legal definition suggest. Legally, censorship is the governmental denial of freedom of speech. Speech is suppressed, however, through far more varied and indirect means. Artists’ voices can be silenced through economic means even more effectively than through old-style political or ideological suppression. Ultimately, economic pressures join political and ideological demands to produce the subtlest censor of all: the internalized voice of self-censorship. The value attributed to free speech frequently clashes—or is perceived to clash—with other societal values including the desire to protect children from “inappropriate” materials, the imperatives of “community standards” or political correctness, and intellectual property. The Censorship in Camouflage Project operates from a multi-disciplinary perspective that aims at redefining censorship as the result of systemic repression rather than a legal issue limited to the governmental suppression of particular works.