Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Censorship is not only an American issue...

It seems that censorship is alive and well in not only our own country but throughout the world. Last week Australian photographer, Bill Henson had of his photographs seized from an art gallery in Sydney on the claim that they are child pornography. Not only that since Henson has over 250 photographs hanging in prestigious galleries all over Australia and in state buildings. He and gallery owners are being intimidated by the right-winged Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who has recently introduced section of the NSW (New South Wales) Crimes Act, which covers the production, dissemination and possession of child pornography. He is getting support from the arts community notably Cate Blanchett. She and 42 other leading writers, dramatists, filmmakers, musicians and artists issued an open letter to the prime minister. The letter rejected allegations that Henson’s work was child pornography and called on Rudd and Premier Iemma to “rethink” their previous comments.
For more about this issue of censorship you can read a report on it at the World Socialists Website.
It seems the more and more the right-winged conservatives throughout the world feel threatened, the more they are going after artists right to freedom of expression. That doesn't mean that blatant child exploitive photographs should be allowed. Child pornography laws are in affect to protect children from people who preys on a children for the sole purpose of violating and sexualized them. But in this case as in the case with Robert Mapplethorpe back in 1988, the children and the families all agree that the images are tasteful and beautiful. That there was nothing seedy going on during the shoot. The intent of the photographs is the real crux of the issue. Again, here the intent was just simply a beautiful photography of innocence.
So as much as I bash the good old US of A about our narrow minded politicians, it seems we are not alone and that my friends is a scary thought.

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