Jill Friedman photographs

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Date: 2002

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Photography


Artist: Jill Friedman

Confronting Bodies: Ramon Rojano, Hartford's director of human services

Date of Action: October 2002

Location: Cultural Affairs Offices of the city of Hartford, CT, USA

Description of Artwork: Shot at a peace rally in Washington, D.C., in April, one color photograph showed two women in black carrying a poster that reads "In The Name Of Allah Oh Israel Give Palestine Back And Go In Peace." Below those words were the six-pointed Star of David and a swastika, connected by an equal sign. The second photograph was of a poster showing the American flag with its stars replaced by skulls and the red stripes resembling dripping blood. The words "War is Terrorism" adorned the top of the poster and the bottom reads "Just ask the innocent people of," before listing 18 countries including Afghanistan.

The Incident: The comparison between Judaism and Nazism enraged some people working in the Cultural Affairs Offices in the building. That prompted Ramon Rojano, Hartford's director of human services, to ask that the pictures be removed.

Results of Incident: By the next morning, after the photographs were hung on the walls, Rojano asked Yvonne Harris, the gallery's curator, to ask Friedman to remove the two photographs, which she did. She then called the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union and informed them about the censorship. Philip Tegeler, the legal director with the CCLU, wrote to Mayor Eddie A. Perez, saying Rojano had censored the photographs based on his viewpoints and that government censorship was constitutionally prohibited. Following this the city officials were instructed to reinstate the photographs to the exhibition, which they did.

Source: http://www.ctnow.com, NCAC