Censorpedia: An Interactive Database of Censorship Incidents

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Featured Case

Date: 1994

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Painting

Artist: Cindy Battisti and Eve Saturn

Confronting Bodies: Center at High Falls employees and director.

Dates of Action: 1994

Location: Rochester, New York

Description of Artwork: Eve Saturn's untitled painting featured two nude, pregnant women seated back to back, holding hands and surrounded by flowers with human faces. One of the women is black and the other white, each holding a child of the other's race. Cindy Battisti's untitled piece shows a nude man and woman dancing in a circle.

The Incident: The Center at High Falls is a visitor information center that often exhibits local artists' work. An organization called Baha'i sponsored the exhibit, Racism: Just Undo it. After the exhibit's installation, two employees contacted the Center Director, Lydia Boddie-Neal, and complained about the two paintings. Boddie-Neal removed the paintings because they showed frontal nudity and suggested that the "explicit and provocative nature of the message" might jeopardize fundraising efforts.

Results of Incident: The pieces were removed and the center enacted a policy giving itself final approval for all work on display.

Source: Artistic Freedom Under Attack, 1995

What is Censorpedia?

Censorpedia is a crowdsourced online database of censorship cases within the arts and in culture. It is aimed at those researching censorship, at activists working for freedom of expression and at artists and other cultural producers whose expression has been subject to censorship or attempted censorship.

Censorpedia documents censorship incidents by providing the who, what, when, where and why. By providing a repository of information about what is vulnerable to censorship and about the strategies and tactics that have defeated previous’ censorship attempts, Censorpedia aids the fight for free expression.

Researchers can search for a specific case, year or keyword using the search box, as well as browse by medium, by grounds for censorship, or explore a random case.

Activists can search for ongoing cases or contribute a case that is ongoing or recently resolved.

Artists and cultural producers are similarly invited to add cases they are directly involved with or are familiar with first hand.

Censorpedia builds on the landmark 1994 art project The File Room, initiated by Muntadas.

For more information about censorship visit our Annotated Bibliography

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Warning: Display title "Censorpedia: An Interactive Database of Censorship Incidents" overrides earlier display title "<span style="font-style: italic;">Racism: Just Undo it</span> (exhibition)".