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{{Display censorship incident
 
{{Display censorship incident
|ongoing=no
+
|ongoing=yes
|year=2016
+
|year=2014
|region=North America
+
|region=Middle East
|artist=Antonio Cosme and William Lucka,
+
|artist=Ahmed Naji,
|subject=Political/Economic/Social Opinion
+
|subject=Explicit Sexuality, Political/Economic/Social Opinion
|confronting_bodies=City of Detroit
+
|confronting_bodies=Egyptian censorship board
|medium=Installation, Mixed Media, Painting, Public Art
+
|medium=Literature
|date_of_action=August-October 2016
+
|date_of_action=2016
|location=Detroit, MI
+
|location=Cairo, Egypt
|description_of_content=In 2014, two Detroit artist-activists, Antonio Cosme and William Lucka, painted the politically motivated graffiti slogan, FREE THE WATER, along with a fist of resistance on a Highland Park water tower. Cosme and Lucka are outspoken critics of Detroit's redevelopment scheme and the water shut-offs that continue to plague the city. The shut-offs have stirred widespread protests because they disproportionately affect the city's poorest residents.
+
|description_of_content=Ahmed Naji's novel, ''Using Life'', anticipates a dystopian end for Cairo at the hands of a secretive group of architects. Naji wrote the experimental novel in collaboration with illustrator Ayman al-Zorqani. The novel is an experiment on the themes of sex and drugs in a context of censorship and persecution. Naji is recognized for his writings on contemporary art and indie music. Using Life is. Naji’s second novel; it has been curated into exhibitions, an animated film, and a multimedia performance.
|description_of_incident=In August, 2016, the artists faced fines of up to $75,000 and a maximum jail sentence of four years on charges related to the malicious destruction of property and trespassing. Hyperallergic reported: 'In November 2014, police confronted Cosme and Lucka at the bottom of the tower, but nearly a year and a half had passed before police contacted them again about the incident. Then, a Detroit graffiti task force — a newly formed special unit charged with tracking and prosecuting taggers and graffiti artists — took over the case, claiming the cost of cleaning the tower would range from $45,000 to $75,000, Cosme says. Police raided Lucka’s home, taking many of his art-related materials, and eventually brought a slew of new charges against him, using one of the task force’s key tools: an expanding graffiti database. Cosme describes it as a “badass” archive of local street art despite its nefarious purpose. Using the database, the task force linked Lucka to multiple appearances of the tag “Astro,” which appeared on the water tower with “Free the Water.”'
+
|description_of_incident=From Mada Masr, Dec 18, 2016:
|description_of_result=10/25/16: The Free the Water Defense Campaign announced that artists Cosme and Lucka reached an out of court settlement with the state prior to their October 24th trial. A http://freethewater313.org news release reports: "Thanks to widespread community support and media coverage…[the artists] hammered out an arrangement for 1 year of nonreporting probation and 120 hours of community service each."
+
"Naji, a 31-year-old journalist, blogger and novelist, was imprisoned for “violating public modesty” in relation to a chapter of his hybrid graphic novel Istakhdem al-Haya (Using Life, 2014), after a reader filed a case against him, arguing that its sexually explicit content made him feel ill.
|image=Free the Water.png
+
|source=https://www.instagram.com/p/5sgDIVh-Vj/
+
}}
+
[http://us13.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e77a0c938f19df0639a65ece6&id=c488c1f05c&e=bcaa9a14bb Settlement Negotiated!]
+
  
[http://ncac.org/blog/detroit-artists-face-felony-charges-for-protest-graffiti Detroit Artists Face Felony Charges for Protest Graffiti], AUGUST 24, 2016
+
"A court acquitted Naji in December 2015, but on the prosecution’s appeal in February 2016 he was sentenced to the maximum term of two years and imprisoned immediately. Tarek al-Taher, chief editor of the state-affiliated Akhbar al-Adab magazine in which the novel was serialized, was sentenced to a LE10,000 fine in the same case.
 +
 
 +
"The move caused widespread outrage, from Egypt’s culture minister and fellow novelists to the international press, as a step further in a barrage of censorship, closures and imprisonment sweeping the political sphere. Many works of Arabic literature contain content of a sexual nature.
 +
 
 +
"Naji was awarded the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award in May this year."
 +
|description_of_result=The novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji — along with his editor, Tarek al-Taher — was tried, and upon appeal, re-tried for the publication of an excerpt of his novel ''Using Life'' in Akhbar al-Adab. As of December 4, 2016, Naji remains in jail but is on the 2nd presidential pardon list.
 +
 
 +
UPDATE Dec 18: "The two-year prison sentence against writer Ahmed Naji, who has been jailed since February on charges of public indecency,  was suspended on Sunday pending review on January 1, 2017." (Mada Masr, Dec 18, 2016)
 +
|image=Useoflife.jpg
 +
|source=The Guide for "Use of Life" - دليل استخدام الحياة
 +
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Q7KbkxNnM
 +
}}
 +
[http://www.madamasr.com/en/2016/12/18/news/culture/court-suspends-sentence-against-writer-ahmed-naji-release-imminent-lawyer/ Court suspends sentence against writer Ahmed Naji, release imminent: Lawyer], Mada Masr, Dec 18, 2016
  
[http://freethewater313.org/ Free the Water] campaign
+
[http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/18/world/middleeast/egypt-ahmed-naji-abdel-fattah-el-sisi.html Egyptian Novelist Jailed on Obscenity Charges to Be Released], By NOUR YOUSSEF, DEC. 18, 2016
  
[http://hyperallergic.com/316946/two-detroit-artists-face-up-to-four-years-in-prison-for-political-graffiti Two Detroit Artists Face Up to Four Years in Prison for Political Graffiti], by Matthew Irwin, Hyperallergic, August 12, 2016
+
[http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/251327.aspx Jailed Egyptian novelist Naji on 2nd presidential pardon list: Committee Member], Menna Alaa El-Din, al-Ahram, Sunday 4 Dec 2016
  
[http://artreport.com/apparently-painting-free-the-water-on-a-water-tower-can-land-you-jail-time Apparently Painting “Free The Water” On A Water Tower Can Land You Jail Time], by Bridget Casey, Art report, AUGUST, 2016
+
[https://arablit.org/2016/12/03/three-new-short-short-stories-by-imprisoned-writer-ahmed-naji-whose-next-court-date-is-tomorrow/ Three New Short-short Stories by Imprisoned Writer Ahmed Naji] BY MLYNXQUALEY, Arabic Literature (in English) on DECEMBER 3, 2016
  
[https://www.theodysseyonline.com/freethewater-detroit-artists-fight-felony-charges-and-prison-time  #FreeTheWater: Detroit Artists Fight Felony Charges and Prison Time] by Brenda Montaña Aguilar, The Odyssey, July 19, 2016
+
[http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/12/02/ahmed-naji-egypt-laughter-in-the-dark/ Egypt: Laughter in the Dark], Zadie Smith, New York Review of Books, Dec 2, 2016
  
[http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/14/headlines/detroit_artists_fight_felonies_for_painting_free_the_water_on_tower Detroit: Artists Fight Felonies for Painting "Free the Water" on Tower], Democracy Now, JULY 14, 2016
+
[https://arablit.org/2016/01/25/using-life-a-novel-excerpt-on-trial-in-egypt/ ‘Using Life’: A Novel Excerpt on Trial in Egypt], BY MLYNXQUALEY, Arabic Literature (in English) on JANUARY 25, 2016
  
[http://motorcitymuckraker.com/2016/04/18/water-shutoff-activists-face-possible-jail-time-for-free-the-water-mural Water shutoff activists face possible jail time for ‘Free the Water’ mural], by Steve Neavling, Motor City Muckraker, April 18, 2016
+
[https://arablit.org/2016/01/13/egyptian-novelist-ahmed-naji-and-editor-tarek-al-taher-will-go-back-to-court-in-public-morals-case/ Egyptian Novelist Ahmed Naji and Editor Tarek al-Taher Will Go Back to Court in ‘Public Morals’ Case], BY MLYNXQUALEY, Arabic Literature (in English) on JANUARY 13, 2016
|}
+
 
| style="border:1px solid transparent;" |
 
| style="border:1px solid transparent;" |
 
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Revision as of 08:57, 30 January 2017

Today's Featured Case



Useoflife.jpg

Artist: Ahmed Naji

Year: 2014

Date of Action: 2016

Region: Middle East

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature

Confronting Bodies: Egyptian censorship board

Description of Artwork: Ahmed Naji's novel, Using Life, anticipates a dystopian end for Cairo at the hands of a secretive group of architects. Naji wrote the experimental novel in collaboration with illustrator Ayman al-Zorqani. The novel is an experiment on the themes of sex and drugs in a context of censorship and persecution. Naji is recognized for his writings on contemporary art and indie music. Using Life is. Naji’s second novel; it has been curated into exhibitions, an animated film, and a multimedia performance.

The Incident: From Mada Masr, Dec 18, 2016: "Naji, a 31-year-old journalist, blogger and novelist, was imprisoned for “violating public modesty” in relation to a chapter of his hybrid graphic novel Istakhdem al-Haya (Using Life, 2014), after a reader filed a case against him, arguing that its sexually explicit content made him feel ill.

"A court acquitted Naji in December 2015, but on the prosecution’s appeal in February 2016 he was sentenced to the maximum term of two years and imprisoned immediately. Tarek al-Taher, chief editor of the state-affiliated Akhbar al-Adab magazine in which the novel was serialized, was sentenced to a LE10,000 fine in the same case.

"The move caused widespread outrage, from Egypt’s culture minister and fellow novelists to the international press, as a step further in a barrage of censorship, closures and imprisonment sweeping the political sphere. Many works of Arabic literature contain content of a sexual nature.

"Naji was awarded the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award in May this year."

Results of Incident: The novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji — along with his editor, Tarek al-Taher — was tried, and upon appeal, re-tried for the publication of an excerpt of his novel Using Life in Akhbar al-Adab. As of December 4, 2016, Naji remains in jail but is on the 2nd presidential pardon list.

UPDATE Dec 18: "The two-year prison sentence against writer Ahmed Naji, who has been jailed since February on charges of public indecency, was suspended on Sunday pending review on January 1, 2017." (Mada Masr, Dec 18, 2016)

Source: The Guide for "Use of Life" - دليل استخدام الحياة

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Q7KbkxNnM
URIs of the form "The Guide for "Use of Life" - دليل استخدام الحياة https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Q7KbkxNnM%22 are not allowed.


Court suspends sentence against writer Ahmed Naji, release imminent: Lawyer, Mada Masr, Dec 18, 2016

Egyptian Novelist Jailed on Obscenity Charges to Be Released, By NOUR YOUSSEF, DEC. 18, 2016

Jailed Egyptian novelist Naji on 2nd presidential pardon list: Committee Member, Menna Alaa El-Din, al-Ahram, Sunday 4 Dec 2016

Three New Short-short Stories by Imprisoned Writer Ahmed Naji BY MLYNXQUALEY, Arabic Literature (in English) on DECEMBER 3, 2016

Egypt: Laughter in the Dark, Zadie Smith, New York Review of Books, Dec 2, 2016

‘Using Life’: A Novel Excerpt on Trial in Egypt, BY MLYNXQUALEY, Arabic Literature (in English) on JANUARY 25, 2016

Egyptian Novelist Ahmed Naji and Editor Tarek al-Taher Will Go Back to Court in ‘Public Morals’ Case, BY MLYNXQUALEY, Arabic Literature (in English) on JANUARY 13, 2016


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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.

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