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{{Display censorship incident
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=== '''Some Living American Women Artists/Last Supper''' ===
|ongoing=yes
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====Date: [[:Category:1995|1995]]====
|year=2014
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|region=Middle East
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|artist=Ahmed Naji,
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|subject=Explicit Sexuality, Political/Economic/Social Opinion
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|confronting_bodies=Egyptian censorship board
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|medium=Literature
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|date_of_action=2016
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|location=Cairo, Egypt
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|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.
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|description_of_incident=From Mada Masr, Dec 18, 2016:
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"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.
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"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.
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====Region: [[:Category:North America|North America]]====
  
"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.
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====Subject: [[:Category:Religious|Religious]] [[:Category:Political/Economic/Social Opinion|Political/Economic/Social Opinion]]====
  
"Naji was awarded the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award in May this year."
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====Medium: [[:Category:Mixed Media|Mixed Media]]====
|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.
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[[File:LastSupper.jpg|right]]
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'''Artist:''' Mary Beth Edelson (b. 1933)
  
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)
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'''Confronting Bodies:''' Eight faculty members at Franklin and Marshal College, including a Russian Orthodox Priest
|image=Useoflife.jpg
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|source=The Guide for "Use of Life" - دليل استخدام الحياة
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Q7KbkxNnM
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}}
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[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
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[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
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'''Dates of Action:''' October 1995
  
[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
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'''Location:''' The Women's Center, Franklin and Marshal College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  
[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
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'''Description of Artwork:''' The 1972 poster recasts Da'Vinci's ''Last Supper'' with women artists of the '70s feminist art movement, and has been recognized as the iconic image in the art of 70s feminism.  A border of more women artists frames the image.  Georgia O'Keefe's head takes the place of Jesus. 
  
[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
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'''The Incident:''' A copy of the poster was donated to the Women's Center upon its opening in 1992, and the center placed it on permanent display.  As a result, eight faculty members complained that it was an affront to Christian sensitivities.  They called for the censure of the Women's Center and its Executive Board, who declined to remove the image.
  
[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
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'''Results of Incident:''' As in 1972, the piece attracted media attention and sparked debate between religious communities and feminists.
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Mary Beth Edelson (formerly Mary Beth Snyder) first encountered censorship in 1955 as a student at Indiana's DePauw University.  Two of her works were removed from an exhibit on display in their Union Building.  They were eliminated by suggestion of some faculty members who complained that they were "degrading, not pretty, and would discourage other students from entering the Art Department."  Her pieces were replaced by two of her other works, and later exhibited in a senior exhibit in the Art Building.
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'''Source:''' NCAC, In a Pig's Eye: The Offence of Some Living American Women Artists, Linda S. Aleci, DePauw University newspaper; http://www.marybethedelson.com/posters.html
  
[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
 
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Revision as of 08:21, 13 February 2017

This Week's Featured Case


Some Living American Women Artists/Last Supper

Date: 1995

Region: North America

Subject: Religious Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Mixed Media


LastSupper.jpg

Artist: Mary Beth Edelson (b. 1933)

Confronting Bodies: Eight faculty members at Franklin and Marshal College, including a Russian Orthodox Priest

Dates of Action: October 1995

Location: The Women's Center, Franklin and Marshal College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Description of Artwork: The 1972 poster recasts Da'Vinci's Last Supper with women artists of the '70s feminist art movement, and has been recognized as the iconic image in the art of 70s feminism. A border of more women artists frames the image. Georgia O'Keefe's head takes the place of Jesus.

The Incident: A copy of the poster was donated to the Women's Center upon its opening in 1992, and the center placed it on permanent display. As a result, eight faculty members complained that it was an affront to Christian sensitivities. They called for the censure of the Women's Center and its Executive Board, who declined to remove the image.

Results of Incident: As in 1972, the piece attracted media attention and sparked debate between religious communities and feminists.

Mary Beth Edelson (formerly Mary Beth Snyder) first encountered censorship in 1955 as a student at Indiana's DePauw University. Two of her works were removed from an exhibit on display in their Union Building. They were eliminated by suggestion of some faculty members who complained that they were "degrading, not pretty, and would discourage other students from entering the Art Department." Her pieces were replaced by two of her other works, and later exhibited in a senior exhibit in the Art Building.

Source: NCAC, In a Pig's Eye: The Offence of Some Living American Women Artists, Linda S. Aleci, DePauw University newspaper; http://www.marybethedelson.com/posters.html


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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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