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{{Display censorship incident
 
{{Display censorship incident
|ongoing=yes
+
|ongoing=no
|year=2014
+
|year=2016
|region=Middle East
+
|region=North America
|artist=Ahmed Naji,
+
|artist=Dread Scott,
|subject=Explicit Sexuality, Political/Economic/Social Opinion
+
|subject=Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Violence
|confronting_bodies=Egyptian censorship board
+
|confronting_bodies=Outfront Media
|medium=Literature
+
|medium=Design, Public Art
|date_of_action=2016
+
|date_of_action=September-November 2016
|location=Cairo, Egypt
+
|location=Kansas City, Kansas
|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_content=The originally proposed work incorporates a photograph of a flag bearing a message about racial violence on the left-hand side of the billboard, and on the right-hand side, a black background bearing three columns of hashtags with names of innocent African American men and women who have fallen victim to police violence.
|description_of_incident=From Mada Masr, Dec 18, 2016:
+
|description_of_incident=The work, proposed on behalf of the artist by the arts organization 50/50, was scheduled for display on the billboard at 1628 Wyoming Street. 50/50 leases the billboard from Outfront Media as part of their rotating exhibition program in Kansas City. Outfront Media rejected the artwork because they thought it violated their policy against “negative advertising” as well as the requirement that “ads have to be positive (non-confrontational toward any group or individual) to maintain relationships throughout the community.
"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.
+
Dread Scott and 50/50 contacted NCAC for assistance. NCAC wrote a letter to Outfront CEO along with a letter from 50/50's lawyer. Dread Scott also proposed a second billboard design as a compromise, which removed the most controversial element, the photograph of the flag, and instead consisted of a black background with four columns memorializing the names of innocent African Americans who died at the hands of police.
 +
|description_of_result=Outfront Media accepted the compromise and the new billboard design went forward.  
  
"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.
+
'A Partial Listing of People Lynched By Police Recently' on view through December 31st for BLACK LIVES MATTER at 50/50 Kansas City.
 +
|image=Kansas Lynched Billboard final.jpg
 +
|source=http://www.5050kc.com/programs
 +
}}
 +
*
 +
* Images and correspondence between NCAC, the artist and 50/50.
 +
* [http://ncac.org/blog/with-ncac-help-artist-successfully-overturns-corporations-objections-to-black-lives-matter-artwork With NCAC Help, Artist Successfully Reverses Corporation’s Objections to Black Lives Matter Artwork], DECEMBER 6, 2016
 +
* http://www.5050kc.com/blacklivesmatter/
 +
* http://www.dreadscott.net/works/a-man-was-lynched-by-police-yesterday/
 +
* https://www.facebook.com/5050kc/photos/a.248368255355616.1073741828.242754435916998/575524509306654/?type=3&theater
  
"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://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://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
 
  
[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
 
  
[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
 
  
[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
 
  
[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 08:56, 27 February 2017

This Week's Featured Case



Kansas Lynched Billboard final.jpg

Artist: Dread Scott

Year: 2016

Date of Action: September-November 2016

Region: North America

Location: Kansas City, Kansas

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Violence

Medium: Design, Public Art

Confronting Bodies: Outfront Media

Description of Artwork: The originally proposed work incorporates a photograph of a flag bearing a message about racial violence on the left-hand side of the billboard, and on the right-hand side, a black background bearing three columns of hashtags with names of innocent African American men and women who have fallen victim to police violence.

The Incident: The work, proposed on behalf of the artist by the arts organization 50/50, was scheduled for display on the billboard at 1628 Wyoming Street. 50/50 leases the billboard from Outfront Media as part of their rotating exhibition program in Kansas City. Outfront Media rejected the artwork because they thought it violated their policy against “negative advertising” as well as the requirement that “ads have to be positive (non-confrontational toward any group or individual) to maintain relationships throughout the community.”

Dread Scott and 50/50 contacted NCAC for assistance. NCAC wrote a letter to Outfront CEO along with a letter from 50/50's lawyer. Dread Scott also proposed a second billboard design as a compromise, which removed the most controversial element, the photograph of the flag, and instead consisted of a black background with four columns memorializing the names of innocent African Americans who died at the hands of police.

Results of Incident: Outfront Media accepted the compromise and the new billboard design went forward.

'A Partial Listing of People Lynched By Police Recently' on view through December 31st for BLACK LIVES MATTER at 50/50 Kansas City.

Source: http://www.5050kc.com/programs


















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.

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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.

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