Censorpedia: An Interactive Database of Censorship Incidents

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This Week's Featured Case

Manga main.jpg

Artist: Paul Gravett

Year: 2006

Date of Action: April 2006

Region: North America

Location: Victorville, California

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Literature, Textbook

Confronting Bodies: San Bernardino District Supervisor Bill Postmus

Description of Artwork: The book chronicled the history of Japanese manga, from World War II to the present day. It included a section on hentai, or erotic manga, which included artistic depictions of sexual acts.

The Incident: 13 copies of the book were in place in San Bernardino county when one of them was taken out by Matt Jones, a 16-year-old boy. When Jones told his mother, Cynthia Jones, about the erotic art section of the book, she wrote a letter to the county library system asking that the book be removed. A story was featured about the incident in local newspapers the Desert Dispatch and the Daily Press, and the next day San Bernardino District Supervisor Bill Postmus ordered that the book be removed from all branches of the county's library system.

Results of Incident: Barstow College placed copies of the book on display following the incident, in protest against the move. The book is still not available in the San Bernardino libraries, although there is a link on the library's website where it is made available for purchase.


LA Area College to Display Banned Manga Book posted on 2006-05-04

Suburban LA County Pulls Manga Textbook posted on 2006-04-14

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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