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{{Display censorship incident
 
|ongoing=no
 
|year=2016
 
|region=North America
 
|artist=Rigo 23,
 
|subject=Political/Economic/Social Opinion
 
|confronting_bodies=Katzen Arts Center, American University Museum, Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents Association
 
|medium=Public Art, Sculpture
 
|date_of_action=January 3, 2017
 
|location=Washington, DC
 
|description_of_content=The statue of Leonard Peltier, created by Los Angeles-based Portuguese artist Rigo 23, is based on a self-portrait of American Indian Movement activist and long-term prisoner Leonard Peltier. It was created to raise awareness of Peltier's Native American activism, artistry, and his 41 years in prison. The statue is of polychromed redwood and steel, and stands nine feet tall on a base measuring six feet by nine feet, modeled to match the dimensions of a standard prison cell.
 
|description_of_incident=The sculpture was installed December 9, 2016 in front of the American University's Katzen Arts Center and scheduled to remain through April 30, 2017. However, soon after, articles appeared in conservative news outlets criticizing American University for what they believed to be its support of a cop killer. Seeking to clarify that this was not
 
the case, AU issued disclaimers. Then, on December 29, AU received a letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents Association that accused the University of making a political statement advocating for clemency for Peltier while presenting a one-sided version of his story. They called for the immediate removal of the sculpture. Shortly after, on January 3, the sculpture was dismantled and removed.
 
|description_of_result=In a public statement, AU justified the sculpture’s removal on the grounds that the nature of the work and its prominent placement “suggested the University has assumed an advocacy position of clemency for Mr. Peltier, when no such institutional position has been taken.” AU also cites safety concerns based on credible threats to the integrity of the artwork. On February 16, 2017, NCAC sent a letter to the director of the Katzen Center, pointing out that the Katzen Center has successfully presented difficult and controversial subjects in the past, and that by removing the Peltier sculpture it undermined its commitment to academic freedom and its support of “human rights, social justice, and political engagement,” setting a bad precedent for exhibiting political artworks in the future. In its letter, NCAC invoked the 1990 Wolf Trap statement https://ncac.org/resource/1990-wolf-trap-conference-on-academic-freedom-artistic-expression-statement on artistic freedom on campus, endorsed by the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, among others, makes clear that academic institutions are not responsible for—and hence do not necessarily endorse—the views or attitudes expressed in specific artistic works they display any more than they would be for the content of other instruction, publication, or invited speeches. The statement also affirms that artistic expression merits the same assurance of academic freedom that is accorded to other scholarly and teaching activities.
 
 
In its letter, NCAC strongly urged the American University Museum and the Katzen Arts Center to implement clear policies to help avoid future controversies and fumbles in its curatorial decisions. In August, NCAC assisted the American University Museum draft a new set of policies and procedures for handling controversy.
 
 
In February 2018, Rigo 23’s sculpture found a temporary home at The Main Museum in downtown Los Angeles, remaining on view through May 13th.
 
|image=Rigo-sculpture of Peltier.jpg
 
}}
 
 
*<big>[[Form:Censorship_incident|'''Add a Case''']]</big>  
 
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<!--        PASTE INCIDENT BELOW.        -->
 
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 +
{{Display censorship incident
 +
|ongoing=no
 +
|year=2016
 +
|region=Middle East
 +
|artist=Newsha Tavakolian,
 +
|subject=Political/Economic/Social Opinion
 +
|confronting_bodies=Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore
 +
|medium=Photography
 +
|date_of_action=June 2016
 +
|location=Singapore
 +
|description_of_content='I Know Why The Rebel Sings' presented highlights from a range of works by Iranian documentary photographer Newsha Tavakolian. It included photographs from her series, 'Look,' 'Listen,' and "The Blank Pages Of An Iranian Photo Album," as well as previously unexhibited images of humanitarian tragedies around the world with a focus on the portrait. The exhibition was part of Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA)'s pre-festival, O.P.E.N. public engagement initiative ("Open, Participate, Engage, Negotiate"). SIFA is the premier national performing arts festival in the country. Tavakolian, best known for her iconic photographs of struggle and conflict, is a member of Magnum Photos and has shot for publications such as National Geographic.
 +
|description_of_incident=When the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore initially refused to grant permits for 33 of the photos, the Festival Director Ong Keng Sen and the show's curator, Vali Mahlouji, agreed on a smaller selection to be exhibited. But before opening night, the MDA censored 15 of a larger group of photographs hung against a backdrop of a map of the conflict region, replacing each with a black paper rectangle. The photos belong to the series 'On the War Trail,' depicting photos of Kurdish female soldiers fighting ISIS that are part of the YPJ, an all-woman offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party which the Turkish government (along with United States, Japan and Australia, and several other countries) considers a terrorist organisation. The photographs were commissioned by Time Magazine. Festival director Sen issued a statement condemning MDA's move, pointing out that the photographs were already published in Time Magazine and were widely accessible both online and off. "And so we are living with a new terror where we don't know, it is out of our control," he said at the exhibition's launch. [from "Ong Keng Sen on censorship at Newsha Tavakolian's I Know Why the Rebel Sings," June 22, 2016]
 +
|description_of_result=The show remained up for the duration with the blacked-out photographs.
 +
|image=Tavakolian.jpg
 +
|source=http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/arts/removed-images-photographer-deeply-disappointed
 +
}}
 +
[https://sifa.sg/theopen/blog/Statements-from-Newsha-Tavakolian-and-Ong-Keng-Sen-on-censorship/ Statements from Newsha Tavakolian and Ong Keng Sen on censorship, by Ng Yi-Sheng, July 02, 2016]
 +
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[https://faerieimps.blogspot.com/2016/06/i-know-why-rebel-sings_24.html 'i know why the rebel sings', June 24, 2016]
 +
 +
[https://www.sifa.sg/theopen/blog/i-know-why-the-rebel-sings-by-newsha-tavakolian I Know Why the Rebel Sings, by Newsha Tavakolian, by Ng Yi-Sheng, June 23, 2016]
 +
 +
[https://bakchormeeboy.com/2016/06/23/i-know-why-the-rebel-sings-sifa-the-o-p-e-n-2016/ I Know Why The Rebel Sings – SIFA: The O.P.E.N. 2016, June 23, 2016] 
 +
 +
[https://sifa.sg/sifa/blog/Ong-Keng-Sen-on-censorship-at-Newsha-Takavolians-I-Know-Why-the-Rebel-Sings/ Ong Keng Sen on censorship at Newsha Tavakolian's I Know Why the Rebel Sings, by Ng Yi-Sheng, June 22, 2016]
 +
 +
[http://www.newshatavakolian.com/ Newsha Tavakolian Photography]
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 +
[https://www.magnumphotos.com/photographer/newsha-tavakolian/ Newsha Tavakolian on Magnum Photos]
 +
 +
[https://www.instagram.com/newshatavakolian/?hl=en Newsha Tavakolian, Instagram]
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 +
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsha_Tavakolian Newsha Tavakolian, Wikipedia]
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[http://ncac.org/blog/ncac-responds-to-american-university-museums-removal-of-controversial-sculpture NCAC Responds to American University Museum’s Removal of Controversial Sculpture],JANUARY 30, 2017
 
  
[http://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/leonard-peltier-main-museum/ A Censored Sculpture of Imprisoned Native American Activist Leonard Peltier Has Taken Up Residence in L.A. - Rigo 23’s controversial work has found a temporary home at the Main Museum downtown], February 27, 2018
 
  
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Leonard_Peltier Statue of Leonard Peltier], (Wikipedia)
 
  
[http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arts/blog/20848004/after-threats-and-criticism-from-the-fbi-american-university-takes-down-controversial-statue Artist Questions Freedom of Speech After American University Takes Down His Statue - Artist Rigo 23's controversial statue of Leonard Peltier has drawn threats to the campus and criticism from the FBI.], MATT COHEN  JAN 4, 2017 4 PM
 
  
[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/01/04/anger-at-a-cop-killer-a-plea-for-clemency-and-a-fight-over-free-expression-at-au/?utm_term=.740fe15423af  Anger at a cop killer, a plea for clemency, and a fight over free expression at American U.], By Susan Svrluga, Jan. 4, 2017
 
  
[https://www.democracynow.org/2017/1/4/american_university_removes_leonard_peltier_statue American University Removes Leonard Peltier Statue After FBI Letter Amid Urgent Push for Clemency]
 
  
[http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Controversial-Statue-of-Convicted-FBI-Agent-Killer-Removed-From-American-University-Campus-409594185.html Controversial Statue of Convicted FBI Agent Killer Removed From American University Campus; FBI Agents Association asked school to take statue down], By Aimee Cho, NBC, January 3, 2017
 
  
[http://www.justiceonline.org/pcjf_challenges_american_university_s_removal_of_peltier_statue PCJF challenges American University's removal of Peltier statue]
 
  
[https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/01/03/american-u-will-remove-statue-leonard-peltier American U Will Remove Statue of Leonard Peltier], By Scott Jaschik
 
  
 
<!--        END FEATURED CASE        -->
 
<!--        END FEATURED CASE        -->

Revision as of 11:19, 13 November 2018

This Week's Featured Case



Tavakolian.jpg

Artist: Newsha Tavakolian

Year: 2016

Date of Action: June 2016

Region: Middle East

Location: Singapore

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Photography

Confronting Bodies: Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore

Description of Artwork: 'I Know Why The Rebel Sings' presented highlights from a range of works by Iranian documentary photographer Newsha Tavakolian. It included photographs from her series, 'Look,' 'Listen,' and "The Blank Pages Of An Iranian Photo Album," as well as previously unexhibited images of humanitarian tragedies around the world with a focus on the portrait. The exhibition was part of Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA)'s pre-festival, O.P.E.N. public engagement initiative ("Open, Participate, Engage, Negotiate"). SIFA is the premier national performing arts festival in the country. Tavakolian, best known for her iconic photographs of struggle and conflict, is a member of Magnum Photos and has shot for publications such as National Geographic.

The Incident: When the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore initially refused to grant permits for 33 of the photos, the Festival Director Ong Keng Sen and the show's curator, Vali Mahlouji, agreed on a smaller selection to be exhibited. But before opening night, the MDA censored 15 of a larger group of photographs hung against a backdrop of a map of the conflict region, replacing each with a black paper rectangle. The photos belong to the series 'On the War Trail,' depicting photos of Kurdish female soldiers fighting ISIS that are part of the YPJ, an all-woman offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party which the Turkish government (along with United States, Japan and Australia, and several other countries) considers a terrorist organisation. The photographs were commissioned by Time Magazine. Festival director Sen issued a statement condemning MDA's move, pointing out that the photographs were already published in Time Magazine and were widely accessible both online and off. "And so we are living with a new terror where we don't know, it is out of our control," he said at the exhibition's launch. [from "Ong Keng Sen on censorship at Newsha Tavakolian's I Know Why the Rebel Sings," June 22, 2016]

Results of Incident: The show remained up for the duration with the blacked-out photographs.

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/arts/removed-images-photographer-deeply-disappointed


Statements from Newsha Tavakolian and Ong Keng Sen on censorship, by Ng Yi-Sheng, July 02, 2016

'i know why the rebel sings', June 24, 2016

I Know Why the Rebel Sings, by Newsha Tavakolian, by Ng Yi-Sheng, June 23, 2016

I Know Why The Rebel Sings – SIFA: The O.P.E.N. 2016, June 23, 2016

Ong Keng Sen on censorship at Newsha Tavakolian's I Know Why the Rebel Sings, by Ng Yi-Sheng, June 22, 2016

Newsha Tavakolian Photography

Newsha Tavakolian on Magnum Photos

Newsha Tavakolian, Instagram

Newsha Tavakolian, Wikipedia

















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.

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