Censorpedia: An Interactive Database of Censorship Incidents

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Featured Case

Work: Clockwork Orange

Date: 1974

Region: Europe

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Language, Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Violence

Medium: Film Video


Artist: Stanley Kubrick (1928 - 1999)

Confronting Bodies: Local police authorities and the concerned public

Date of Action: 1974

Location: Great Britain

Description of Artwork: The film, based on a book of the same name, takes place in a future England and follows a teenaged gang leader who enjoys rape and ultraviolence. He volunteers for a rehabilitation program which removes his desire for violence, but leaves him suicidal.

The Incident: The British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) had released the film uncut with the X rating, but received a number of complaints that the film would damage society by inspiring teenagers to violence. Through out 1972 and 1973, police linked cases of teenage violence to Clockwork Orange. Simply having the culprit admit to reading the book was enough proof for the public that the film was a bad influence.

In response to the uproar it was causing in Britain, Kubrick had the film withdrawn from the country, even though it had already been running for 61 weeks there.

Results of Incident: It was not until Kubrick's death in 1999 that the film was legally permitted to be shown in Britain.

Source: Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Ed. Derek Jones. Chicago; London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001.

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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Warning: Display title "Censorpedia: An Interactive Database of Censorship Incidents" overrides earlier display title "<span style="font-style: italic;">Clockwork Orange</span>".