Tag Archives: censorship

Gay Human Rights Website banned in Indonesia!

IGLHRC E.D. Cary Alan Johnson

The IGLHRC website has been banned in Indonesia.

Statement from Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission:

“This is not the first time that attempts to organize and educate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies have been met with state censorship. All too often, governments use the charge of pornography as a smokescreen to attack freedom of expression. Oppressive governments can’t stop the tide of LGBT voices—whether they are on the Internet, in the media or on the streets. IGLHRC stands with human rights defenders in Indonesia in their struggle to keep the web free for dialog on basic human rights issues.

According to a spokesperson for the internet service provider IM2, the order came from the Minister of Communication and Information who … banned [the website] due to it’s content which, they determined contains pornography.

Subsequently, Indonesian LGBT activists who tried to access the website reported that they had received the following message: Site inaccessible. The site you wish to open cannot be accessed. (Situs tidak bisa diakses. Situs yang hendak Anda buka tidak dapat diakses.)

Web censorship in Indonesia is frequent but is neither well organized nor uniform and depends on the operator and their respective location. Therefore, with word that they had been banned, IGLHRC reached out to dozens of activists in Indonesia who investigated the accessibility of the website. Indonesian activists confirmed that they were unable to access the IGLHRC website. Many reported they were denied accessibility.

Specifically, IGLHRC was censored in Jakarta (Telkomsel, Indosat, 3), Bandung (Telkomsel, XL), Palembang, South Sumatra, Surabaya (XL), Salatiga, Central Java as well as other areas. Censoring operators include Telkomsel, Indosat (IM-3), Three, XL Axiata, and Telkom Speedy. Only First Media, a small cable operator consistently refused to ban the site.

 

The Saturday Evening Saint Valentine Post

20120214-200235.jpg
These days, this little fellow would probably get the censors in an uproar. In the early part of the 20th century, this image provoked no such concern. Does that make that era a “more innocent age” – as many might suggest? At that time, a kid this age could as easily have been working in a factory or attending a lynching as gracing the cover of a respected magazine half-naked. Innocence is overrated. And security is an illusion.

Hide/Seek in San Francisco with Curator Jonathan D. Katz

Hide/Seek Curator Jonathan D. Katz

Last October, The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery opened Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, the first major museum exhibition showing how the questions of gender and sexual identity have dramatically shaped the creation of modern American portraiture.

For background on the censorship scandal that ensued, click here, here, and here.

On June 3rd, Jonathan D. Katz, director of the doctoral program in visual studies, State University of New York at Buffalo, will discuss his role as co-curator and will consider such themes as sexual difference in depicting modern Americans; how artists have explored the definition of sexuality and gender; how major themes in modern art-especially abstraction-were influenced by this form of marginalization and how art reflected society’s changing attitudes. -via QCC

The program is at The LGBT Community Center at Market and Octavia. It begins at 8pm and costs $10. Want to get more of Katz? Want to give more to regional arts and humanities? Come to the Pre-party!

From 6pm until the lecture starts, enjoy a reception for Dr. Katz to benefit the Queer Cultural Center‘s Queer Conversations on Culture and the Arts: a series of lectures co-presented by QCC and the California College of the Arts. QCCA brings together locally and nationally renowned artists, writers, filmmakers, and scholars for a series of conversations to discuss a broad range of topics in the humanities and the arts. Reception tickets are $25-$100 donation and include wine, hors d’oeuvres, and preferred seating at the lecture.

Men Kissing…sexy slide show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Facebook, that gleaming bastion of Internet freedom, is purportedly zapping pics of same-sex kisses. FB users have responded with Kissing is Cool, a virtual public event and discussion. More on that here. For revolutionary Egyptian kisses, click here and here.

The Queer Cultural Center and San Francisco Camerawork to screen “A Fire In My Belly” by David Wojnarowicz Friday December 10

The Queer Cultural Center and San Francisco Camerawork present a special screening of the entire 13-minute video of A Fire in my Belly by David Wojnarowicz. The screening is one of many being held at galleries in cities country-wide to protest the recent censorship of the Wojnarowicz video from the Hide/Seek exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. A Fire In My Belly is being made available by the the artist’s estate and the P.P.O.W. Gallery. The 13-minute video will be folowed by a presentation on censorship and the arts by art historian Robert Atkins. A roundtable discussion of the issues will include a Skype visit by Hide/Seek curator Jonathan Katz. Ian Carter, Kim Anno and others will join in what is sure to be a lively discussion.

Friday, December 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm

San Francisco Camerawork 657 Mission Street San Francisco, Second Floor

Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery pulls Wojnarowicz Video from Big Gay Art Show on World AIDS Day

The venerable and generally conservative National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian has been playing things a little closer to the edge of late. A 2009 exhibit on the self-portraiture of Marcel Duchamp has been followed with this year’s “Hide and Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” – a show broadly based around love on the Gay side. After being pressured by The Catholic League and assorted unnamed “conservatives” the museum has removed the David Wojnarowicz video “A Fire in my Belly” a beautiful and chilling piece with music by Diamanda Galas and which includes an eleven-second sequence of ants crawling on a crucifix.

Gallery Director Martin Sullivan has issued the following statement:

“Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” is an exhibition of 105 works of art that span more than a century of American art and culture. One work, a four-minute video portrait by artist David Wojnarowicz (1987), shows images that may be offensive to some. The exhibition also includes works by highly regarded artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Thomas Eakins and Annie Leibowitz.

I regret that some reports about the exhibit have created an impression that the video is intentionally sacrilegious. In fact, the artist’s intention was to depict the suffering of an AIDS victim. It was not the museum’s intention to offend. We have removed the video.

I encourage people to visit the exhibition online or in the building. Public comments can be directed to National Portrait Gallery PO Box 37012 MRC 973 Washington, D.C. 20013 or npgnews@si.edu Martin Sullivan, Director, National Portrait Gallery.”

In reference to screening the video in the first place, Mr. Sullivan writes that it was “not the museum’s intention to offend.” Fair enough. We wonder, though, what the intention was in removing the piece. In placating one set of sensibilities, the Gallery has managed to offend a lot of other sensibilities and a lot of other people. Our people. Gay people. On World AIDS Day. Charming, Mr. Sullivan. And thank you…for the clarification. Anytime a group acquires a bit of political clout, false allies emerge. It is important for us to know who are friends really are. Friends don’t throw friends under the wheels of the Vatican Express. Or the Happy Rainbow Pride Float. Shame on the Smithsonian and the NPG. They sure blew it this time. Really icky! Not fun and sticky…

For more, read Blake Gopnik’s Washington Post article.