USA: Theatre artistic director re-instated after nude scene controversy

Burgess Clark, artistic director of Boston Children’s Theatre, returned to his position after having been suspended due to controversy over a nude scene in a production of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ that the director refused to remove, reported The Boston Globe on 10 May 2017. Two board members had demanded the director remove […]

India/Pakistan: Films continue to fall victim to threats and censorship

India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has refused to certify film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, which revolves around the stories of four women, reported Hindustan Times on 23 February 2017. The CBFC stated the reason for the denial was that: “The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious [sic] sexual […]

USA: Censorship continues in public spaces and schools

Throughout 2016 and into the beginning of 2017, the US has seen multiple cases of censorship and attempted censorship of art in public spaces and schools. Murals on public walls or in university halls, books in school curricula and productions of plays and musicals have all been targeted by a variety of groups because of […]

Russia: Artistic freedom threatened by nationalist and orthodox groups

While Russian president Vladimir Putin vowed in a meeting with film directors and artists in early December 2016 to protect artistic freedom, he also said artists carry a responsibility not to offend religious believers, saying “there is a very narrow divide between dangerous shock value and freedom of creativity”, reported The New York Times on […]

Israel: Culture minister and activists call for cancellation of Palestinian rapper’s performance

Israel’s controversial Minister of Culture Miri Regev tried to persuade the city of Haifa and its mayor to cancel Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar’s performance at the 32nd annual Haifa Film Festival due to his stance on Israel, reported The Times of Israel on 18 October 2016. Regev’s letter followed warnings from Likud party activists who said […]

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Play goes on after public persuades organisers

Theatregoers at the 56th annual MESS festival in Sarajevo persuaded festival organisers to not cave under pressure from Catholics and Muslims, or give in to threats from violent groups, and put on controversial director Oliver Frljic’s play ‘Our Violence and Your Violence’, reported The Washington Post on 10 October 2016. Bosnian Cardinal Vink Puljic filed […]

Denmark/USA: Artists censored in public spaces

Art in public spaces raises several issues around acceptable content/subject matter, including nudity, race, politics or obscenity, who is funding the work, whether it’s government, business or private individuals, and what the processes are behind who decides what goes up or comes down and why. Three recent incidents of art in public spaces in Denmark and […]

India: Film censorship continues unabated

Even after losing the high profile, month-long battle with the film producers of ‘Udta Punjab’ wherein India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) called for nearly 100 cuts/edits, the board continues to censor films throughout the country at a fast clip. Though the CBFC has been embroiled in controversy over its decisions and methods, other government […]

USA: Threats to cut museum funding over “blasphemous” paintings

Ben Loyola, a member of the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, and one other member, have threatened to cut funding to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) over an exhibition featuring two Mark Ryden paintings Loyola deems to be “very anti-Christian” and “anti-Catholic”, reported local tv news WAVY-TV on 13 May 2016. Loyola, […]

Ghana: Music union calls for regulation on obscene lyrics

The Musician Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has urged musicians to refrain from using profane and obscene lyrics in their songs, asked radio and tv station operators to act as gatekeepers in this regard, and called upon Parliament to step in where the National Media Commission has failed to regulate what music goes on the airwaves, […]

Germany: Turkey attempts to stop EU funding orchestra performance

Markus Rindt, the director of the Dresden Symphony, has claimed that Turkey has demanded the European Commission (EC) pull its 200,000 Euros funding from the ‘Aghet’ art project, in which his orchestra will perform a piece on 30 April 2016 marking the 101-year anniversary of the Armenian genocide, reported The Independent on 25 April 2016. […]

Indonesia: Censorship board considers banning Netflix

The Indonesia Film Censorship Board (LSF) held an emergency meeting regarding Netflix’s recent global expansion and may ban the service from the country. “Last Saturday we watched the movies [available on Netflix]… there are some movies that we have forbid from being screened in the cinemas,” Ahmad Yani Basuki, the chairman of the LSF, said […]

Singapore: Petition launched to ban singer from performing

Over 20,000 “concerned citizens, parents and individuals” in Singapore have signed a petition to stop Adam Lambert from performing at the Countdown 2016 New Year’s Eve concert due to his “promotion of LGBT rights,” reported The Independent. The group petitioned both the government and concert organisers, MediaCorp, and said, “a simple online search would reveal that he […]

United Kingdom: Painting sparks controversy in Northern Ireland

A painting in an exhibition at the Ulster Museum has drawn ire by the Orange Order, an international Protestant organisation based primarily in Northern Ireland, because they say members of their group are depicted wearing Ku Klux Klan garb, the British newspaper The Independent reported. The group lodged their complaint on 4 November 2015, which […]

Sweden: Israeli ambassador demands film banned in schools

The Swedes are currently debating whether the film ‘The dead still have a name’ is anti-Semitic or not, and whether it should be banned, as the Israeli ambassador to Sweden has demanded. ‘The dead still have a name’ is a new film focusing on the ship drama in 2011 when Israeli troops in “international sea” […]

India: Play demanded banned by Catholic church

The Catholic Church in India has demanded a ban on the play ‘Agnes of God’, an adaptation of American playwright John Pielmeier’s drama about a nun giving birth to a child. The church has alleged the play is a ‘wrongful portrayal’ of priests and nuns committed to a life of celibacy and hurts the sentiments […]

France: French mayor bans Oscar nominated film from Mali

Jacques-Alain Bénisti, mayor of a Paris suburb, has tried to derail the screening of Abderrahmane Sissako’s ‘Timbuktu’, despite never having seen the film. The mayor feared “that the movie makes an apology for terrorism,” reported Le Figaro. According to Le Monde, Bénisti thought that young people would see the jihadists in the film as role […]

United Kingdom: British-based Ukrainians call for ban of performers from Russia

Russian artists are facing international protests and bans in Europe for their support of Putin. A “soft power struggle” is making waves that extend beyond the two countries, reports Masha Egupova. By Masha Egupova When Russian singer Valeriya came to London to perform on 21 October 2014, no one expected a scandal. But as she […]

India: Attempts to censor political theatre

Organisers and artists performing in the tiatrs – Konkani theatre – may soon have to submit a formal undertaking to south Goa’s biggest and most well-known state-run theatre performing facility, the Ravindra Bhavan, promising not to speak against politicians, government officials and VIPs, while performing onstage. » Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.firstpost.com

Portugal: Young artists’ flag project tried in court

With the art work ‘Portugal at the gallows’ featuring the Portuguese flag hanging off a garotte, the young photographer and college student Elsio Menau wanted to highlight the current economic and political crisis in Portugal. An individual has filed a complaint to court, accusing the artist of committing a crime. Fernando Cabrita, a lawyer and […]

Spain: Guggenheim Bilbao requests art work removed

The Guggenheim Bilbao museum has ordered a mural in public space that caricatures the museum as a battleship to be taken down, but the artists Mike Bouchet and Paul McCarthy are arguing the artwork’s removal would violate their right to freedom of speech. The museum’s request could be violating Article 20 of the Spanish Constitution, […]

Japan: Company’s attempt to close South Korean photo exhibition failed

At the last minute the Japanese camera manufacturer Nikon wanted to cancel a photo exhibition which was to be held in Tokyo from 26 June to 9 July 2012 at the Shinjuku Nikon Salon by the South Korean photographer Ahn Sehong. Nikon reportedly received a large number of complaints against the exhibition in Tokyo which […]

USA: Attempt to stamp out homosexuality from cartoons

The conservative American mothers’ group One Million Moms has launched an attempt to stamp out homosexuality from the world of graphic novels. The American Family Association-run conservative Christian organisation has taken issue with the news that DC Comics is planning to reveal that one of its established characters is gay – speculation is centring around […]

Turkey: Protest against political interference at Istanbul City Theatre

A controversy over an allegedly obscene play has been used by Istanbul’s mayor to take artistic control of its municipal theatres. Actors took to the streets of Istanbul in protest – with banners that read, “Oh Sultan! Take your hands off theatres!” The municipality of Istanbul wanted to remove a play from the city’s theatre […]

 

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