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Deji Bryce Olukotun: The spear of the N-word

21 January 2015

Opinion-piece by Deji Bryce Olukotun    INSIGHT  In May 2012, a man walked into a South African art gallery and vandalised a painting, portraying President Jacob Zuma naked, that was entitled The Spear of the Nation. He was quietly apprehended by security and did not resist. A few minutes later, …

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Lebanon: Virtual museum winning censorship battles

3 November 2014

The Virtual Museum of Censorship in Lebanon doesn’t just display censorship of the past, it also supports artists who have been subject to censorship, raises awareness about Lebanon’s censorship practices and advocates for changing the law while holding authorities accountable. “Lebanon’s censorship practices and laws are outdated and the bureaucracy …

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Russia: The street artists that drive authorities mad

31 October 2014

Russian street artists are twisting and testing the lines between art, activism and hooliganism. While most artists would define their various protest actions and expressions as art, or street art, the Russian authorities only see illegal hooliganism. This report goes behind the arts scenes in the country which became internationally …

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China: Censorship of independent art has never been harsher

30 September 2014

China says it wants to promote ‘culture’ but its censorship of independent art has never been more systemic, reports Oiwan Lam from Beijing, where authorities clamped down on yet another independent film festival in August 2014. By Oiwan Lam Chinese authorities shut down the 11th Annual Beijing Independent Film Festival …

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Russia: Musicians speak of censorship, persecution and viciousness

30 April 2014

Violations of freedom of expression in Russia hit the frontpages of newspapers and websites all over the world in 2012 when two members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot were imprisoned. Many other music groups and artists in Russia face censorship and persecution – but their cases are never …

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North Korea: Sun Mu – the faceless painter

30 August 2013

Sun Mu is not the artist’s actual name. It’s a nom de plume that uses a combination of two Korean words that translate to ‘The Absence of Borders’. It not only represents what he feels is the transcendence of art but also the literal military demarcation line that keeps the …

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Syria: Art, creative resistance and active citizenship

7 November 2012

The links between creative resistance and active citizenship, art and civic conscience have been a strong component of the Syrian uprising. Finally, citizens have turned into peer-creators and users, who have now the tools to express their creativity.     BY DONATELLA DELLA RATTA • OCTOBER 2012 • [A4 PDF] …

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Fear, threats and self-censorship among Syrian rappers

22 October 2012

Syrian rappers are split about how to engage in the fronts of an uprising that have turned to civil war. President Bashar al-Assad’s fear-based society is making everyone think twice.   Refugees of Rap, a group of rappers from the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk in Syria, has a new album …

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Symbols into soldiers: Art, censorship, and religion

19 October 2012

Notwithstanding almost two and a half centuries of separation of church and state, religious groups in the US have never given up the desire to impose their values and beliefs on society at large. Controversies around art with religious content persist with some regularity, generally spurred by private religious groups …

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