Presentation on theme: "Censorship and Freedom of Speech By John Carroll, Jean Cullinane, Roisin Quinn, Kevin Meaney and Oleg Erkhov."— Presentation transcript:
Censorship and Freedom of Speech By John Carroll, Jean Cullinane, Roisin Quinn, Kevin Meaney and Oleg Erkhov
Censorship – What is it?? Controlling the freedom of human expression by governing bodies. Stability of society. Suppression and Regulation of ideas. For the Protection of society. Restricts access to information
Sanitization – The removal of certain ideas completely from communicative media. Whitewashing – Omitting pieces of information. Explicit Censoring – Laws are passed to prevent propagation of ideas. Implicit Censoring - People are afraid to express themselves due to intimidation. Types of Censorship
Censoring forms of Data based on … Morals – disapproves the ethical value of expression, Eg: Pornography Military – Gleaning info used in tactics for counter espionage, “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” Political – Prevents free expression needed in revolution. Religious – Generally involves the dominant faith shunning material, Eg: Sexual Health Corporate – Publishable material is halted if expected to damage their business.
Censoring in the Electronic Age March 2002, Government policies group internet censoring into 4 categories. 1) Encourage industry self-regulation and end- user use of blocking technology. 2) Criminal penalties to those providing content “unsuitable to minors” online. 3) Mandate blocking access to adults – government controlled. 4) Prohibit access to internet – government scheme.
Censorship of Books A Brief History Socrates – sentenced to drink poison Galileo – Imprisoned, ban on writings Maya civilisation – cultural heritage destroyed British Licensing Act 1662 – nothing 'contrary to good life and good manners'
Censorship of Books Recent Issues American Library Association ALA – 'the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. [ALA] provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through with any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored' 100 most frequently challenged books of the last decade
Salman Rushdie –The Satanic Verses 1988 –Irreverent depiction of Muhammad –Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of Iran issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie –$3 million bounty offered for his death –Led to vicious attacks, rioting and murder –Iran rejected requests in 2005 to withdraw the fatwa Paul Fregosi –Intimidation leading to self censorship
Film censorship Since the era of silent movies, the censorship of films in Ireland has been legally enforced initially through local authorities and later through the Censorship of Films Act Remarkably, this act continues to govern film censorship today In the past, Ireland's Film Censors Office heavily cut films, However, since the release of Michael Collins in 1996, which was rated PG for historical reasons, despite its depictions of extreme violence, the censors office has reduced age ratings in general and rarely cuts movies.
Six movie rating categories exist, although a movie may have been re-rated by the time of its video/DVD release. G, into which anyone is allowed PG, into which anyone is allowed but parental consent is advised, and is down to the discretion of the cinema or video library 12A, a cinema-only cert, which those over the age of 12 or those with parental consent may watch. Was formerly called 12PG, does not exist for video releases 15A, a cinema-only cert, into which those over the age of 15 or those with parental consent may enter. Was formerly called 15PG. 16, a cinema-only rating for content which imposes less restriction on violent content, sexual content, and drug usage. Very few films receive this rating, and those that do generally are either cut or uprated to 18 on video release. 18, into which those over the age of 18 may enter Film censorship
Although censorship is technically forbidden by the US Constitution in practice it has been applied in numerous subtle and not so subtle ways in order to keep film-makers in line. Film regulation became a national issue in 1930, when concern over what was perceived to be increasing immorality in early American sound films led to the creation of the Motion Picture Production Code. Its guidelines, together with those laid down by the influential Catholic Legion of Decency, had a far-reaching effect on mainstream film production in the US. Film censorship
Natural born killers Natural Born Killers is a 1994 motion picture directed by Oliver Stone and starring Juliette Lewis and Woody Harrelson. The movie intended to highlight the sensationalized way crimes are depicted in the media and the way killers are virtually regarded as cultural heroes. It was criticized by the press for its excessively graphic and violent content, and because of this many people often seemed to miss the real point of the film: it is a highly stylized critique of violence glamorized by the media.
Natural born killers The film censor in Ireland, Seamus Smith, announced the ban on the film in 1994 without giving reason. The reaction from the American press almost as exaggerated & extreme as the imagery in the film. The media in America stated that this film kills.
A clock work orange A Clockwork Orange (1971) is a film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. Set a few years in the future, the film follows the career of a teenager named Alex whose main pleasures in life are European classical music (especially Beethoven), rape, and random acts of "ultra-violence." United States censorship The film was Rated X on its original release in the United States. Later, Kubrick voluntarily cut 30 seconds from the film for a re-release,which was rated R and released in the US in The film was rated C (for "condemned") by the United States Catholic Conference's Office for Film and Broadcasting because of its explicit sexual and violent content; such a rating conceptually forbade Catholics from seeing the film. The "condemned" rating was abolished in 1982,
A clock work orange British withdrawal In the United Kingdom the sexual violence in the film was considered extreme. claims that the film had inspired copycat behaviour were made: the press blamed the influence of the film for an attack on a homeless person and a rape in which the attackers sang "Singin' in the Rain". The film was subsequently withdrawn from UK distribution by Kubrick himself. Warner Bros. acceded to Kubrick's request to withdraw the film Whatever the reason for the film's withdrawal, it could not easily be seen in the United Kingdom for some 27 years. The first video and DVD releases followed shortly after Kubrick's death.
The Exorcist Landmark of horror films, based on an enormously popular novel: A troubled cleric sees a means of redemption in helping a psychologically damaged teen. The Exorcist was also accused of, among many other things, manipulation of its audience through the use of subliminal imagery. In the United Kingdom, the movie was included in the 'Video nasty' phenomenon of the early 1980s. Following a successful re-release in cinemas in 1998, the film was resubmitted and was passed uncut with an 18 certificate rating in 1999, signifying a relaxation of the censorship rules with relation to home video in the UK.
The Exorcist The film was banned in Ireland because it contained scenes where a 12- year old possessed girl a) masturbates with a crucifix saying “fuck me Jesus”, b) calls a priest a “cocksucker” c) she vomits on a priest This may seem archaic compared to films of today, but then the Irish Film Censor’s Office has evolved to keep up with an Ireland that has radically changed since the 1970s. To this day the movie is still banned in Finland.
Passion of Christ The Passion of the Christ (2004) is a film about the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus Christ, known to Christians as "the Passion". It was directed by Mel Gibson. In November 2003, The New York Post screened the film for a handful of reviewers including Robert Levine, vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis Rabbi Levine wrote that "It hurt me as a Jew to watch it. It was the most appalling depiction of Jews in a film in my recollection. It was painful and inaccurate." Pacific Rim Bureau (CNS News.com) — Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ may have packed theatres in many parts of the world, including the Middle East, but the authorities in Malaysia don’t want Muslims to see it.
Passion of Christ The story of the crucifixion contradicts the Quran, which characterizes Jesus as a Muslim prophet who was taken up to heaven without dying. Islam also regards the portrayal of prophets through pictures or images as a sin. After Christian leaders lobbied in favor of the movie, it was revealed in parliament that it had been approved for screening at designated cinemas. Movie goers would have to show national identification cards — which show religious affiliation — to be allowed in. Teresa Kok, a lawmaker with the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party, said in a statement the decision contradicted the government’s stated policy of promoting racial and religious tolerance and also violated the federal constitution. Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing told a Catholic publication the movie could be “a wonderful jumping-off point for interreligious dialogue to enhance mutual understanding and acceptance.”
Passion of Christ Many Christians have viewed The Passion as a significant evangelistic tool, believing the depiction of Christ’s suffering for the world would be a powerful incentive to conversion. Ironically, despite the concern in many Muslim countries about Christian proselytizing, The Passion was popular in some Islamic countries for another reason altogether — its depiction of the Jews. The film was banned in 2004 however, the ban was later lifted to only allow "Christians" to watch the movie. No checks were done at screenings but tickets were sold through churches.
Music Human Expression Censored
Music -one of the oldest forms of human expression. - present in every culture. - valuable aspect of any society. - important style of free expression.
Music Censorship What we commonly refer to as "music censorship" is actually implicit censorship: community, institutional, and corporate attempts to regulate society according to their personal standards of decency and order - or to the standards they feel best serve themselves and their peers. Their purpose is to control, suppress or ban the music, lyrics, and/or music-related art that they find offensive or objectionable. Should Music be a subject to censorship? - Religious? - Political?
Music Censorship Common response of artists around the world
Who? Government. Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) Was founded in 1985 by the wives of several congressmen of US. «The Filthy Fifteen» - list of songs proposed to be banned.
1 Prince - "Darling Nikki" Sex/Masturbation 2 Sheena Easton - "Sugar Walls" Sex 3 Judas Priest - "Eat Me Alive" Sex 4 Vanity - "Strap on Robbie Baby" Sex 5 Mötley Crüe - "Bastard" Violence 6 AC/DC - "Let Me Put My Love into You" Sex 7 Twisted Sister-"We're Not Gonna Take It"Violence 8 Madonna - "Dress You Up" Sex 9 W.A.S.P. - "Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)"Sex/Language 10 Def Leppard - "High 'N' Dry " Drug and Alcohol Use 11 Mercyful Fate - "Into the Coven" Occult 12 Black Sabbath - "Trashed" Drug and Alcohol Use 13 Mary Jane Girls - "In My House" Sex 14 Venom - "Possessed" Occult 15 Cyndi Lauper - "She Bop" Sex/Masturbation The Filthy Fifteen of 1985
(RIAA) - Recording Industry Association of America Advisory stickers – «Tipper Sticker» Tipper Gore, Susan Baker, Nancy Thurmond... vs Frank Zappa, Dee Snider, John Denver... In the end – adverse effect of Tipper Sticker. (RIAA) decision
PMRC PMRC claimed that the change in rock music was attributable to the decay of the nuclear family in America. They said that since there was little stability in the family, children were forced to turn to outside influences, and thus were greatly vulnerable to corruption. As a method of combating these problems, the PMRC suggested labeling records that contained "explicit lyrics or content". They said that it was a method of warning parents of dangerous material before their children listened to it.
Oponent of PMRC Zappa said: "The PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretation and enforcement problems inherent in the proposal's design... It is my understanding that, in law, First Amendment issues are decided with a preference for the least restrictive alternative. In this context, the PMRC's demands are the equivalent of treating dandruff by decapitation." Zappa also pointed out in media interviews that neither "comedy records" nor "country music" recordings were being subjected to the same call for warning labels in the proposal, despite the latter genre being rich with examples of references to alcohol, sex, divorce, hellfire and the devil.
Music Power It is a medium that is understandable by us all Songs implict emotional response by means of lyrics, melody or combination of both. (now with video it is even more powerful) e.g. National Anthem, Rebel songs, X-mas jingles... Our tastes in music can distiguish us from others, divide us or bring us together. Taste in music can even be used to classify us visually, politicaly, religiously, racially... With introduction of Censorship: Our choice of music can lead to disiplinary action or social conflict. Music can be used in propaganda.
The singing nuns in Chinese prison DJ Cleo in Zimbabwe Ban on Rap Music in D.R. of Congo Taxi Passenger detained in London for humming to Clash's «London Calling» Kanya West censored on BBC World premiere of film about music censorship in Iran
Album Art Mass production of vinyls and later tapes, CD's led to the boom in abstract/contreversial designs. Many were banned or were forced to be changed/reprinted by the government officials.
Who enforces censorship? The supervision and controlling of ideas by a governing authority which are circulated to the people of the nation. When a country or nation was captured, the captors would usually burn books so that the citizens would not be able to compare the old government with the new, and would not revolt.
Religious Censorship in Fine Art Background Controlled/Limited by Religious authority. Reasons: Blasphemy, Heresy, Impiety, Sacrilege, Obscenity. Difficult to interpret a solid censorship as a religious doctrine is debatable and can lead to dogma. Religious forms of censorship were in the past implicit. Recent evidence finds religious administrations responsible for omitting information since it contradicts their beliefs – sanitization. "Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself." -Potter Stewart, poet
Christianity Vs Chris Ofili Exhibited Oct Titled, “The Holy Virgin Mary.” Depicted the figure as black with mixed media inc. elephant dung. Case Study - Protests and Accusations Religious groups didn’t ask the artist. Symbolism in art
Hosing down ‘Piss Christ’ Andres Serrano photographer Case Study - Assaulted art Art removed to protect gallery Government funding tastelessness??? Blasphemous Art Cover-ups …
Burn the Book?? Is it right to create art if it means upsetting, hurting others? Do artists have an obligation to censor their right to freedom of speech.
Censorship and Freedom of Expression in the present day
Clash of Cultures Decided to look at censorship and freedom of information through the lens of a 21 st century controversy. Sep 17th 2005 an article in a Danish newspaper called “Profound fear of criticism of Islam”. Described the difficulty an author had in getting anyone to illustrate a childrens book about the prophet Muhammad Sparked off a debate about self-censorship Newspapers in Denmark independent of the government. Rated at the top of the Worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2005 Jutland Post (weekday circulation of 150,000 copies) asked 40 cartoonists to draw an image of Muhammad, 12 sent in drawings Sep 30 th 2005 cartoons published.
Culture editor said “The modern, secular society is rejected by Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special considerations of their religious feelings. It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where you must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule….we are on our way to a slippery slope where no-one can tell where self-censorship will end.”
Viewed as an act of inclusion and integration. About the right of free speech and not seen as discriminatory because other religions had cartoons about them Felt by many Muslims to be islamophobic, blasphemous, humiliating to a minority group and ignorant of sensitivities. Divisions highlighted - –Secular-religious –Democratic-nondemocratic –Free speech – censorship –East - West.
Frattini, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security, the cartoons foment hostility against Islam and foreigners: –“Honestly, these kinds of drawings can add to the growing Islamophobia in Europe. I fully respect the freedom of speech, but, excuse me, one should avoid making any statement like this, which only arouses and incites to the growing radicalisation.” "Our right to say, write, photograph and draw what we want to within the framework of the law exists and must endure - unconditionally!" Jutland Post hired a security firm after receiving threats after phone calls and threats on the Internet
Freedom of Expression Freedom of speech/expression is often regarded as an integral concept in modern liberal democracies, The right to freedom of speech is guaranteed under international law – Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, although implementation remains lacking in many countries. –In a democracy open discussions of candidates is essential so voters can make informed decisions during elections. It is through speech that people can influence their government's choice of policies and how public officials can be criticized and held accountable. –"The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish."
Effects In the 6months after the cartoons appeared: Saudi Arabian Ambassador withdrawn Embassies burnt down – Damascus, Beirut, Tehran Denmark's ambassadors to Syria, Iran and Indonesia leave because of threats against them. Embassy in Islamabad closed. Danish Products boycotted Protests in – Afghanistan,Algeria, Egypt, Kashmir, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Palestine, Thailand, Nairobi, India, Pakistan and Turkey. The United Nations, the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference express alarm and urge dialogue and restraint. The Islamic Palestinian group Hamas offers to seek to calm anger among Muslims but tells the West to "change its attitudes."
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi blames western nations for a "huge chasm" between the West and Islam. A leading Iranian cleric praises Muslim "holy rage" while the radical group Islamic Jihad threatens to "burn the ground" beneath anyone who make a future "attack" on the prophet. British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he regrets the offence caused, but insists nothing justifies the violent backlash. Cartoons not reprinted in UK or USA. 15 Christian churches burned in Nigerian city. Roman Catholic priest was shot to death in Turkey
A Pakistani Muslim cleric and his followers recently offered over $1 million to anyone who killed one of the Danish cartoonists who caricatured Muhammad. This is not the only bounty that has been placed on them. A number of symbols of the West have been attacked by protesters. The attacks in Pakistan included a Pizza Hut, a Holiday Inn, some Western- owned gas stations, and a statue of Ronald McDonald. In Afghanistan, hundreds of students demonstrated against the cartoons, and Reuters reports that they "shouted support for Osama bin Laden and threatened to join his al Qaeda if Islam were insulted again.“
Conclusion Freedom of expression integral to democracy Free flow of ideas essential A basic political or civil liberty Promotes ideas and the search for truth Does it apply to all kinds of expression in all circumstances? Courts are testing grounds for free expression Censorship and freedom of expression in a dynamic relationship Reflect levels of fear or ease in a society