Archive for the ‘UK Censor News’ Category

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pah laA stage drama about Tibet has been pulled by the Royal Court Theatre for fear offending China.Abhishek Majumdar said his play Pah-la was shelved because of fears over an arts programme in Beijing. His play deals with life in contemporary Tibet and draws on personal stories of Tibetans he worked with in India,

The London theatre, once known for its groundbreaking international productions, is facing questions after Abhishek Majumdar revealed a copy of the poster for the play Pah-la , bearing the imprints of the Arts Council and the Royal Court along with text suggesting that it was due to run for a month last autumn.

Majumdar claimed the play was withdrawn because of fears over the possible impact on an arts programme in Beijing, where Chinese writers are working with the publicly funded theatre and British Council.

The play was in development for three years and rehearsals had been fixed, according to Majumdar, who claimed that the British Council had pressurised the theatre to withdraw it because of sensitivities relating to the writing programme.

The Royal Court said it had had to postpone and then withdraw Pah-la for financial reasons last year, after it had been in development for three years, and that it was now committed to producing the play in spring 2019 in the light of recent events. It added:

The Royal Court always seeks to protect and not to silence any voice. […BUT…] In an international context, this can sometimes be more complex across communities. The Royal Court is committed to protecting free speech, sometimes within difficult situations.

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john william waterhouse: Hylas and the NymphsManchester Art Gallery has censored a historic artwork seemingly in response to #MeToo concerns about men gazing on naked women.John William Waterhouse’s painting Hylas and the Nymphs was painted in 1896 and depicts pubescent, naked nymphs tempting a handsome young man to his doom.  It is one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings.

Although framing the decision as some sort of prompt for a debate, the censorship seems permanent as the gallery has also announced that will also be erased from the post card selection in the gallery shop.

Clare Gannaway, the gallery’s ‘curator’ of contemporary art, explained the censorship on grounds of political correctness. She spoke about the work, and related paintings which were exhibited in a room titled In Pursuit of Beauty :

The title was a bad one, as it was male artists pursuing women’s bodies, and paintings that presented the female body as a passive decorative art form or a femme fatale.

For me personally, there is a sense of embarrassment that we haven’t dealt with it sooner. Our attention has been elsewhere … we’ve collectively forgotten to look at this space and think about it properly. We want to do something about it now because we have forgotten about it for so long.

She added that the debates around Time’s Up and #MeToo had fed into the decision.

She also invented a bizarre take on “I don’t believe in censorship…BUT…”. She claimed

The aim of the removal was to provoke debate, not to censor. It wasn’t about denying the existence of particular artworks. [ …BUT… it was about preventing men from gazing on the female form].

The response so far has been mixed. Some have said it sets a dangerous precedent, while others have called it po-faced and politically correct.

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House of Commons logoCustoms officers are to gain permission to enter and search people’s homes without a warrant in a law change a minister warns would allow them more powers than the police.

Kit Malthouse, a Conservative MP who became a minister in this week’s reshuffle, said he is concerned about new powers for HM Revenue and Customs in the Finance Bill which is currently going through Parliament.

The changes were an extension of the old excise men’s powers to deal with smugglers in ports and airports he said, questioning whether such powers are appropriate today.

He said: I hope that Ministers will think carefully about whether it might be more appropriate for a warrant to be obtained to access someone’s premises, in the same way that the police do when they have suspicions.

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brighton hove council logoPlan to install wifi in Brighton council care homes have been ditched over selfish worries of being held responsible for downloading copyrighted material.Elderly residents in 25 care units were to get internet access as part of a drive to encourage them to go online. But the proposed scheme was scrapped after the disgraceful housing boss Anne Meadows said there were concerns old people might access inappropriate material. She whined:

There are particular challenges on security and the council’s liability when providing access in a communal setting. Not least in people accessing illegal or inappropriate material.

Mike Bojczuk, a volunteer spearheading the wifi plan, said the council was insisting on a far higher level of security than was necessary.

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free balochistan taxiTransport for London (TfL) has removed Free Balochistan adverts from London black cabs after pressure from the Pakistani governmentThe World Baloch Organisation , which advocates for rights of the ethnic Balochs who live in the Balochistan regions straddling Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, launched its campaign on London’s black cabs to highlight the war crimes and human rights abuses of the Islamabad government.

The #FreeBalochistan adverts carry slogans saying Stop enforced disappearances and Save the Baloch people

The British High Commissioner in Islamabad was summoned to appear before the Pakistani Foreign Secretary, Tehmina Janjua, on Friday over the adverts which they said directly attack its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

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jubilee 2017A new stage play in Manchester has cut lines about Myra Hindley being a true artist and a hero for fear of offending the audience.Derek Jarman’s 1978 punk film Jubilee has been adapted for the Royal Exchange theatre.

In the film, a character named Amyl Nitrate used her opening speech to say Hindley instantly became my hero when she was 15.  She also said Hindley was a true artist because she knew how to make her desires a reality, and dismissed those who said her crimes were unimaginable because that showed the poverty of your imagination.

Director Chris Goode, who has adapted the script for its stage premiere, said the lines were in the original film to show how punks deliberately wanted to shock society and smash taboos.

He initially resisted requests to take out the reference to Hindley but was ‘convinced’ to do so by a member of the senior artistic leadership of the Royal Exchange on Saturday.

It seemed to me that if Derek [Jarman] could do that in 1977 that we must be able to do it 40 years on, he told BBC News. But after being ‘convinced’ he added:

I hadn’t fully understood the way in which Myra Hindley as an icon and an idea has sort of become hotter over the intervening 40 years. That surprised me a little bit.

It’s possible we could make a different decision about this if we were doing this run in London.  And there will be a run in London, and I expect we’ll have the conversation again. But for now in Manchester it feels like there’s a sensitivity there.

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heist tightsBack in 2016, after a bit of a hoo-hah about a ‘beach body ready’ advert, London Mayor Sadiq Khan pressurised Transport For London (TfL) into introducing a PC ban for all adverts which didn’t adhere to the notion of ‘body positivity’.And in the latest example of extreme PC censorship, Heist, a company which sells up-market tights, recently revealed that TfL forced it to cover-up a woman’s naked back with a bandeau top in one of its adverts on the tube.

A representative from Exterion Media, the company which works on behalf of TfL and enforces its policy, told Heist:

Whilst I know this is only showing a bare back, it still depicts a ‘topless model. If we could add a boob tube around the back I think this would be passed.’

It also looks as if the tights were photoshopped to darken them a little to hide a rather sharply outlined bottom.

… Read the critical comment in article from blogs.spectator.co.uk by Ella Whelan.