16 February 2011

Australia ~ Photographers Self-Censor

"Stop Or I Won't Shoot!"
Photograph © Linsey Gosper

Australia is a long way off. But here at the other side of the earth we can learn lessons from the Australians. A couple of years back I posted a number of times about the effort there to censor an exhibition by Bill Henson. The fruits of that effort now seem to have ripened. Here are remarks from this essay photographer Linsey Gosper published in The Sydney Morning Herald:
"Censorship prevails, not only through policy, the media and institutions, but more significantly from artists themselves.

From my personal experience as a photographic artist, and from conversing with many diverse Australian photographers, the most common change in the creation of art now is self-censorship."
This is a forthright statement. It will no doubt displease not only the censors but the photographers who are assiduously avoiding them. And the latter will surely condemn Gosper.

I must say I am unsurprised by this analysis. We have seen self-censorship and much less forthright discussions of it elsewhere and for the same reason. So, my question for Ms. Gosper is "what is to be done?" Having written the essay, is there a venue for challenging the oppressive atmosphere in practice?

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