Where is the Pornography in this Image?
For the second time in as many days I start by recommending that you head over to BagNewsNotes and read a post - this one - by Michael Shaw. Then head to Conscientious and read this one by Joerg Colberg. Each post explores the wide-ranging issues raised by the use of the image I have lifted here. It was taken by Katie Falkenberg and has become the center of political dispute because community-slash-environmental activist Maria Gunnoe incorporated the image into a slideshow she constructed as part of testimony before the House Committee on Natural Resources. The image depicts a young girl bathing in nasty water caused by a mining technique called mountaintop removal in the area where she lives in West Virginia. For her efforts, Gunnoe was detained - at the instigation of staff from the committee - by Capitol police and questioned as to whether she is involved in the production and distribution of child pornography.*
I have written here repeatedly about the multiple vagaries of child porn. Whatever we might put into that category, this image here does not fit. Unless, that is, you find it pornographic that people are compelled to live in such conditions. But the pornography here is political as well. The Republican leadership of this committee - the Chair is Douglas Lamborn (R - Colorado), the staff who called the police are his minions - is truly despicable. The act is called censorship - not just of this image but of Gunnoe's testimony.
* If you want to see the context within which Gunnoe presented this image, you can find a link to a pdf of her testimony here.