Blog Archives

Ai Weiwei Defines Artists’ Duty to Resist Repression

May 12, 2017
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Ai Weiwei Defines Artists’ Duty to Resist Repression

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has long been a thorn in the side of authorities, defiantly finding ways to critique government corruption and suppression despite constant surveillance, threats, detention, and a four-year revocation of his passport which prevented him from traveling abroad. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, he laid out what he…

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Wisconsinites Pack Board Meeting for Debate Over Absolutely True Diary

May 11, 2017
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Wisconsinites Pack Board Meeting for Debate Over Absolutely True Diary

Community debate continues over Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, where a review committee recently recommended to Superintendent Cliff Thompson that the book remain in the 9th grade curriculum at Sauk Prairie High School despite a parent’s challenge. Thompson will in turn make his own recommendation…

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Thirteen Reasons Why TV Series Leads to Sudden Scrutiny of Popular Novel

May 10, 2017
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Thirteen Reasons Why TV Series Leads to Sudden Scrutiny of Popular Novel

Ten years after its initial publication, Jay Asher’s young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why is encountering a sudden surge in challenges, bans, and restrictions in schools around the country due to panicked adult backlash against the Netflix series based on it, which met with instant success among teens after its March 31 release. In the…

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Sevinç Kart Speaks at European Parliament for Imprisoned Turkish Journalists

May 9, 2017
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Sevinç Kart Speaks at European Parliament for Imprisoned Turkish Journalists

Over six months ago, Turkish political cartoonist Musa Kart and several of his colleagues from Cumhuriyet newspaper were arrested in the midst of their government’s ongoing crackdown on independent media following the failed coup last July. After an unnecessarily long detention, they were finally indicted last month on spurious charges of supporting Kurdish militants and…

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Utah Repeals Rules on ‘Advocacy of Homosexuality’ in Classrooms

May 8, 2017
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Utah Repeals Rules on ‘Advocacy of Homosexuality’ in Classrooms

Following action by the Utah legislature to repeal a statewide ban on “advocacy of homosexuality” in schools, the state’s Board of Education unanimously voted last week to also repeal its corresponding administrative policy. The ban notably led the Davis School District to restrict student access to the picture book In Our Mothers’ House in 2012…

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Florida Legislature Passes Classroom Censorship Bills

May 5, 2017
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Florida Legislature Passes Classroom Censorship Bills

The Florida Senate today approved the House version of a bill that would facilitate challenges to classroom materials, sending the legislation on to Governor Rick Scott. The Senate also had its own version of the bill, but not enough time remains in the legislative session to reconcile the two so the final version remains unchanged from the…

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How the Comics Code Erased LGBTQ Characters from Mainstream Comics

May 5, 2017
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How the Comics Code Erased LGBTQ Characters from Mainstream Comics

Fredric Wertham’s attack on comics in the early 1950s is probably most remembered today for his concern about over-the-top horror and violence from the likes of EC. But there was another aspect that preoccupied Wertham just as much: the potential for comics to “stimulate children to homosexual fantasies, of the nature of which they may…

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Tennessee High School Removes Student’s Rainbow Artwork from Classroom Display

May 2, 2017
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Tennessee High School Removes Student’s Rainbow Artwork from Classroom Display

Administrators at a Tennessee high school recently ordered the removal of a student’s LGBTQ-themed artwork from a classroom display case after other students complained about it. Principal Bobby Wines of Volunteer High School in Church Hill cited the complaints as proof that the rainbow-colored pastel drawing could not be allowed to remain because it “disrupted…

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‘Seditious’ Malaysian Artist Encourages Compatriots to Hold Government Accountable

May 1, 2017
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‘Seditious’ Malaysian Artist Encourages Compatriots to Hold Government Accountable

Fahmi Reza, the Malaysian graphic designer and activist who is currently facing sedition charges for depicting Prime Minister Najib Razak as a clown, took his message of resistance to Malaysian expatriates in Australia last week. Even as his case is pending before a court in Malaysia, he exhorted his fellow countrymen and women to “continue…

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Syrian Cartoonists Persevere Despite Chaos

April 28, 2017
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Syrian Cartoonists Persevere Despite Chaos

Six years after Syria’s uprising began, the future of the country is far from certain. But one surprising result of the turbulence is already apparent: an abrupt flowering of cartoons, comic magazines, and animated shorts spreading mostly through rebel-held areas and refugee camps. The website Syria Untold recently featured a selection of the sequential art…

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