International

Researchers Analyze Syrian Political Cartoons on Facebook

April 9, 2014
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Researchers Analyze Syrian Political Cartoons on Facebook

As we’ve seen many times over, political cartoons play an important role in fomenting rebellion against repressive governments. Because it’s often difficult or impossible to distribute them through traditional print media in their own countries, many cartoonists are now taking advantage of social media to share their work. Intrigued by this use of new platforms…

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Barefoot Gen Reportedly Returned to Izumisano School Libraries

March 25, 2014
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Barefoot Gen Reportedly Returned to Izumisano School Libraries

We’re slowly getting more details on last week’s news that Keiji Nakazawa’s manga Barefoot Gen had been banned from yet another Japanese school district. According to major sources including Asahi Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun, Izumisano City officials planned to return the book to school library shelves last Thursday, following a review of the content. Izumisano…

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Apple Rejects French Book Based on Cover, Not Content

March 21, 2014
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Apple Rejects French Book Based on Cover, Not Content

Apple’s notoriously inconsistent digital publishing policy has been applied to yet another title, this time targeting Bénédicte Martin’s novel La Femme due to its “inappropriate” cover. Apple has established a troubling history of restricting books from their iOS marketplace, with last year’s Sex Criminals being a prime example of their inability to take images in…

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Barefoot Gen Banned in Japanese City

March 20, 2014
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Barefoot Gen Banned in Japanese City

A mayor in Izumisano City in the Osaka Prefecture, Japan, has demanded that all copies of Keiji Nakazawa’s internationally renowned manga Barefoot Gen be removed from elementary and junior high schools in the district. Izumisano City’s mayor, Hiroyasu Chiyomatsu, felt compelled to review the manga after it was temporarily banned in Matsue City last year…

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Indian Cartoonist Receives Death Threats After Criticizing Guru

March 20, 2014
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Indian Cartoonist Receives Death Threats After Criticizing Guru

After creating and sharing cartoons critical of a controversial “godman” or guru, Indian cartoonist Kanika Mishra has recently found herself on the receiving end of harassment and threats of violence via social media, according to Cartoon Movement. Kanika was inspired to create her cartoon character Karnika Kahen last year after guru Asaram Bapu was accused…

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Iranian Artists Struggle with Self-Censorship

March 14, 2014
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Iranian Artists Struggle with Self-Censorship

Like many artists in the Middle East, Iranian artists struggle with self-censorship out of fear that government authorities will retaliate and punish them. Their public art is already subject to censorship: All artists must apply for a permit before they can publicly display their work. Art that is deemed by the government to be political…

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Ecuadorian Cartoonist Avoids Trial — For Now

March 11, 2014
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Ecuadorian Cartoonist Avoids Trial — For Now

A few months ago, we told you about the ongoing battle over freedom of the press in Ecuador. The government of President Rafael Correa was using new media regulations to intimidate political cartoonist Xavier Bonilla, who was told that he could be brought to trial for a cartoon critical of Correa. Recently Bonilla has been…

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Ultraman Loses Battle Against Malaysian Government

March 7, 2014
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Ultraman Loses Battle Against Malaysian Government

Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry has banned the Malay language edition of popular Japanese comic Ultraman, The Ultrapower stating that the book contains “elements that can undermine public security and societal morals,” according to the Associated Press. The specific element in question was use of the word “Allah” to describe Ultraman King, a lead character in…

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Japanese Vandal Targets Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl

March 6, 2014
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Japanese Vandal Targets Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl

An insidious sort of censorship is taking place in Japan: Someone has vandalized hundreds of copies of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl at public libraries throughout Tokyo. The vandalism began early last year, with a copy The Diary of a Young Girl, but it has since expanded to include other books about the…

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Sacrebleu! French Politician Attacks Picture Book

February 26, 2014
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Sacrebleu! French Politician Attacks Picture Book

A few weeks ago, France found itself in the midst of a rare controversy over a children’s picture book after a prominent politician said on television that it made his blood run cold. The work in question? Tous à poil, a celebration of diverse (naked or partially clothed) human forms that’s intended to teach kids…

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