censorship as art

I’ve had friends say that I should work in the Film Bureau, because then that institution would become more tolerant. I tell them that it would only make me a worse person. If you have a guard at the gate, then the guard becomes oppressive. It doesn’t have anything to do with the person; it’s the system, the environment.
— 

Jiang Wen on censorship               

interviewed in Oracle Bones: A Journey through Time in China by Peter Hessler

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I feel like this is something a lot of people (especially on the internet) need to realize. Just because you don’t like something or if something isn’t to your taste, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist or has to be censored. Not everything is going to be black and white, there is a gray area that exists.

If you’re so bothered by something in fiction and see it as problematic, don’t try and censor it, just ignore it and move on with your life. And if you find yourself unable to get into something, then that’s alright.

A Civil Discussion: Social Justice and Censorship.

So I’m chatting with a friend and, as we are both gamers at heart, we talk about the fun of Dragon Age (I was wearing my epic DA shirt so it worked haha!), KH3 eventually coming out, and the like.

Then we got to indie games… which tied to Dream Daddy… which landed us in the infested waters of death threats and social justice occurring in the fandom.

While we both live in the grey and refuse to back one side or the other, a thought struck us: Could this be the beginning of artistic censorship?

My friend is not a creative mind. She is very much loves her job and she doesn’t believe to have enough of a creative spirit to be an artist of some kind. However, she knows I am a creative mind (game developer, voice actor, insane woman, etc) and the first words that came out of her mouth were: “Are you getting censored?”

To that, I said no. My fans and followers are mostly intelligent enough to understand that I will never dare censor myself for the sake of another. I will include warnings and heeding in case things get grim or dark, but I will never silence my artistic integrity for the sake of someone’s comfort. I’ve written about rape. I’ve written about brutal murder. I’ve written about torture and I have written about suicide. I’ve experienced the simple time of gender-bending, rule 34ing, and other things that are now somehow viewed as ‘distasteful’ and I’ve lived a time where no one cared to silence an artist just because they didn’t agree with something, so that is the behavior that I use freely and unapologetic-ally. In an artistic world, everything is free-range to use and build your world and stories.

At the same time, I have experienced my own battles. I’ve been called a transphobe, a cis-shet, an enabler, etc for the most menial things. At first, it bothered me to rage: I was crying myself to sleep and my heart-rate was unhealthily high everytime I thought about the claims against me because they were uncalled for and ignorant. Over time, I hope to find myself growing tougher skin. I’ve already seen self-progress and now I no longer care if someone insults me or drags me through dirt. Unless they truly know me, they don’t know anything about me. That includes my art and my writing.

There are some artists, however, both fan and original, who continuously feel the sting of censorship from the people who claim to have moral high-ground over another. They use every opportunity to call something “___Phobic”, “Triggering”, and the like as if the definition were not already written out and generally understood. While many claim these people as SJW’s, I liked to argue against that. 

There are many aspects of Society that need to be fixed in terms of respect and equality. Social Justice Warriors are meant to fight for equality, respect, and have an open place in our lives. Whether it be about religion, way of life, etc; Social Justice is always something we can fix, mend, and make better over time, so people fighting for the causes are in the right. Those people deserve to be Warriors and carry the name Social Justice Warrior; not as a tainted name, but as a badge of honor.

The people they are talking about are, as I call them, “the low-brow scumlords that become the bullies they were traumatized by”. These people feel no shame or sorrow in demanding the end of an artist’s career and their life simply because of a small thing they do not agree with. They could come from the right. They could come from the left. It doesn’t matter.

To send Death Threats to an artist is evil.

To demand the censorship of art is inhumane.

Art is free. Art is open. There are no laws binding it (other than the obviously copyright stuff but not the point) and anyone is allowed to draw what their heart desires. Sometimes an art piece can show the pain of someone’s soul while another can  emulate a deep fantasy on a canvas.

Art is endless.

So when it comes to Social Justice: educate yourself properly (that means don’t believe everything you hear). Listen to all sides and all bits of knowledge and make your own discoveries. Social Justice Warriors do have good things to fight for, but some of them are more… violent than others and shouldn’t even get to claim the title.

If you see something you don’t approve or don’t like, then step away from it. If it hurts you inside and makes you feel some sort of internal discourse, block it and remove it from your sight as much as you can.

But you are NEVER allowed to censor an artist or their art.

And you are NEVER allowed to demand the end of them.

Will Solace w/ strawberries.

Sadly, the camera refused to pick up a lot of the glitter and two of my pens died on me :’D

Starting a website for black artists & those who are over looked. All forms of art is welcomed. Fashion designer, stylists, models, photographers, chefs, poets, story tellers, artist who draw, paint, act, sing, script writers, graphic designers, game programmers, etc! All is welcomed. FUBU ! - SaintHaven is coming. If your interested DM and we will talk and I want to feature you. Your work is your work, your art. No censorship. If your interested. Your art, my art matters !

My 2017 goal & project

For her contribution to the 2017 Biennial, Frances Stark painted eight spreads from Ian F. Svenonius’s 2015 book Censorship Now!!. In dialogue with Stark’s project, Svenonius presents a lecture on the concept of re-education this Friday.

[Frances Stark (b. 1967), Ian F. Svenonius’s Censorship Now for the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Spread 1 of 8 (Sincerely), 2017. Gesso, ink, oil, and acrylic on canvas, 79 × 104 in. (188 × 264.2 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York]

I don’t know which group of people were responsible for bullying Rebecca into removing one of the show’s staff’s art but for the love of god, don’t do that.

LOOK AT IT

I want you all to look at it and move on with your lives. When you force Rebecca to do something like this, you are taking part in censorship. It’s contributing to prevention of freedom of expression, something that platforms like this thrive on.

I’m sure nobody here wants to give more attention to racism, I don’t either. But this is art and it should be allowed to live.

Jiang [Wen] confirmed that GONE WITH THE BULLETS has been modified by the authorities to such an extent that even his team ‘could not recognize the film’ on the day of release. It remains unclear about what changes has been made. Nonetheless, it is clear that even history wrapped in obscure language is not immune from the censorship system. The co-existence of Jiang Wen with a regime that detests independent artistic expression of any kind is a fragile one. But up to this point, we are happy to see that Jiang has chiseled out some space in a mountain of monolithic authority to express his artistic talents. If Jiang persists, the hide and seek between him and the censors will continue.
— 

from “The Hide and Seek of Jiang Wen” by Wenbin Gao in China Hands and The Huffington Post