chapter  12
Perverse Joy
The Paradoxes of Censorship
WithSvetlana Mintcheva
Pages 7

The repressive censorship of totalitarian regimes with its violence and brutality appears to have been succeeded in so-called advanced democracies by an all absorbing neo liberal market place. Censorship incidents, literally and metaphorically, promote art from the culture section to the news section. Censorship is not a necessary stamp of recognition but it is a recognition of the power of art. Besides serving as proof of art's political potency, overt censorship has the effect of politicizing art by disambiguating and exacerbating its critical message. There are a few subject areas around which political censorship can be relatively overt. These include the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, terrorism, and the use of the US flag. In contrast to the more exacerbation of sensitivities around Israel or terrorism, conflicts over the use of the flag to express political dissent have a long history played out in streets and courthouses, as well as in galleries.