Omnibus: Censorship Season


ONE PERSON’S LIBERTY is another person’s tyranny ~

In May 2012 CDC took at a look at the challenging issues of censorship. The season included two extended interviews and an article by Alasdair Foster, along with a Q&A of the views of 14 artists and commentators from Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.

This page brings together all the links to the various articles and Q&A responses.

Please join in by adding our comments at the foot of this page or any of the articles or Q&A rounds.



The Australian magazine Capture tackled the perennial and thorny issue of censorship in its May 2012 issue. As part of her gathering of views, the journalist Armani Nimerawi interviewed Alasdair Foster. It is a complex subject and even his relatively brief coverage was too lengthy to include in full in the article. You can read the full interview here.


Staring in the Dark

Is art about pornography also pornographic itself? What does it mean to be pornographic anyway? This item from the archive is Helen Grace’s interview with Alasdair Foster on art and pornography. This was first published in Artlink magazine in 2004 following the presentation of the exhibition ‘Staring in the Dark’, which Foster had curated in Sydney the preceding year. View article here.



What is it with sex? Let’s face it; we wouldn’t be here without it. Yet, as a society, we spend an inordinate amount of time agonising over it, especially when it becomes public or, worse still, it shows any sign of creativity or innovation. Another article from the archive is Alasdair Foster’s catalogue essay to the exhibition ‘Sex’ presented in 2007 at the Bakery, Perth, WA. More…


Q&A: Censorship

As part of the season on censorship, CDC asked artists and colleagues around the world three questions:

  • Have you ever been censored?
  • Can you give an example of justified censorship?
  • If you ruled the world… how would the issues that lead to censorship be addressed?

In each case, restrictions arising from issues of national security or incitement to hatred were excluded from the frame of the questions. The responses were published in four rounds (Round One, Round Two, Round Three, Round Four and a Q&A Extra).  You can access the responses given by any of the 14 people we published using the matrix below. The link will take you to the relevant page, but you may have to scroll down for the specific set of answers.


John Stuart Mill (1806-73, left) and Mary Whitehouse (1910-2001) face off across the central graphic from the original 1960 Penguin paperback edition of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, a controversial novel which was first published in hardback in 1928.
© Paul M Smith from This is Not Pornography 2002
The Venus of Willendorf (carved limestone figure c23,000 BCE); Pamela Anderson (Canadian actress born 1967); Raphael’s portrait of his mistress, Margherita Luti,  painted c1518–20 and titled ‘La Fornarina’ (the baker)


One Response to “Omnibus: Censorship Season”
  1. Excellent initiative. Congratulations.

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  • The majority of the texts on this site are by Alasdair Foster and represent his opinions. However, in order to facilitate a useful diversity of views, some texts have been invited from artists and colleagues around the world, while others appear as independent comments. These opinions and comments are not necessarily those of Alasdair Foster or Cultural Development Consulting (CDC). All data and information on this site is provided on an as-is basis. While every effort is made to be as thorough as possible, neither Alasdair Foster nor CDC make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.
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