Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category

Lubbock Art Censorship: Nurse-In Tonight!

Tonight the Lubbock chapter of the ACLU and Birth Without Boundaries (a non-profit based in PA) are sponsoring a Nurse-In at the Buddy Holly Center as part of the First Friday Art Trail. The nurse-in is, of course, in response to the recent censorship of two paintings by local artist Lahib Jaddo as well as the still too-often-encountered attitude that nursing a baby in public is somehow inappropriate.

The nurse-in will begin at 5:45 this evening.

More coverage from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:

http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/010408/ent_231372106.shtml
http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/010308/loc_231125816.shtml
http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/122207/loc_228188684.shtml
http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/122007/loc_227209555.shtml

Lubbock Art Censorship: ACLU Takes Action

According to the Avalanche-Journal, the ACLU of Texas is taking action in the Buddy Holly Center censorship issue:

The ACLU wants to know:

• Why were artist Lahib Jaddo’s drawings banned?

• What are the Buddy Holly Center’s sources of funding?

• What are the center’s policies for selecting, displaying and removing works of art in its gallery?

“Censoring a work of art simply because it doesn’t match a city official’s tastes violates the First Amendment,” said Lisa Graybill, legal director for the ACLU of Texas.

Scott Snider, an assistant city manager, said in a prepared statement that he is the city official who refused to allow Jaddo’s drawings of a nude pregnant woman and a semi-nude nursing mother to be shown during December’s First Friday Art Trail at the Buddy Holly Center.

As a card-carrying member of the ACLU, I am very pleased to see the initiative of the Lubbock Chapter in bringing the statewide organization to city hall. I hope this will result in a clear and fair policy regarding art in civic spaces as well as an apology from the assistant city manager who is responsible for this mess.

Lubbock Art Censorship: The Nurse-In Cometh

Well, today the A-J reports that a nurse-in may be in the works:

Drawings by local artist Lahib Jaddo that were banned Dec. 7 from being shown at the city-financed Buddy Holly Center included one of a woman nursing an infant.

That decision has sparked controversy that extends beyond the art world.

Nursing mothers have been treated like second-class citizens in Lubbock restaurants and other public places, according to Vince Gonzales, president of the Lubbock chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

He stated Wednesday that a “nurse-in,” a gathering of nursing mothers at a public place, is being planned for a date in the near future “mostly as a way of supporting Lahib Jaddo and her artwork.

“On the other hand, I think it also is a response to how breast-feeding mothers are treated in Lubbock. They have to put up with thinly veiled comments from people seated at the next table at a restaurant, and rude and inappropriate remarks from people walking by them at the mall.”

Annie Harrison, who served as Jaddo’s model for the banned artwork, said, “To think a bunch of people might get together in Lubbock, Texas, of all places, to breast-feed in public is just a wonderful statement.

“If the City Council thinks a painting of a breast-feeding mom is a problem, then this (a nurse-in) is something they needed to see up close a long time ago.”

(permalink unavailable, so I’m quoting most of the article for now)

Also, Fade had a wonderful post in response to the censorship yesterday:
http://houserisingsons.blogspot.com/2007/12/improper-breast-depictions.html

More about Lubbock Art Censorship

I spoke with a Texas Tech Professor Emeritus of Art at a Christmas party last night, and naturally our conversation found its way to the recent censorship debacle. He told me that this was not the first instance of censorship at the Buddy Holly Center, and that sometime in 2006 several staff members of the Buddy Holly Center were fired. I wonder if someone was cleaning house at the BHC in order to micromanage the facility from City Hall.

Also, in my recap post I neglected Bill Kerns’ excellent coverage of the matter at the Center Stage blog:
http://www.lubbockonline.net/blogs/centerstage/index.php?entry=entry071213-095142

And the artist’s own website:
www.lahibjaddo.com/

Lubbock Art Censorship Recap

One of my readers emailed me and asked me to make a post highlighting an important happening last week in Lubbock: the City of Lubbock removed two works of art from display at the Buddy Holly Center for the increasingly popular First Friday Art Trail event. The two works by local artist Lahib Jaddo were of a breastfeeding woman, shown below (click the thumbnails to see full-size pictures):

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

The reason I didn’t blog about it last week is because it has been very well covered in the Lubbock media and internet community. For my readers around the State (or living under a rock in Lubbock), here’s more than enough to get you up to speed:

AP Wire story:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/5373554.html

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal article:
http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/121307/loc_121307034.shtml

Shelly Gonzales’ Woman-to-Woman blog:
http://www.lubbockonline.net/blogs/shelly/index.php?entry=entry071217-143948
http://www.lubbockonline.net/blogs/shelly/index.php?entry=entry071214-123959
http://www.lubbockonline.net/blogs/shelly/index.php?entry=entry071213-144103

Chad Hasty Show blog:
http://chadhasty.wordpress.com/2007/12/12/city-of-lubbock-censors-art/

Tex Slim’s blog:
http://lubbockcountyregister.blogspot.com/2007/12/rightwing-gets-art-banned-at-lubbock.html

Discussion thread at LubbockOnline.com forums:
http://forums.lubbockonline.com/cgi-bin/bb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000745

What’s particularly galling about this censorship is that one of the works depicts breast feeding, which is an activity protected by State law. Furthermore, accounts of the censorship indicate that it was done by an assistant city manager over the phone without even seeing the works in question.

Reassuringly, I am seeing outrage over this censorship from all over the political spectrum in Lubbock. Sometimes people just recognize a bad decision when they see one. The problem, of course, is that it happened in the first place.


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