YGREQ

As I sat at the bar and talked to my companion about the general state of the art and social media, both subjects I plan to explore further in my imminent dissertation, the subject turned to censorship. Specifically the social media variety.

I don't mean companies shutting down specific blogs or pages on account of them posting content that's deemed generally unsavoury or plainly illegal, but rather specifically them employing a blanket ban on the nude form. A comparatively recent addition to certain platforms' blacklists that was never particularly justified in my opinion.

It's an interesting thing - not that long ago we witnessed Tumblr cracking down on adult content by outright flagging it and subsequently removing it from the site. (Note that a nude body somehow constitutes "adult content", as plenty of non-pornographic posts got removed purely on account of nudity). Everyone's also aware of Instagram's crusade against the nipple, which I personally find rather hilarious, considering they'll allow gore, blood and violence, so long as it's put behind a blurry filter and a little disclaimer message. What I find particularly ironic about this policy is that at least in my experience it more often forces non-sexual content to be altered, all the while what's effectively softcore pornography is allowed to exist on the site.

In my mini series "Sensitive content", I take some of my favourite recent work and give it the treatment that the platform refuses to. Do not mistake this for an act of self-censorship! It's rather me questioning the reasoning behind their ban. Note that this work was not produced with the intention of being erotic, sexualising or in any way objectifying. It's a series of intimate studio-based portraits exploring the relationship between straight, architectural form and femininity.

I'm in too privileged a position to make a bold feminist statement or accuse the platform of sexism here, but I think bringing more attention to this and actively questioning this via artwork would be a valuable addition to the general discourse around social media and its effects on our society.

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