As I write this short post about censorship and social media, I wonder if it serves any purpose. Censorship and social media is a subject that’s already flogged bloody. Everyone has an opinion — either for or against — and the issue seems impossible to resolve. Even inside my own head, I’m completely stuck.
It’s like this: although I frequently use body/nudity in my work, my subject is rarely sexual. To clarify: I’m not saying that images made to explore sex as a subject have no value, just that sex is a subject that I don’t feel compelled to explore photographically (note: I did once make a triptych to explore an abusive situation I experienced as a child and that, of course, explored sex. But it was different kind of sex — sex as the underlying motive rather than an image presenting the body as desirable/available).
When I consider the work I’ve made and the censorship issues I’ve faced on social media, I want to scream. In fact, censorship is one of the many reasons why I loathe social media. I used to have an Instagram account with a couple thousand followers but, given the censorship issues, I deleted my account and promised to never, ever return. Note that I do think it’s important to stick to social media guidelines. In other words, if you sign up for a platform that doesn’t allow nudity, you accept those guidelines, no matter how much they push against your personal beliefs. My problem with censorship and Instagram didn’t arise because I posted images that contradicted their terms and conditions; it arose after images I posted that met their terms and conditions were deleted. But don’t take my word for it. Here are the images that ended my relationship with Instagram for good:
The images above were made to explore how we are still able to work in sync, to come together and fit, regardless of our physical differences. I can only assume that the all-male line-up made the powers that be twitch. The irony, of course, is that this particular Instagram deletion communicates the exact opposite to what I intended. In the end, the viewer has the power.