As you might have seen while wandering through the new Impakt website and exploring the program for the upcoming festival, there is going to be attention to Banned Videos.
Last week – from September 24th until October 1st – was Banned Books Week . A theme week aimed at celebrating all the books that have ever been banned, by a government or a school system, and the ridiculous cause for this action. The Huffington Post made an infographic of the top ten challenged books of 2010. The point of hilarity for me was the inclusion of Twilight, which apparently some schools and libraries wanted to ban because of its religious viewpoint. Although I haven´t read the books myself, it seems to me that people won´t lose their perspective on religion because of the splendor of Edward or the esoteric daydreams of Bella.
Other banned books are The Diary of Anne Frank, Where’s Waldo? and Black Beauty. In 1955 they banned Black Beauty (yes, the story about the horse) in South Africa because it had “black” in the title. The act of banning is as old as the practice of printing. Big piles of books have been burned because their content would subvert society. Books have been banned for lewdness, ungodliness or celebrating an immoral world. The main reasoning for modern day banning of books is that it would destroy the tender souls of children or corrupt the youth. In the context of schools and libraries a board will decide to censor particular books, such as a recent attempt to change a particular offensive word in Huckleberry Finn, because of its modern connotation.
During the Impakt festival, the Free State Exhibition will give a platform to banned audio-visual work. The collection of Banned Video’s from around the world show us what a society holds as abject.