The paradox of shock: Artists' experiences of censorship

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This paper examines the nature and context of censorship from the perspective of those who have been censored. Sixteen visual artists, whose work has been challenged, restricted, or removed from display, were interviewed. They discuss why their art was challenged, the broader themes of their art, how it felt to be the recipient of such a challenge, and the broader implications of challenging artwork. The respondents also discussed the definition and significance of censorship and community support. Artists acknowledged that they frequently challenged social norms, but were nonetheless surprised when their work was challenged by onlookers. This paper explores this paradox of shock, analyzes artists' emotional responses, considers definitions of censorship, and reflects on the broader value of art for society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-76
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Information Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 McFarland & Company, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'The paradox of shock: Artists' experiences of censorship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this