Roland Seim / Josef Spiegel (Hrsg.)
Der kommentierte Bildband zu
'The annotated coffee-table book to"from 18 years up" - censored, discussed, suppressed - Censorship in German cultural history' ["Ab 18" - Vol. 2]
This illustrated documentary examines the reasons for censorship and the structure that such intrusions on the free speech can take. The annotated book shows mainly examples from the media which are forbidden in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Edited by the art-historian (M.A.) and sociologist (Ph.D.) Roland Seim and the sociologist (Ph.D.) Josef Spiegel the book presents over 400 pictures and facsimiles of doubtful, discussed or banned products of the media in Germany. The reason for prohibition are varied: Pornography, harmfulness to minors, glorification of violence, offence under the Official Secrets Act and illegal political opinions are some of the main reasons to ban media in Germany.
This documentary points out a lot of significant examples from diverse genres as literature, film, music, art, comic, satire and new media. The aim to restrict the publication and distribution of material on the internet especially demonstrates the desire of government to control its contends. The state tries to gain influence against unwanted expressions. A lot of different reasons and forms of censorship (mainly in Germany) will be explored.
This work contains additional disgressions into matters of political censorship and the fascination of banned material. Questions of how to undermine such interest into prohibited areas are raised and the author establishes the immense difficulties of governing bodies in judging between what can be tolerated and what is to be banned. He also demonstrates how the boundaries of the permissible are in a constant state of change and aims to demonstrate the different (and often subtle) forms of governmental, religious and social censorship.
The right of free expression, however, can clash with human dignity. The examples of (child) pornography and fascistic propaganda should indicate the problematic demand for the total abolition of censorship.
The book contains an annotated bibliography and a list of important internet addresses for further research. The comparison demonstrates, that the loss of a sense of humour on matters of taste, decency and hallowed icons is a variable phenomenon of "Zeitgeist" and the changing of values.
Roland Seim, Josef Spiegel: Der kommentierte Bildband zu "Ab 18" - zensiert, diskutiert, unterschlagen - Zensur in der deutschen Kulturgeschichte' ["Ab 18" - Vol. 2], Münster/Germany 2007 (revised and updated edition of 2001); 350 pp., more than 500 illustrations and facsimiles, german language, SC, ISBN 3-933060-05-2 , EUR 25,45 (= US-$ 26.00 incl. postage).
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