Art censorship

Other Names:
Censorship of photography

Restriction on expression and content of classical art (such as painting, sculpture, etc) and topical art (such as political cartoons) may be censored as politically harmful or as obscene. Commissioned work may be specified in such a way as to propagandize an ideal. Censorship of art may lead to cultural stagnation and a lack of cultural appreciation, alternatively it may lead to political ignorance, apathy or idealism. For the artist him or herself, it may lead to arrest and imprisonment. Certain art styles may be proscribed because of traditional thinking and lack of appreciation of new ideas.


Restrictions may be placed on the display of works of art and photographic reproductions considered morally or politically damaging. Photographs may be censored from newspapers and journals, books, exhibitions, postal communications and from theatre and cinema publicity. Censored photographs may be pornographic or unacceptably nude; they may show scenes which would be damaging to government prestige, or they may be a breach of official secrecy. Photographs may be censored by confiscation; books or other publications containing them may be banned, confiscated and destroyed; and cinema publicity nudity may be blacked out at strategic points, rendering the photograph even more titillating than before. Photograph censorship may lead to moralism and guilt complexes regarding sexual matters, or to immorality. Concerning political matters, it may result in arrest and imprisonment.

Broader Problems:
Narrower Problems:
Related Problems:
Self censorship
Using censorship
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST