California State University, Long Beach

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Banned, Blacklisted and Boycotted: Censorship and the Response to It (The B-Word Project)
Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts, California State University Long Beach

Project Summary

Banned, Blacklisted and Boycotted: Censorship and the Response to It (The B-Word Project) was an 18-month campus-wide initiative, running from September 2011 through December 2012, at California State University, Long Beach. It presented performances and other activities to stimulate wide-ranging discussions that examine what happens when a voice”whether in artistic endeavors, journalism, scientific research or other areas”is stifled through governmental, commercial, or social restraints. The goal of the project is to provoke thought, discussion and research into the effects of censorship across all disciplines at Cal State Long Beach.

The B-Word Project was led by the Carpenter Performing Arts Center through innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations with artists, authors, professors, departments, organizations, and off-campus entities. Activities included significant participation by the performing artists known as the NEA 4 (Tim Miller, Holly Hughes, John Fleck, and Karen Finley); many new course offerings on and off campus; a reconstructed dance piece by Bill T. Jones performed by CSULB students; creation of new digital music by students under the guidance of Negativland; a major visual art exhibit on the Peace Press; a substantial look at newly-restored censored murals by David Alfaro Siqueiros; a film series on the effects of the Hollywood Blacklist and FCC Decency/Obscenity Rules; a visiting artist series focusing on visual artists with informal meetings and lectures; a residency by Sweet Honey in the Rock with performances and workshops on the music of American slaves; a project on Japanese internment camps of WWII and the inmates creation of gardens as a response; a class visit and public lecture by author Azar Nafisi, and many other events.

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