Protests over banned photos pour in to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington

March 2, 2009

ANCASTER, ON, March 2 /PRNewswire/ – Protest letters are pouring in to The Provost of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington over his recent action – but he’s keeping them quiet.

A short time ago, he banned 14 photos in The Century Project by Frank Cordelle. The Project is an exhibition of nude photographic portraits of diverse girls and women, plus their personal statements. The University administration has refused to discuss the severe censorship, an action the Project had never encountered in its 27-year history.

The letters to the Provost criticize his decision and ask him to reverse it. They come from students, teachers, administrators, artists, therapists, social workers, physicians, and others. The most poignant letters come from girls under 18 – the group that was banned.

One was photographed for the Project at 14. “The experience,” she writes, “was a wonderful one that was incredibly beneficial to my view of my body.” Another, photographed at 15, writes: “The day I saw The Century Project was the day my own distorted view of my body started to heal.”

One person among many to confirm the Project’s power is a psychologist at a rural Catholic college that’s hosted it three times. Another protests that the University’s censorship is “like ripping the first few chapters from a great book.” Many note that a university must not stifle valuable experiences and questions, and that The Century Project is not at all pornographic, but a strong antidote to pornography.

A single statement came from the University’s media representative. It said that the administration had heard “concerns raised” about some of the photos.

The Project was published in book form in 2006 as “Bodies and Souls: The Century Project.” Its publisher, Dr. Paul Rapoport, of Heureka Productions, rejects the University’s statement: “So there are unverified ‘concerns.’ On that flimsy basis, administrators take an ax to the Project? What are the real reasons for its action and its refusal to reverse it?”

In these situations, many administrators claim to act in “due diligence”; what about that?

Dr. Rapoport responds: “The administration relied on a false account of The Century Project, didn’t learn what the Project does, and heeded bad advice. Then it went into hiding on the whole matter.”

“That’s not diligence. It’s an insult to Frank Cordelle, The Century Project’s creator; to the Wilmington community; and to the huge number of people who are grateful for the Project.”

The Project’s exhibition runs for five days at the University – minus the banned photos. But those photos are printed in the Project’s book. Copies of the book are circulating freely on the campus.

The Century Project is at UNCW’s Warwick Ballroom March 2 through 6. A discussion of the Project takes place in Randall Library on Monday, March 2, at 5 PM.

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SOURCE Heureka Productions

Source: newswire

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