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Feminism, Sexuality & Obscenity at Housmans

Posted at 10:29 on 25 Jul 2018 by Pandora / Blake

I recently chaired a panel at Housman's Radical Booksellers in Kings Cross, discussing Feminism, Sexuality & Obscenity. This was a bittersweet opportunity. The event had been devised by journalist and author Catherine Scott, author of Thinking Kink: The Collision of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture. Catherine had just finish her second book, To Deprave and Corrupt: Obscenity Battles in British Law and Culture

Catherine organised this panel to bring together feminist thinkers, sex workers and activists, to discuss the issues facing women around sex and obscenity today. It was with great sadness that I learned that Catherine suddenly passed away a couple of weeks before the event.

Her friends knew how much she had been looking forward to the panel, and how much it meant to her. They felt that these were important issues that deserved a platform, and they wanted to honour her memory by making sure it went ahead.

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Tags: Catherine Scott, censorship, feminism, gender politics, Itziar Bilbao Urrutia, law, obscenity, politics, porn, Zak Jane Keir

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British fetish film-makers are organising against censorship

Posted at 22:35 on 28 Feb 2016 by Pandora / Blake

Today thirty British fetish film-makers met to discuss UK porn censorship, particularly the news that at the start of 2016 video-on-demand regulator ATVOD was shut down and re-absorbed into its parent body, Ofcom. The occasion was the British Fetish Film Festival, a new event that aims to bring film-makers together and showcase the diversity and creativity of kinky erotica produced in the UK and abroad.

Led by femdom pornographer, artist and activist Itziar Bilbao Urrutia - who organises with Backlash, the UK non-profit organisation defending freedom of sexual expression - we shared knowledge around the changing landscape of porn censorship in the UK, and brainstormed strategies to resist attempts to close us down. As Itzi pointed out, “putting all of us out of business is not going to stop porn being available online.”

Under the ATVOD regime, many of us were targeted for censorship, and some of us have had our websites forced offline entirely. Some, such as myself, have appealed to Ofcom regarding ATVOD’s decision - as Itzi did, successfully, in the wake of ATVOD’s investigation into her site the Urban Chick Supremacy Cell. While many appeals to Ofcom are still pending, that organisation has become the sole regulator of video on demand, and none of us knows how we will fare under the new regime.

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Tags: ATVOD, AVMS, Backlash, British Fetish Film Festival, censorship, civil liberties, internet freedom, Itziar Bilbao Urrutia, Myles Jackman, Ofcom, porn, sexual freedom

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