Artist upset UNCW is censoring nude photos of minors - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Artist upset UNCW is censoring nude photos of minors

Reported by Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Posted by Kristy Ondo - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A controversial art exhibit opened Monday on the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus, and visitors will not see all of the artist's work.

University officials did not want nude pictures of underage girls included in the exhibit.

Photographer Frank Cordelle has taken his Century Project to 63 universities across the country, including UNCW seven years ago.

This is the first time the project has not been shown in it's entirety.

The photographs tell the stories of women young and old. Each one posed nude for a different personal reason.

Cordelle says some people immediately confuse nudity with pornographic images.

"I think the fundamental flaw with a lot of men in our society is that they equate nudity with sex," said Cordelle.

He is upset that for the first time in 25 years, his exhibit isn't being shown in it's entirety. About a dozen pictures of naked children are not being shown at UNCW.

"There is no need to go to this extreme; the pictures are completely innocent," said Cordelle. "They are made in the same style as all the other pictures that are up in the room. They are very non sexual."

In a statement, the University said it wanted to be sensitive to concerns over nude photos of underage people and requested Cordelle remove some photos from the exhibit.

Some students who viewed the pictures don't understand why officials decided to censor the photos now, after the entire collection showed on campus back in 2002.

"I think it was kind of ridiculous they wouldn't allow that," said Jessica Ramirez a UNCW student. "I thought it was just going to be pictures, but when you read the stories, you get to really know what they've been through. I think it's beautiful." 

UNCW professor William Bolduc says the decision raises first amendment questions for some, but, the University is not required to run the entirety of the art show.

Most of the photographs are combined with highly personal written statements describing instances of rape, debilitating illness, disfiguring surgeries, and distorted social expectations, as well as reflections of humor and joy.

The Century Project exhibit is free and open to the public. It will be at the Warwick Center on UNCW's campus until March 6.


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