One Week About Instagram Photography door curator Ahmet Polat
While the social media are still breeding the next generation of photographers, artists, writers and designers, they are starting to take a different perspective on outlets like Instagram.
For her final exam at AKI Academy of Art&Design in Enschede, Julia Rademacker took a closer look at the Instagram platform and discovered a disconcerting level of censorship. We may remember that Facebook faced a lot of criticism when they censored the iconic image of a girl running away naked from a napalm attack during the Vietnam War (shot by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Nick Ut). I’m not saying Instagram has done similar things, but by comparing various images with similar content that were published on Instagram, it becomes apparent how deliberate and at the same time random its censorship works.
As an example: nudity is not allowed, yet many images containing nudity are not censored. An image of a well-formed naked butt is okay. An image of the bikini zone as well, as long as it is shaved. Sexual content is tolerated when it’s photographed in an aesthetic way. But when you take a similar photograph of a so-called not so attractive person, then it apparently infringes the terms and conditions and this photo will be deleted from Instagram.
Just pointing out that censorship is common was not enough for Julia Rademacker. She decided to make work that played with Instagram’s censorship tools and would sometimes defy them. She took a previously deleted image and added a woven pattern on top of it to make it look like a sweater. Now the same image was not deleted.
If you have suggestions, or if you would like to see what she has tried out, you can follow Julia Rademacker on her website or her Instagram account.