Friday, August 12, 2011

Crikey! Censorship in the UAE! The thick black marker strikes again

I get magazines sent over from the US via Aramex, a not-very-sustainable practice that I am ending this month with the acquisition of an iPad. All that to say, I still find it quite jarring when I do buy a magazine here and see the censors work first-hand. I can't help picturing a man in a massive warehouse somewhere. For some reason, in my imagination, he is sitting on a stool and wearing a green jumpsuit and a baseball hat. And I only ever picture one man, as opposed to the team of more than a dozen people whose job it is to to flip through all the publications that come through here daily.

I'm not sure exactly what the censors took issue with in the above photo, it seems to be some sort of device with which I am definitely not familiar. More of their work can be seen here and here.


Much-missed The National reporter Matt Kwong wrote this cool feature about this operation back in 2009. The manager explained they are not looking to block out words (that explains how all those embarrassing Cosmo stories stay intact) only pictures. It also included this awesome quote from one of the censors, John Matthews:

"The nude breast photos cannot be sent to the market," Mr Matthews said, while marking up an issue of Vogue. "The Government makes this rule."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What else do you expect from a drone worker ?

LOWELL said...

i did a blog two months ago about this too:). i love browsing vogue at carrefour or lulu but i'm kind of used to now seeing gisele bundchen's breast in black marker.hahah

http://lowell-myblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/women-censorship-sex-and-united-arab.html

LOWELL said...

wait, i just zoomed in the picture and i just laughed so hard when i found out it's a vibrator ad.LOL