All censorship leads in this direction

by Kelvin Smith

Femen’s combinations of words and images sometimes create powerful messages, but not always about the cause that sparks an action. The written and the shouted messages are often presented to unsympathetic audiences and difficult to see and hear, but the banality of the nakedness attracts the media for a few seconds of tabloid titillation. More instructive is the violence that so often results. The media show the manhandling, kicking and intimidation, but not, one imagines, more brutal behaviour out of camera shot. These actions demonstrate most effectively that when something cannot be politely restricted or concealed it is quickly subjected to violent suppression. All censorship leads in this direction.