At the end of May, police raided the Roslyn Oxley 9 gallery in Sydney, and confiscated photographs by the artist Bill Henson, under suspicion of breaking child pornography laws.
The resulting furor has split the community.
At Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, a group of artists, lobbyists and community members gathered to discuss art, pornography and censorship- NAVA
Tony Bond, is the Assistant Director of the Art Gallery of NSW and Head Curator International. He will offer the gallery perspective on art censorship discussing galleries as ‘special’ places, curatorial decision making, tools used to deal with the risk of sensationalisation of sensitive subject matter, and dealing with complaints and threats.
Julian Burnside QC, is a barrister, writer and President of Liberty Victoria. He has acted pro bono in many human rights cases and is passionate about the arts. He elaborates the law in relation to art censorship and how it is exercised, including the complexities of "intention," "context," "reasonableness," public attitudes, protecting human rights and freedom of expression.
He is President of Liberty Victoria, Chair of fortyfive downstairs and author of Wordwatching - Fieldnotes from an amateur Philologist and Watching Brief - Reflections on Human Rights, Law and Justice.
Clive Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual. In June 2008 he was appointed Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, a joint centre of the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne.
For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the executive director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded. He holds an arts degree from the Australian National University (majoring in history, psychology and pure mathematics) and an economics degree from the University of Sydney (majoring in economics and government, with first class honours in the former). He completed a doctorate at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex with a thesis titled "Capitalist Industrialisation in Korea."
He has published on a wide range of subjects but is best known for his books, a number of which have been best-sellers. They include Growth Fetish (2003), Affluenza (with Richard Denniss, 2005), What's Left: The Death of Social Democracy (2006), Silencing Dissent (edited with Sarah Maddison, 2007) and Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change (2007). His latest book, titled The Freedom Paradox: Towards a Post-secular Ethics, was published by Allen & Unwin on 1 August 2008.
In June 2009 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to public debate and policy development, and in December 2009 he was the Greens candidate in the by-election for the federal seat of Higgins.
Ian Howard is an artist, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW and Chair of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA). He provides an artist’s perspective about his experience in testing the boundaries in relation to militarism and national security, self censorship, and the vagaries of audience interpretation.
Hetty Johnston, is Executive Director and founder of Bravehearts Inc. which aims to engender child sexual assault prevention and protection strategies, advocate for understanding, promote increased education and research, and provide healing and support. Ms Johnston will give her views on the boundaries of public tolerance in relation to art and protection of the child.
David Marr is a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald, he is also trained as a lawyer and previously presented ABC TV's Media Watch.
He is the co-author, with Marian Wilkinson, of Dark Victory, about the Tampa affair, and The Henson Case, about the Bill Henson controversy of 2008. He is also Vice President of Watch on Censorship.