What’s happening to arts censorship in the age of cancel culture?

If politics and social media are pushing public dialogue to extremes, what does that mean for artistic freedoms?
A marble bust sculpture of Michelangelo with a piece of yellow tape stuck over his mouth.

In free democracies like Australia and Great Britain, we assume artists can express what they want in their work without fear of persecution.

Unlike in some countries where they could be imprisoned for art that challenges political or moral standards, democracies are usually far more supportive of artists’ free speech.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).