An appeal for supporting Lawrence Brose:
When a queer artist who uses found materials, many of them mined on-line,
gets accused of possessing child pornography, we should all be scared.
We've been through these kinds of attacks on art before with Steve Kurtz,
but whereas his prosecution rightly elicited a worldwide outcry, the
response to Lawrence Brose's case has been much more muted. Child
pornography charges are like that; they play on our better natures,
automatically arousing our sympathy for the vulnerable and innocent, while
casting the accused in the worst possible light.
But as an art historian, I've been concerned that the hysteria over child
pornography has not only dragooned the innocent like Lawrence, it is also
been increasingly deployed as a weapon of right wing culture war. From the
day Dennis Barrie, director of the Cincinnati Museum of Art was arrested
on child porn charges for trying to show the Robert Mapplethorpe
exhibition THE PERFECT MOMENT unexpurgated, we've seen how the seemingly
apolitical charge of child porn is actually a cover for a particularly
egregious form of censorship.
I am outraged that Buffalo, with its proud tradition of innovative,
cutting edge art, a city that supports more arts organizations per capita
than any other in the US and has made art and culture the foundation of
its revival is now increasingly viewed elsewhere as a cultural
backwater--all because of these high profile persecutions of our artists.
Enough is enough. Please contribute to Lawrence's defense and send a
message that we will not submit our arts to their cynical political
Jonathan D. Katz
Director, Visual Studies Doctoral Program
University of Buffalo
With these letters of support, generous donors helped raise over $18,000.
We cannot express our gratitude enough for this outpouring of help. There
is a growing momentum of support, but we do need to remind all supporters
that we need to raise a significant amount of money to defend Lawrence's
innocence and help him reclaim his life. Lawrence's legal defense has
depleted his life's savings.
Tax deductible donations to Lawrence's defense can be made through the
National Center for Reason and Justice. http://ncrj.org/lawrence-brose
NCRJ works for child-protective laws based on science, fairness, and good
sense, and supports people who are falsely accused or convicted of crimes
Also, please visit the defense fund website if you wish to donate
/. The website
continues to update with supportive testimonials and contributions to the
art sale to benefit Lawrence's defense.
To all who are receiving this email, please let us know if you do not want
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For everyone else, PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES. We
also invite supporters to send us their comments and suggestions for
spreading the word and seeking support. We are confident that justice
will prevail for Lawrence Brose with your help.
The Defense Fund Team