Censorship has its pros and cons, like anything else. We don’t want kids to hear things like profanity influences, but as an adult I have found myself more discerning about causes by trespassing comforting boundaries.
I came across an article about Uwem Akpan, who was an unlikely candidate for Oprah’s book club – but the graphical descriptions of his experience in Nigeria were even too difficult to ignore. His use of literary tools can make a reader cram their eyes shut when they imagine the violence towards children. However, Uwem is an exemplary role model.
Eileen Pollack (his create writing professor) mentioned his “abhorrence of tribalism” is what makes Uwem open-minded— his vision of universal fairness can empathize with any individual who has been inflicted with pain. If Oprah decided his book was too graphic, a large crowd may have not learned not only about a cause in Nigeria, but an individual’s character we could learn from.
Creative Visions has always been one of my favorite organizations because they work with creative projects to raise awareness. Although graphic, Uwem’s use of beautiful language invites us to embrace the power of art and a reality not so close to home. That’ why I have become a creative activist in supporting Creative Vision’s mission. Censorship can protect us from obscenity, yet things like art can provide a unique insight into these realities we could learn from.
You can check out their charity page here.
– Amy Chait