Pics or It Didn't Happen: Images Banned From Instagram (Hardcover)
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Featuring photographs that have been banned from Instagram, this generously illustrated book explores modern censorship. Instagram’s user guidelines prohibit posting "violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic, or sexually suggestive photos." Unsurprisingly, these policies have been a source of tension and debate for many creatives who use the social media platform as a means of self-expression. Having received many takedown notices themselves, artists Arvida Byström and Molly Soda put out an open call asking avid Instagrammers to submit their own censored images. The result is this collection of pictures from well-known and emerging IG users including Petra Collins, Rupi Kaur, Amalia Ulman, Lina Scheynius, Harley Weir, and dozens more. The book features a wide range of subject matter, from body image and sexual relationships to menstruation and nude selfies. Pushing the boundaries of social media guidelines and social mores, this book reveals a fascinating picture of 21st century society’s complex views on the image of the human body and censorship.
About the Author
Arvida Byström is a Swedish-born artist, photographer, model, and activist who has appeared in and written for a wide variety of publications, including Dazed and Confused, Nylon, Wonderland and Lula. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.
"Pics or It Didn't Happen is a political and historical statement in direct disobedience of corporation-dictated rules of which images are appropriate for viewing and which must be taken off, removed from our feeds and minds. It's an addition to your coffee table that actually explores the power of the image in our collective memory, and how deleting an image is akin to deleting a piece of history – if there aren't any pictures, it didn't happen."
"Through a mix of photos and essays, Pics Or It Didn’t Happen serves as a curated map of the current digital landscape and a reflection of a being femme navigating within these realms. But it also sheds light on the inconsistencies of online censorship, raising important questions about how it works in the internet age. Perhaps most importantly, the book provides an uncompromised space for the voices that have been silenced by Instagram’s outdated community policies, creating their own outspoken community of online warriors, outcasts and rebels."
"[Pics or It Didn't Happen] is as empowering and as bold as both Byström and Soda’s much-loved Instagram accounts and reminds us that the conversation around the restrictions and expectations of women’s bodies still has a way to go."
"The book is a photographic journey through topics like sex, nude selfies, body image and menstruation. And it's all beautiful."