Forbidden Images

lolita.jpgAn historical research into the meaning of film as a source for social controversy and censorship in Belgium (2003-2006)

Researcher(s) (CIMS)

Liesbet Depauw

Researcher(s) (other)

Lieve Desmet

Supervisors (CIMS)

Daniel Biltereyst

Funded by

FWO, Scientific Research Council, Flanders/Belgium


Forbidden Images concentrated upon the changes in values and norms towards the cinematographic representation of sensitive social and ethical issues, by developing a systematic research of the censorship practices by censorship/classification boards in Belgium (1920-2000). The project linked up with recent developments in, and criticism against, a dominant strain of research and literature on film censorship/control/classification. Mainly as a result of 'new historicism' and the influence of cultural studies theories on film studies, scholars have begun to conceive the 'productive' sides of film censorship.

The purpose of Forbidden Images was not only to investigate what concrete censorship boards have done, but rather in a broader perspective to look at the wider social and cultural ideologies determining those groups' activities. This more culturalist perspective considers research on 'images that are troubling' as an incisive way to studying the borders of what a given society can tolerate in terms of the representation of social and ethical issues.