Towards the end of 2019, I had an opportunity to speak to the artist Conrad Botes of Bitterkomix fame. His attempts to release a new book, The Erotic Drawings of Conrad Botes, were being thwarted at every turn.

While he’d had more than his fair share of state censorship at the tail-end of apartheid, he’d recently encountered a new culture of censoriousness that seemed to be suppressing his work. It wasn’t censorship in the traditional sense of a direct affront to the freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution. Rather, this was a vaguer but nevertheless pervasive kind of suppression that worked through "strange channels", as he put it, but was proving alarmingly effective...

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