Tecmerin. Journal of Audiovisual Essays

Issue 4 – 2020 (1)

Censorship is a polysemantic term. Strictly speaking, it only refers to decisions undertaken by legally recognized public institutions to determine what audiences can see and what they cannot see. 

Nevertheless, it would be naive to ignore that, beyond this exact or strict sense, social perceptions about censorship constitute a broader field. Almost daily, reading the press it is easy to acknowledge that the term censorship is used to describe any attack on freedom of speech or even the very notion of freedom.  

In this issue, we approach different ways of establishing the notion of censorship in cinema and television. The first video essay scrutinizes the decisions of European television networks, which, after modifying the audio tracks of anime series through dubbing, greatly alter their original meanings (Daniel Ferrera); the second one tackles how conservative cultures can limit the margins of the sayable, pointing out the very infrequent presence of the naked body in Uruguayan cinema (Agustín Fernández). Third, Niamh Thorton’s work offers a deontological reflection on the ways in which images of physical violence are represented. To conclude, the last video essay focuses on an early historical example of how films partake in the communicative processes and ideological fights for cultural hegemony (Manuel Palacio / Ana Mejón).

We are also adding a new section to the journal, “From the Archive”, curated in this issue by Sonia García López. It attempts to establish a dialogue with the different contents of the dossier by analyzing Juan Sebastián Bollaín’s Sevilla 2030 (2003), a film that has never been officially released until now.

Dubbing and Censorship in the European Distribution of Japanese Animation

Daniel Ferrera (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)


This audiovisual essay exemplifies the way in which the adaptation of Japanese animated series for their Spanish and European broadcast involved the censoring of references to non-heteronormative gender identities.


16 Naked Bodies

Agustín Fernández (Video artist)


This is a video essay on nudity in Uruguayan cinema: what position do bodies occupy in a country’s filmography?


Repeating Terror: Contemplating Death in Amat Escalante’s Heli (2013)


Niamh Thornton (University of Liverpool)


A side-by-side reflection on the ethics of the slow depiction of hyper-realist violence.


Public Polemics and Cinematic Censorship. The Case of All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) in Berlin

Manuel Palacio & Ana Mejón (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)


In this video essay we take up what is known from newspaper archives and the autobiographical writings of those who attended the film’s premiere in Berlin in December 1930.


From the archive

Another Way of Exerting Censorship: The (Institutional) Limits of Creative Freedom


In this section, we broaden our approach to concept of censorship within this dossier in order to reflect upon the informal, concealed or blurry practices through which audiovisual and cinematic creativity is limited, for a variety of moral, ideological and political reasons. Specifically, we are approaching how artistic creativity is, at times, quartered in films commissioned by public or private entities, or those designed for their circulation within institutional contexts. For this purpose, we are analyzing Sevilla 2030 (2003), made by architect and experimental filmmaker Juan Sebastián Bollaín, a work that was commissioned by the Gerencia Municipal de Urbanismo de Sevilla y la Oficina del Plan de Sevilla, and was never officially released due to the restrictions that these very institutions exercised over it. 

Sonia García López (UC3M)

Tecmerin. Journal of Audiovisual Essays
ISSN: 2659-4269
© Tecmerin Research Group
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid