March 17, 2018

Free Speech Zone at NYPL

By LJ Staff

For September, including Banned Books Week (which began this Monday), artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese installed a work called "Free Speech Zone" at the entrance of the Donnell Library Center of New York Public Library. The library’s entrance was transformed into two sets of illuminated triptychs, each of which included two backlit portraits of blindfolded individuals. The two middle sections contained LED displays with a scrolling collage of passages from books, past and present, that have been challenged or censored. The title derives from the practice, in many locations, of restricting First Amendment rights to areas called "free speech zones." Said Reese, "We created this work as a provocative statement against the banning of books." Today, several notable children’s and young adult writers will read from banned and challenged books to remind listeners of the importance of free speech.