Maiden Voyages: May 2017 (Pigtails in Exile)

My apologies for getting this update out late, but some new information came my way and I had to compose my thoughts.

Ruffled Feathers: Pip is not naive and neither am I. When he started Pigtails in Paint and when I joined him, we knew we would have to use extreme discipline to make sure we did not create any legal problems for ourselves. We know how touchy people can be and how unaccustomed the layman, particularly in the US, is in viewing the human body. We are also aware of the witch hunt mentality that is taking place with regard to the ostensible exploitation of children. We hoped to persuade the general public and art lovers specifically about the legitimacy of the child nude. We felt we could do this without ruffling any feathers; we would remove any images if an artist complained or if we were persuaded that a particular image violated US law (or in the country of our service provider). Since then, the popularity of the site has grown enormously and it is no longer possible to fly under the radar. We had to deal with both primitive and sophisticated cyber attacks and survived. We took it on the chin when critics would insist that we are really a pornography site pretending to be something else. Well, they are entitled to their opinion and flaunt their ignorance, ignorance we hope to someday dispel. The problem comes when our adversaries do not play fair. Instead of engaging in informed debate, they resort to ruthless and underhanded tactics to shut us down. These people fall into two groups: the zealots and the puppet masters. The zealots are the true believers and think our site is an abomination on the internet and are the front line soldiers getting people worked up to take action. Behind the scenes are certain moneyed interests who feel Pigtails has a chance of upsetting the status quo. They fund those zealots who would otherwise not have the kind of time to make this much trouble.

If I learn of a website that is stupid or silly or ethically questionable, I will simply not pay it a visit. If I believe there is something illegal about it, I would be duty-bound to report it. Then it is up to the authorities to handle it. I do not organize a grass-roots campaign to have it shut down. I know I am not a legal expert of everything and so it is not my place to engage in a cyber war with the operators of these sites. Our adversaries do not respect these protocols. Fueled by the power of their faith (or a cynical easy buck), they take it upon themselves to take the law into their own hands. In one respect, I have been naive. I thought if we operated within the law, we would have no problems with service providers (WordPress, JaguarPC) or domain registrars (Register.com). Due to the widespread ignorance of the law and the role of nudity in general, our adversaries have succeeded in their tactics. First, they bombard the service provider with complaints that Pigtails contains sexually explicit material. Supporters of this site know that is categorically false: 1) no persons are shown in sexually-suggestive poses, 2) no emphasis is placed on the genitalia whenever visible and 3) there are no suspicious displays of adult-child interaction. However, service providers and registrars are companies and are not used to images of the human body and so are unable to make the distinction. These requests for termination of service are almost always accompanied by threats of hacking and other cyber attacks. Since the companies are primarily money making operations and the claims at first blush appear to be true, it is easier for them to make a summary decision rather than investigate the case properly and treat us fairly. They claim Pigtails is in violation of their Terms of Service (TOS), getting them off the hook for contractual violations and then cut us off. In each case, we were notified only after the fact and not given the chance to make our case. The companies were simply uncomfortable hosting our site. Register.com’s actions are particularly egregious; not only did they not make any offer of a refund, but they are punishing our service provider by requiring that he transfer 10 of his other domain registrations to another company, incurring additional costs. From the look of it, these other sites are mundane businesses with no association with Pigtails, no images of children or controversial subject matter of any kind. This move seems like a special effort to keep service providers in line with the status quo.

As it stands, it does appear that we will be able to retain our .org domain, but it will have to be registered through a company that knows how to handle these aggressive tactics. Pip and I are US citizens and it is ludicrous that we would be blocked from having an American domain designation. Our new registrar will undoubtedly have to field complaints and if they do not cave in to the demands of cyber bullies and terrorists, their next step would be to make their appeal to ICANN (although they would have to refrain from their more heavy-handed tactics to make a good impression), the organization responsible for issues regarding domains worldwide. Let us hope that they are sophisticated enough to make sound judgments, but I am not holding out much hope.

Protests and other complaints about Register.com’s actions should be directed to:

Tom Lam
Manager: Abuse, Fraud and Executive Escalations
Register.com, a Web.com service
Maritime Center, 2nd Floor, 1505 Barrington St.
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3K5 Canada
Office/FAX: (902) 749-2746
Toll Free: 866-964-4270

I suppose these folks have not thought this problem all the way through. After all, if they believe our adversaries are capable of following through on their threats, what makes them think that technically savvy Pigtails supporters won’t do the same thing?

At least some of our adversaries are up front about intending to shut us down for good. Therefore, we need to be proactive about fighting this hate-mongering and obstruction to progress. Anyone willing to offer legal services, investigation services or have contacts with law enforcement officers willing to assist with this problem is urged to come forward. We must find out who these people are, how they are funded and take the appropriate legal action. Pigtails in Paint does not deserve to be singled out in this manner. Why are our adversaries so terrified of informed debate and its implications for the reform of our society?

Readers are reminded to consult our Facebook page when encountering interruptions of service rather than trying to email me directly. If there is a problem, an explanation will be posted there right away.

Because of the gravity of this situation, all other monthly notices of interest will be postponed until the June ‘Maiden Voyages’. -Ron

Maiden Voyages: April 2017

Art Style Advisor Wanted: Thanks go to Christian for rigorously reviewing old posts and updating them and, more importantly, streamlining the classification system to remove confusion and redundancies.  However, he is not an expert on artistic styles and movements and we are still in need of someone who can help us with these categories now that Pip only has time to work on this site sporadically.  Someone please come forward, even if you are only knowledgeable on a small range of art styles or media.

Pigtails Welcomes New Writer: I am delighted that yet another fan of this site has agreed to do some writing.  His first proposal is to do a series of commentaries on single ‘Compelling Images’ such as that of William Klein.  Many of the artists he proposes to cover have only done incidental work with little girls and so it is a great way to bring attention to these photographers.  The use of the handle “D.F. Ottewill” is an homage to the camera Charles Lutwidge Dodgson used to take the famous Beggar Maid photograph—the Double-Folding Ottewill.

Where One Can’t Prosecute, One Can Always Censor: One of our readers, who offers interesting leads from time to time is a child model agent.  She has offered a number of insights into the world of modeling and the conditions under which these children must work.  In the past month, two of her sites were shut down without warning with explanations that she violated the Terms of Service (TOS).  This tiresome tactic is used all too often to eliminate any material a company does not want to be associated with no recourse for the customer.  I have seen the site and can tell you that the top page has a few images of girls in various costumes (no nudity) and one can click to see the second page which contains some partial nudes.  I can assure readers that those photos were innocent out-of-the-bath/shower shots and contained no frontal nudity or suggestive poses —a towel, bath toy or other object was always strategically placed.  The agent has requested that Pigtails not link to her site in fear that more aggressive zealots would make even more trouble for her and her business.

Paranoia in the Streets of Paris: After producing the Perrusset post, the photographer told me a couple of interesting anecdotes about the challenges of his work.  I decided to add these to the end of that post so readers can take another look.

Dance Prodigy’s New Book: Maddie Ziegler, 14, whose interesting work has been posted on this site has now released a new book, The Maddie Diaries.

New Joshua Hoffine Film: In WCL’s post on this photographer, a new film had just been released and, at the time, no copies were available for review.  It is a pleasure to inform readers that the video can now be viewed on Vimeo.  If you are a fan of this photographer and filmmaker, take a look at Black Lullaby right away in case it should be removed.

Famous Postcard Girl: I have heard a lot in the past couple of years about the discovery of the identity of the little girl pictured in a number of iconic Edwardian postcards.  It seemed a suitable subject for a Pigtails post but since so much has already been published on the subject, it would be foolish to spend time duplicating someone else’s efforts.  If you collect vintage postcards of little girls, chances are you own some Grete Reinwalds.

Where’s the Line? One of the anecdotes offered by the agent mentioned above is the issue of what is acceptable nudity in child models and under what circumstances.  Whenever someone tries to spell out some standards, they seem arbitrary and absurd.  For example, another agent has taken nude shots of children (including her own), but does not publish them on her website.  However, her nudes of babies and toddlers appear openly without comment.  The Mexx Kids ad caused quite a stir but something like these Cinta Child ads (here and here) do not.  What’s the distinction?  Age?  Skin Color?

Removal Requests: From time to time, artists or their agents request that their work be removed from this site.  In the past, we have complied because we did not want to make trouble and wished to fly “under the radar”.  Since that is no longer possible, removals will only take place under compelling circumstances.  Otherwise, like it or not, artwork and other media images will be legally drafted in service to the noble political purpose of this site.  Given the usual ignorance and narrow-mindedness of these requests, it is not possible to spell out what is considered a “compelling reason” as artists will simply use one of these excuses to cover up their real objections.

Anime and Manga on Pigtails: A reader sent me samples of numerous manga artists requesting that we cover this medium/genre more.  The contribution is appreciated but the real problem is that none of us is knowledgeable enough to say something constructive about these works.  I would once again like to offer an invitation to manga/anime fans who can write to please contribute to this site.

The Quagmire of Internet Research: This is a bit off-topic, but one of the points of Pigtails in Paint is to make certain material accessible and not have to compete with more “popular” politically-correct material that may have less relevance.  It is annoying how many searches yield nonsensical results and one must sift through these redundancies just to find the object of one’s clearly-defined search.  Here is an interesting article that discusses some of the interesting aspects of this issue.

End of Pigtails?

Pigtails in Paint Suspended: As of December 21st, I was informed that Pigtails in Paint will be suspended by our host, Jaguar PC. There is no explanation other than the tiresome complaint about content. They offer no legitimate reason, simply that they do not want this material on their network. Therefore, for Pigtails to continue a new and more tolerant service provider will have to be found. I have backed up the site so that everything up to this point will be saved. Do not bother to add any comments from hereon in as they will not be saved. I am uncertain whether the site will be reestablished or some kind of foundation will need to be formed to preserve that material which might otherwise fuel the bonfires of narrow-minded zealots. You can contact me directly by email at

Naturally, this is a dark day, not only for freedom of expression but for society’s own psychosexual health. The tides of history have driven Western Civilization to this attitude which is neither healthy for its members nor based on sound scientific foundations. I know such a statement may sound high-minded, but my work on the site has taught me that there is a lot more to this situation than the obvious claim of vulgar sexual titillation by a small minority of readers. The site offered academic merit, a feminist perspective, thoughtful discussion and a plenitude of warm support from those who really understood what we stood for.

Thank you everyone for your support and congratulations to those working hard to inaugurate a new dark age for humanity. -Ron, Editor-in-Chief

If you wish to file a protest, you can do so using the following contact information:.
JaguarPC
Call us: (888) 338-5261
JaguarPC http://www.jaguarpc.com
Email: qa@jaguarpc.com.

You’;re currently hosting pigtailsinpaint.com (209.140.30.185) which contains images which can be considered child pornography. We cannot allow this content on our network. We can only be able to unsuspend your account upon your confirmation that the site will be removed IMMEDIATELY upon re-activation and not allowed on our network again. I’m afraid this is not a negotiable situation and we can only re-enable the account upon your confirmation the site will be removed from your vps immediately.

Maiden Voyages: October-November 2016

Welcome readers to a belated Maiden Voyages.  Within two weeks of my fruitful research trip, Mother Nature unleashed her chaos and I had a freak accident at home which sent me to the hospital.  As traumas go, it was a minor one but recovery is gradual.  My injuries have made it difficult to sit for a long time which is why there have been no posts from me in a while.  To make matters worse, my private business has been busier than ever.  Many days I have intended to work on a post or reply to emails to find myself too exhausted mentally and physically.  This has taken an emotional toll as I deal with bureaucracy of the broken American medical system.  I thank my friends and readers for their well wishes and promise to continue as I am able.  My research trip has been an inspiration and I have many interesting things to share.  However, producing a post to my standards does take time and cannot be done in one sitting.  I still believe Pigtails in Paint has an important function and should continue to do so.  I also encourage those interested in composing posts for this site to please do so.

Mission Statement: One of the ideas that came from my trip was the urgent need for a mission statement.  It goes without saying that Pigtails covers a number of controversial subjects associated with little girls.  However, like the proverbial elephant in the living room, it is an important subject that the conventions of society would have us ignore, trivialize or offer patent simplistic answers to.  Once posted, the ‘Mission Statement’ will reflect what I have learned to date about the valuable function this site serves, whether people want to acknowledge it or not.

Lessons from Behind the Iron Curtain: A Jock Sturges show titled ‘Absence of Shame’ was recently closed in Moscow after protests and charges that the work was child pornography. The government investigated and concurred with the complainants and ordered it shut down.  Given the U.S. President-Elect’s admiration for Russian methods for controlling its people, one has to wonder how much the United States will be following suit in the years to come.  Our readers should be reminded that Pigtails has been blocked in that country since 2014 and can only be accessed through proxy servers.

A Fresh New Site: I was informed of an interesting new site covering young girl portraiture.  The blogger states that: “The intention is to help redress, in admittedly a very limited way, the imbalance that exists with regard to images of girls online.”  It seems that image sites such as Tumblr delete any blogs that seem to be concentrating on young girls though specific policies regarding young girls are not clearly spelled out in the respective ToS (Terms of Service). Girls’ Portraiture intends to offer proper context to images rather than the popular convention of presenting a mash of random and unidentified images.

New Sia Video: Here is another one featuring Maddie Ziegler (plus a bunch of other kids).  There are also a couple other older videos of hers that may have been overlooked. One called Big Girls Cry has Maddie in it and another called Alive has a cute little Asian girl doing martial arts. It seems that the theme of children and little girls is a long-standing one for Sia.  In Alive, the little girl does a series of forms (kata in Japanese) which happen to be very advanced—done only by brown and black belts, an impressive accomplishment for a girl that age.

Vintage Postcards: An excellent collection of vintage postcards featuring girls and children has been brought to my attention.  Take a look here.

Site Design: Thanks to the efforts of supporters, there will be a noticeable change in the appearance of this blog.  It was my intent to have these changes take effect this month when our domain name was renewed.  However, unavoidable delays on all fronts means that these changes are likely to be implemented in the new year.  There will be a new banner designed by one of our artists and the layout style and site functions will be updated to make the site more professional.

The Kiss of Death: It has been brought to my attention that one of the films reviewed on this site, The Spy Who Caught a Cold, was deleted from YouTube.  It has become clear to me that because of the large readership of Pigtails, we have become a source of intelligence for the “decency police”.  Therefore, readers should know that any relevant video materials appearing on YouTube are copied in the course of doing the relevant posts.  If any reader would like an MP4 copy of such a film that can be viewed on a computer, it can be made available for download (assuming the video is unavailable elsewhere).

Maiden Voyages: June 2016

There has been a lot of drama this past month.

A Disturbing Precedent: On May 11th, an organization called FSM-Hotline, sent a request to Pigtails in Paint’s service provider to have two pages removed from the site: ‘Stolen Dreams and the Japanese School’ and the ‘Dream Girls’ companion page. Since service providers tend to err on the side of caution and give themselves liberal discretion in interpreting the Terms of Service (TOS), they have directed us to clause prohibiting, “child pornography or content perceived to be child pornography”. The problem is that Pigtails’ mission is to work to alter those very misperceptions and yet we must somehow operate under these arbitrary standards. Nonetheless, to prevent being summarily shut down, we have complied with the request.

The Charge: According to the complaint, the pages contain material that are “potentially criminal” under German Criminal Code. FSM claims that German law enforcement concurs with their assessment, but the statement is ambiguous. It is also unfortunate that the service provider decided to respect a request from a watchdog organization rather than an appropriate law enforcement agency. Even law enforcement agencies have a tendency of misjudging situations (out of ignorance) and take actions that are later thrown out in court. The proper authority for making a removal request ought to be an agency belonging to the court system. Additionally, the request should be made from a U.S. agency, under whose law we are supposed to be operating. It is impractical to have to comply with the myriad laws that may vary from country to county. Issues of jurisdiction aside, an article quoting a real law expert in Germany seems to confirm that the ‘Stolen Dreams’ post is actually legal in that country and would not have precipitated legal proceedings.

The Organization: FSM-Hotline and its parent organization INHOPE are private charities and are being deceptive when they make such strongly-worded requests. Like many such organizations, they probably do submit reports to law enforcement but do not have any special standing with them. It is disconcerting that such a vigilante group should have this kind of sway on what is presented on the internet, given their highly-prejudiced standard that demonstrates less expertise than Pigtails in Paint itself. Any readers who want to protest FSM’s actions—accusing this site of hosting Child sexual abuse material (Child Pornography)—should do so by email and refer to unique report number 54892: hotline@fsm.de

Our Action: Ideally, we want visual materials to be available to the public so it can judged on an individual basis and not filtered by the biases of those who purport to represent the average person or a moral code. When time allows, a text-only version of the ‘Stolen Dreams’ post will be published with a paragraph explaining the situation. We will also be shopping for a new service provider who can be counted on not to cave in to such insubstantial and ill-informed pressure. Ideally, Pigtails should be formally sponsored by an established art or academic institution that would help allay any questions of legitimacy. If successful, we hope to republish the post intact at a later date. A PDF version of the post will be made available to prospective service providers and/or sponsors as needed.

Please help us resist these efforts to suppress legitimate material that allows our detractors to diminish our effectiveness bit by bit.

An Impending Conflagration: On May 23rd and 24th, a final hearing was held in the Isleworth Crown Court between Graham Ovenden‭ ‬and the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. The hearing was dedicated to making a final determination regarding the destruction of historical and art photographs and a number of graphic works created by the artist. The hearing was conducted by senior Judge McGregor-Johnson who was flanked by two others, Ms. S. McGregor and Mrs. A. Newmark.‭ ‬Barrister Robert Linford and Solicitor T.J. O’Callighan‭ ‬represented the appellant, graciously offering their services free of charge. The biggest objection at the proceedings was the simple fact that there is no legal grounds for judging artistic merit in a court of law. The judges also used common colloquialisms to describe images instead of using the more proper language of the “visually literate”. The issue of the relationship between words and pictures was also brought up and how they together create the context for judging a work. However, the lead judge’s verdict was to ignore such connections, regardless of historical or political relevance. As a result, many of the poetry broadsheets, ‭which lent voice to children—expressing both their positive and negative experiences—are now to have their words posthumously obliterated from history. Surely the fact that this imagery might be considered distasteful by the tender-minded or sexually neurotic does not justify the indignity of these children being silenced. The decision to deem some pieces indecent and some not reached a point of absurdity. In some cases, one would have been hard-pressed to notice the difference between two examples when placed side by side. Nevertheless, the fact that the court should save any of the images slated for destruction is at least a partial triumph. Of the pieces deemed not indecent—none of which were created after 1987—were three from the Pierre Louÿs collection (27 are to be destroyed) and the bulk of the drawings and paintings produced by Ovenden himself.

Alabama is a Third-World Country: After a number of postponements, Chris Madaio’s trial to determine if he violated his parole conditions took place in Morgan County, Alabama.  Unable to afford his own attorney, a public defender was assigned to him.  The problem with public defenders is that they are usually overworked or have an understanding with the judge to just process people through the system, regardless of the merits of the case.  Madaio discovered his lawyer was incompetent and decided to accept a plea bargain, getting a sentence of 14 months.  The disturbing thing about the case was how obvious questions were not even asked like why the prosecution assumed he had access to the illegal materials in the storage unit, why others who clearly had access are not being charged and when those materials were placed there.  The third question suggests the possibility that the defendant has been subjected to double jeopardy in this case.  Madaio believes the court is going out of its way to make an example of him because he was a published photographer and wants to remind Americans that, “Freedom isn’t a right, it must be earned.”

Contact Form: For those of you wishing to reach the editorial staff by email, there is a new contact form on the ‘Contact Us’ page.  You can reach us using that form or just leave a private message in the comments section of the appropriate post.  If any readers find out-of-date email addresses printed on the site, please inform us so they can be updated.

RSS Feeds and Site Design: As we continue to experience growing pains, it has been necessary to add features that enhance our security and professionalism.  Until the site is fully updated, there might be some rough edges here and there.  For example, information on RSS Feeds had to be returned to one of the tabs at the top of the page.  For the time being, this information can be found under the ‘About This Site’ page.

Context is Everything: Facebook is at it again.  Images of nudity are being shared on social media, but because it is taken out of context, Facebook finds itself removing the images then replacing them when it learns the actual intent or backstory.  Learn more in this BBC Trending article.

‭I Must Plead Ignorance: Although I pride myself on being well-read and knowledgeable, life is an ongoing learning process. One of the complaints about the final Ovenden hearing was the judges’ failure to use proper terminology in their descriptions. I find it annoying when the term vagina is used to refer to a woman’s external genitalia when anyone versed in anatomy knows it to be internal. I usually resort to more clinical or scientific terms in my descriptions, but I was surprised to learn of the word pudendum (more commonly used in the plural, pudenda), which can be used to refer to the superficial genital organs of a girl or woman.

Maiden Voyages: February 2016

Ovenden Collection Returned! Sorry this item is a bit late, but it has been reported that the Metropolitan Police have returned most of the rest of Graham Ovenden’s collection of photographs and personal sketches (including those by von Plüschow and other samples from the Pierre Louÿs collection).  Except for creases in a few cases, they have been returned in remarkably good condition.  This is an indication that the Police would like this matter put to rest.  There is still the matter of the appeal regarding images ordered destroyed by Judge Roscoe.  The date for this hearing has not been set.  For those who have not been following this story see here and here.

An Edwardian Model’s Account: I was excited to learn that after the publication of Victorian Children by Graham Ovenden and Robert Melville in 1972, one of the models featured in that book wrote to The Times (UK) to give an account of her experiences.  I would like to appeal to our readers to find that article in The Times’ archives or perhaps someone out there had the presence of mind to save that clipping.  In any case, it would be a real treat for all of us if Pigtails in Paint could post a transcript.  Neither photographer or model are identified in the book.

Victorian Children (Plate 72)

Victorian Children (Plate 72)

I am also delighted to announce that, for the first time, a model came forward to identify herself (and attempt to reach the artist’s son), due to the images we posted.

Japanese Transcribers/Translators Needed: Given the success in soliciting French transcribers last month (the Bourboulon articles have all been transcribed, Thank You), I thought I would try asking for some help in Japanese.  There are new readers to Pigtails all the time and these newcomers have not yet explored the various support pages, so this is my way of reminding people that this is a volunteer enterprise and depends largely on the contributions of readers.  I know many people fluent in Japanese are not comfortable with translating, but transcribing just requires a familiarity with producing Japanese characters on the computer.  One of the reasons this site does not cover more photo-Lolicon artists is because of the time lag in translating the written material available to us.  I also remind readers that there is a journal by Hajime Sawatari already transcribed here and that using Google Translate does not work because it is written in a kind of shorthand and requires the fluency of a Japanese native.

Double Censorship: There was a short piece in the Huffington Post about Danish politician Mette Gjerskov who had her photo of a Danish statue of The Little Mermaid rejected due to nudity.  It demonstrated perfectly the absurdity of arbitrary standards that do not take into account context and good judgment.  Then I discovered the Huffington Post was censored so we cannot view that article and the “offending” image.  Fortunately, there was another source which added that, even though Facebook reversed its decision, the image could not be used due to copyright infringement!  Even though the apparent age of the figure falls outside the scope of Pigtails, it is tempting to post it here as a form of protest.

And Speaking of The Little Mermaid… Zek found a site that published a cache of drawings from the Disney Studios.  Apparently, the animators were coming off of Oliver and Company and being assigned to The Little Mermaid.  Since these artists hadn’t drawn human beings for a while, it was thought that they could use a little practice to get up to speed. So these became the earliest concept drawings for Ariel.  The site also included these nude studies.

Hysteria over Parental Affection: Ex-Australia footballer Craig Foster received some flak after being filmed affectionately stroking his 8-year-old daughter.  This public “spectacle” took place during the national anthem of a football match he was to play in and in which the girl was serving as mascot.

The Corbis-Getty Merger: In my early days with Pigtails, I sought to find stand-alone images that could be used for short posts on the site. Often I found that there was a deeper story behind an image and a short post was not always possible. This happened many times as with an image, made into a postcard, of an overhead view of a ballerina (from the Bettmann Archive). With the idea that there may be many interesting images on that site, RJ graciously agreed to visit the site and find images that might be of interest to our readers. Another example was a photograph of Hopi girls in a recent post. I received a press release on January 22nd about Corbis’ sale of its content licensing business and became concerned that RJ’s links might not be valid after the transition. So for the next few weeks, I will be sharing his discoveries as part of the ‘Random Images’ posts with whatever background information I can find—and requests for better information from our informed readers.

The sale was to Unity Glory International, an affiliate of the Visual China Group (VCG) and will include the images and motion archives from Corbis Images, Corbis Motion, and Veer. Getty Images will become the exclusive global distributor of Corbis content outside of China. The images from Corbis (including Bettmann and Sygma Archives) will migrate to gettyimages.com where it will be combined with Getty Images’ collection of almost 200 million images and videos, including historical photography and the Hulton Archive (the largest privately held archive in the world). Naturally, with all this talk of business and private collections, we should all be concerned about what this means to the general public. This is certainly a benefit to paying customers, but what about archivists on a shoestring budget? Is this part of a continuing trend of putting information that was once openly accessible behind a paywall? Aaron Swartz had similar concerns about academic journal articles.

Maiden Voyages: October 2014

I did not intend to issue a ‘Maiden Voyages’ this month due to the slowdown in publishing, but there are a few items of note that need to be shared.  I always tend to slow down in September because that is when things get busy for me.  Because Pigtails is a creative endeavor, I don’t want to push myself when I am not feeling creative.  I have also reached a kind of equilibrium where I managed to get a few big projects out of the way and I it feels like a natural point to take a rest before forging ahead.  I have three projects that require some follow-up research and I think I will try to put out a few short posts this month to clear up some of the backlog.

First of all, I’d like to thank those guest authors who contributed posts in the last month. So far, they have all expressed an interest in contributing on an ongoing basis.  There are two or three others promising articles, so perhaps we will see them in the coming month.

The biggest news is that as of August 22, 2014, Pigtails in Paint has been blocked in Russia.  This is upsetting since Russia (and other members of the Federation) represent a large proportion of internet users.  Supporters of the site are strategizing ways of overcoming this obstacle.  I do not want this site to be relegated to the underground because of the obnoxious efforts of moral bigots.  I also want to point out that because writers of this blog take particular political positions, this site is especially vulnerable as detractors can use the nudity to justify blocking the site even thought their real objection may be to our political position.  Another point I should make for those who want to ensure continued access to this site: learn to use proxy servers.  Even if your country blocks this site, it does not mean the site is shut down.  Proxy servers are designed specifically for the purpose of reaching “invisible” sites and offering anonymity for those who visit them.  And though it is true that a large number of these sites engage in illegal weapons sales, pornography, activities regarded as terrorism etc., some have been the unfortunate victims of heavy-handed politics and every effort must be made to keep Pigtails from falling into that category.  The most recommended proxy of this type is Tor but, in time, this may change.

There is some closure in the matter of the Záhořová post.  One of our readers attempted to order prints and finally received a response from the museum offering to sell them.  You can read the details at the end of the post here.

Also, due to the request of several readers, a few additional images have been added to the Wyatt Neumann post.

 

Phan Thị Kim Phúc

Kim Phúc led the ordinary life of a little girl in the village of Trảng Bàng in the southern part of Vietnam. Then suddenly in 1972 she became a tragic icon of the cruel war that ravaged her country. On June 8th, South Vietnamese planes dropped napalm bombs on her village. Kim Phúc was badly burned and she tore off her burning clothes. Associated Press photographer Nick Ut took several pictures of the group of fleeing villagers, in particular one centered on that little girl running naked and screaming in terror and pain; in fact, she was screaming “too hot, too hot!”

KimPhucAP

Nick Ut – (untitled) (1972)

This image was so shocking that U.S. President Richard Nixon at first doubted its authenticity. It was used in anti-war posters and contributed to the movement for the withdrawal of the United States from Vietnam. It also won Nick Ut the Pulitzer Prize.

Less well-known is the film shot by British television cameraman Alan Downes for the British ITN news service. In it, one can see the horrible burns left by napalm with the skin peeling off on large parts of the body. Here are two pictures from that film, showing Kim Phúc’s burned and peeling skin. One also sees the reporter Christopher Wain giving her water and pouring some over her burns.

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Alan Downes (1972) (1)

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Alan Downes (1972) (2)

Later Kim Phúc was used by the government of a reunified Vietnam as a propaganda symbol. She finally settled in Canada with her husband.

According to an article in the Inquisition 21st century website, AP was at first reluctant to publish Ut’s photograph because of the little girl’s frontal nudity and one of its editors even rejected it. But finally it was wisely decided that an exception should be made because of the news value of the picture. However no close-up of Kim Phúc alone would be transmitted.

Since then this picture, because of its fame, has defied the U.S. ban on pictures of childhood nudity and nobody tried to censor it. However, the same cannot be said of the ITN pictures; here is an edition where Kim Phúc’s flat chest is hidden by a black rectangle.

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Alan Downes (censored version) (1972)

As noted in the article mentioned above and the comment attached to it, this shows the grotesque and obscene mind of the censors, who are shocked not so much by the horrible napalm burns, but by the idea that the pre-pubescent chest of a nine-year-old girl could be viewed as “sexual”.

Phan Thị Kim Phúc Wikipedia page

Kim Phúc Interview

The Art of Censorship

This post is really a favor to the Artist on Trial Blog which has been vigilant in digging out the facts of the Graham Ovenden case.  He wanted his readers to view an excerpt from a documentary produced in 1997 and aired by BBC4 called For the Sake of the Children whose purpose was to show the negative impact of opposition to the nude depiction of children in the name of protecting them.  An attempt to post this video on YouTube failed because it violated their Terms of Service which prohibits depictions of nudity.  Therefore we offer it here so readers can hear the words directly from the models’ mouths.

For more details and commentary on the documentary visit the Artist on Trial Blog.

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Nicky Akehurst - For the Sake of the Children (excerpt) (1997)

A 10th revision of the Ovenden case is complete.  -Ron

Pigtails in Paint: The Return

Hmm, where to begin . . .

I suppose, on some deep layer of my consciousness, I never really doubted that Pigtails #1 would eventually fall victim to censorship.  While at the outset battling censorship was only one small part of what this blog was about, towards the end it became increasingly clear to me that I and my sweet little blog were at the very van of the front line of one of the weightiest and hard-fought battles of the Culture War: the right of artists to depict children in the nude or in erotic contexts, and in that respect we held a unique status on the internet.  Thus, it became one of our central missions.

With the addition of Ron as an editor to the blog, I had a kindred spirit who was at least as passionate as I was in giving those artists who had chosen to tread that difficult, controversial path not only further recognition and exposure (not that all of them needed it; artists like Jock Sturges and Sally Mann are practically household names, but they have both been through the fire and so deserve all of the fame and accolades that have come of it) but also a serious examination of what this art represents to a culture that is hell-bent on suppressing the rich and—until recently anyway—esteemed history of the nude child and adolescent in art.  Of course, as I point out on the About This Site page, we only tackle one half of that history: the feminine half.

And, once again, that aspect is merely one facet of what this site is about, but given that it is an important one to us and was, alas, the reason we were zapped from the internet universe by the WordPress Death Star, it bears delving into at the outset of Pigtails #2.  The most important point here is that our readers may rest assured that we will not simply throw in the towel on that tradition just because we were burned once for doing so.  If anything, we must redouble our efforts, by which I do not mean we must increase our percentages of nudes, search out and post the most contentious of said images, or anything of that nature; I speak simply of focusing more intently on our goals and maintaining vigilance in the face of a large and willful opposition.  Yet . . . ex adversis bonus crescit, for the downfall of the old Pigtails has brought us to the higher ascent of the new.

Moreover, Pigtails the Elder did not perish in anonymity and abject poverty after all, for her youthful sirens drew Ron to her shores just in time, and he brought with him a veritable treasure of artist contacts (believe me when I tell you, among these are some of the biggest names in the art photography game—friendships which he has cultivated not for any gain for himself but simply for love of their work) which has enriched, and will continue to enrich, Pigtails and her readers.

As I reflect on the last two years, from the birth and infancy of the original Pigtails and all of the time, sweat and effort spent on her over the year and a half she was up, only to see all of that work deleted at the stroke of a key, I have to say that, even if I had known the Apocalypse was coming, and even if she was never to be seen or heard from again, I would not do a damn thing differently, and I am content that for her relatively short lifespan, Pigtails #1 made a massive difference.  I must wonder at the number of artists that, out of dread of making waves in these already chancy and tumultuous waters, and who have perhaps suppressed the urge to produce work in this vein, arrived at Pigtails in Paint and were inspired enough by its presence to follow their muse after all.  Maybe none.  Then again, maybe there were many.  I do know that, just prior to her abrupt end, Pigtails had come very close to her one millionth hit, not bad for a funky little art blog that focused on a very narrow subject: the young girl.

And now, without further ado, allow me to introduce the reincarnated, renovated and reinvigorated Pigtails in Paint . . .