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Toulouse slams ‘cancel culture’ and shoots down French feminists’ request to ban exhibition of ’70s ‘porno chic’ photographer

Feminist groups protested outside the Poster Museum of Toulouse on Wednesday. They demanded that the exhibition of the works of French fashion and commercial photographer Guy Bourdin be shut down. 

The women held placards with the words, “I’m not just a leg,” and “Please, have more imagination for our erotic dreams.”

“The City Hall prefers the culture of rape to female artists,” the Midi-Pyrenees Collective for the Rights of Women wrote on social media.

The Occitanie/Toulouse chapter of the women’s rights organization Movement HF rallied against what it said was “tolerating, justifying, or excusing gender and sexual violence.”

“It’s unacceptable everywhere and at all times,” the group said.

Bourdin, who died in 1991, became famous in the 1970s for works that featured stylized images of women in provocative poses and other risqué themes. His photography was described in the media and books as “porno chic.”

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Публикация от Guy Bourdin (@guybourdinofficial)

Toulouse Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc has refused to close down the exhibition, however. “We don’t accept ‘cancel culture.’ We don’t throw away David’s paintings of Napoleonic battles or the books of Socrates,” the City Hall official wrote in an email to France Bleu radio.

The statement quoted Pierre Esplugas-Labatut, the deputy mayor in charge of museums, condemning the violence against women, but saying that Bourdin’s photos were products of their time.

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Публикация от Guy Bourdin (@guybourdinofficial)

“We’ve chosen [to rely on] the freedom, responsibility, and discernment of the visitors. Each person is free, with their own sensitivity, to appreciate or not appreciate the artist’s esthetics, and interpret them in a positive or a negative way,” the City Hall said.

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