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Category Archives: exploitation


Monsters at 70: Tod Browning’s Freaks

Tod Browning’s 1932 film Freaks begins with a lengthy prologue recounting the ill treatment that ‘freaks’ have experienced throughout history: ‘their lot is truly a heart-breaking one…Therefore, they have built up among themselves a code of ethics to protect them from the barbs of normal people’. Browning’s … Read more »

Polisse: empathy or exploitation?

At what point does representation become exploitation? Classifying the inherent ethical value of art is a perilous pursuit. As the response to Bill Henson’s photography or the calls to ban Adrian Lyne’s Lolita, Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin and Srđan Spasojević’s A Serbian Film reveal, this is particularly … Read more »

Is emotional hunger the driver behind exploitation? Pierz Newton-John on writing ‘Shock’

When I wrote the story ‘Shock’, what was foremost in my mind was the idea of vulnerability and exploitation. It’s a story about age exploiting youth, white exploiting black, male exploiting female. It’s a theme that’s been on my mind again recently because of two non-fiction books … Read more »