The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) urges Queens Library to restore an exhibition of photographs it canceled and allow it to run for three weeks as originally planned.
Drew Kerr’s exhibition, Faces of The 7 Train, consists of 32 black-and-white photographs that the artist shot of passengers on the 7 train over the course of six years. Queens Library General Deputy Counsel and other administrators were concerned that displaying these portraits on library premises would expose unsuspecting citizens who ride the 7 train to law-enforcement officials and agencies such as ICE.
By cancelling Kerr’s show, Queens Library is suppressing public access to artwork that is fully protected under the Constitution on purely subjective grounds. While NCAC appreciates the effort to protect all Queens residents, including undocumented immigrants, it is not clear how anonymous portraits of commuters taken over a long period of time, could put them at risk.