Mathilde Grafström

Medium: Digital Photography
Censored by:
Instagram & Facebook. I also had my pictures taken down from places that at first accepted my exhibition, but then later got worried that the nudity was too much for the audience. The first place I ever exhibited was a swimming hall in Copenhagen (DGI-byen), and they removed the pictures because of complaints. The second time it happened, was in a gallery in Christiania (freetown) where they only got to hang for a few days, before the “so called” hippies took them down, they were worried what the tourists would think of it. Later same year, 2015, I tried to make my first street exhibition in Copenhagen, but was denied by the police, they said my pictures broke the law and were harmful for the public to see. The project went viral after this, and the pressure from the media, made the politicians and the police change their minds, and I finally got permission to exhibit in 2016, but the police still asked me to censor my pictures in the exhibition. Again in 2019 I asked the police for permission to exhibit in the streets of Copenhagen, and this time I got full permission to exhibit with no censorship. 
My pictures were quickly censored on Facebook when I started posting them in 2014, and my account has been blocked numerous times since. Even when I blur the nipples or genitals in Photoshop, or when others celebrate my pictures on their own profiles, I am being punished by blocking my account, because people often tag me in their posts. I lost my fast growing Instagram account. I had 4,500 followers in just a few months, and it was growing fast, especially after the British media published my pictures in Independent, Sun and Mirror, so I was appalled about the loss of my account of course. 
Was there notification of removal and if so was a reason given?:
Facebook called it “nudity or sexual activity”. Instagram never wrote any warnings, they just deleted my account forever, also because of “nudity or sexual activity”.
Was there the opportunity to appeal? If so, did you appeal and what was the response?
There was no opportunity to appeal on Instagram. Facebook usually gives me a chance to appeal, so I do, but I never receive any reply.
What, if any, were the consequences of the removal for you? Please give details.
The loss of my followers on the Instagram account was a big deal for me. I just got famous, and it was a fragile time for me, because my name was still a bit unknown and I was new on the art scene, so when people read about me, they went on and added me to their account. But when my account just was removed, my new followers could not find me again and I lost these contacts forever. I believe this fall of my Instagram account had a big influence in my career, because I lost thousands of fans, and maybe ten thousands of future followers, whom I will never be able to reach out to again. This was a one time opportunity.

The numerous blockings of my account on Facebook, has very often led to a shutdown at crucial times, when I for instance just opened an important exhibition, and then I got the event deleted, I couldn’t tell anyone about it, and I couldn’t write back to fans and journalists on messenger, I just got totally shut down. 

Artist’s Website:
Artist’s Instagram: @mathildegrafstrom_insta