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Sagamore Hotel, Miami Beach, Fl
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
February 29, 2008    photo-album Bookmark and Share

As if we needed further evidence of the erosion of free speech and the increasing limitations on creative expression in these Republican-dominated and right wing times, the series of eight oversized Stanley Tunick group nudes currently hanging at the Sagamore (which were, in fact, photographed at this very hotel in October 2007—and include some of Miami’s better-known torsos and breasts) were recently covered by eight white tablecloths—due to a complaint by a visiting Republican congressman staying at the hotel.

And given that the art-curated lobby of the Sagamore was also, that very evening of the complaint, the scene of the Winter Party Festival Media Reception sponsored by the Task Force and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), the white-tablecloth sheathed photos served as a poignant and pointed reminder of the civil liberties jeopardy that often faces the LGBT community. 

In addressing the assembled journalists, ostensibly gathered together for the kick-off of Winter Party Festival, Task Force head Matt Foreman took the opportunity to remind us that just this week there were several well-publicized incidents of anti-gay violence in South Florida.  As Foreman stated, there’s a political and pressing need for Winter Party Festival, as well as for the funds generated to promote equality and justice for the LGBT community.  In other words, dancing in the sand can be as much a political act and statement as it is about looking good in your aussiebums—a consideration we might all keep in mind throughout Winter Party Festival, and thereafter.

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