Barbara Nitke

Mark I. Chester and Dr. Carol Queen's non-profit Center for Sex and Culture, announce Sex, Art & Politics, a series of events in mid-September 2004 on radical sex photography and artistic freedom, featuring New York City photographer Barbara Nitke.  The events are timed to coincide with the upcoming Folsom St. Fair, San Francisco's annual leather street fair, the third largest public outdoor event in California.

Nitke will visit San Francisco for a whirl wind tour including an exhibiton of her work, slide show talks at various local groups and organizations, booksignings and benefits to raise funds for the NCSF (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom) Nitke vs. Ashcroft lawsuit, challenging the CDA (Communications Decency Act), of which she is a co-plaintiff.  While sections of the CDA were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1997, the court left other provisions that allow local community standards to be used to define obscenity on the internet, thereby removing its First Amendment protections.

"By allowing the most restrictive jurisdiction to define what speech can be banned as obscene from the internet, the CDA allows one community to limit what the entire nation is allowed to discuss, to read or to view," says John Wirenius, the attorney for the lawsuit.  "The First Amendment does not allow any one locality to impose its morality on the nation."  Additional information on the lawsuit can be found at and

Freedom of sexual and artistic expression is at the core of Barbara Nitke's work which has explored issues of sexual relationship and desire through photography since 1982.  Hailed by The Village Voice for her quest "to find humanity in marginal sex," Nitke has gained worldwide attention for her affecting and powerful photographs chronicling relationships between consenting adults engaged in sadomasochistic activities.  Her new book of fine art photographs, Kiss of Fire (Kehrer Verlag 2003), celebrates a romantic view of sadomasochism.  Her work can be viewed on the web at

“My goal has always been to capture not just the deep intimacy and trust between lovers, but also the intense energy and passion of SM practices,” says Nitke. “Everyone I’ve photographed has taught me something new about the nature of sexual desire, humanity, and the fact that no matter how we’re wired to express love, freedom is having the courage to be who we are.”

President of the prestigious Camera Club of New York, Barbara Nitke is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York.  Nitke’s photographs have been shown in one-person and group shows around the world