Freemuse Newsletter no 1 / 2016

News and knowledge about musical freedom of expression.        View this email in a browser

Musicians unite in defence of artistic freedom
 
Join Music Freedom Day 2016
  

This week three artists in Iran were sentenced each to three years in prison, three years probation and a hefty fine for the production and promotion of underground music. One of the artists was tortured in custody.
 
Music is a human right. The world must protest against attacks on artistic freedom.
 
This is just one of the reasons why Music Freedom Day exists. This year on 3 March, Music Freedom Day especially commemorates the victims of the attack at the Bataclan Club in Paris in November 2015.
 
Artists will be performing live in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Norway, Senegal, and Sweden on Music Freedom Day in defence of artistic freedom.
 
Starting in Peshawar, one of the most dangerous places in the world for musicians, Music Freedom Day activities will be marked in many countries with concerts, seminars, film screenings, radio programmes and newspaper articles on the subject of freedom of expression for musicians.
 
In the lead-up to Music Freedom Day, Freemuse has compiled a playlist of banned songs on Spotify and presents a music video for a unique track with a group of today’s most powerful Arab and Iranian revolutionary artists joining together to cover Fela Kuti’s most powerful political song: ‘Zombie’. Several of the artists featured in the video will perform live during Music Freedom Day in Harstad, Norway.
 

 
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MUSIC IS THE MOST ATTACKED ARTFORM
 
At Freemuse we defend musicians and advocate their rights to freedom of expression, but music has many enemies. In 2015 Freemuse documented 309 cases of censorship and attacks on music and musicians.
 
The horrible attacks in Paris are a harsh reminder that groups inspired by religious fundamentalism are willing to make use of the most brutal violence to stop music. The Taleban made a total ban on music in Afghanistan in the 1990’s, the jihadist group MUJAO copied this in Mali in 2012 and several websites promote ideas of music being ‘haram’ or the ‘tool of the devil’.
 
In Pakistan two people were killed in a violent attack in the middle of the night when a group of transgender dancers and musicians were returning home after performing a show at a wedding party in April 2015.
 
China continues to hold a firm grip on artistic freedom and keep at least 10 Tibetan musicians imprisoned or detained. In 2015 the Ministry of Culture published an official “blacklist” of 120 censored songs, having huge financial and personal ramifications on not only the artists themselves, but on the venues that book talent and the media outlets that play and distribute such songs.
 
In Burundi many artists have fled the country out of fear of retaliation in the country’s deepening crisis and 2016 had hardly begun when Burundian singer and musician Pascal Treasury Nshimirimana was reported arrested and shot by police on 3 January.
 
Attacks on music affect entire societies. Musicians and songwriters are being killed, persecuted and imprisoned more than other artists.
 
For more, read our full report on the attacks that took place in 2015 on artistic freedom: www.freemuse.org/statistics2015
 
 

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LATEST NEWS

on freemuse.org
 
Iran: Two musicians and a filmmaker sentenced
29 FEBRUARY 2016
 
Egypt: Mahraganat artists challenge limits
23 FEBRUARY 2016
 
Iraq: Boy beheaded for listening to Western music
22 FEBRUARY 2016
 
Iran: Singer banned from tv and festival
28 JANUARY 2016
 
Iran: 165 Iranian artists and activists protest charges against two musicians and a filmmaker
27 JANUARY 2016
 
Egypt: Arts unions granted legal powers to self-police
25 JANUARY 2016
 
Ukraine: Italian opera singer cancels concerts in Crimea
22 JANUARY 2016
 
Egypt: Government cancels concert marking revolution anniversary
22 JANUARY 2016
 
Turkey: Children’s play banned due to "inappropriate" song
22 JANUARY 2016
 
 
More news from 2016
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Membership

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Read or download the Music Freedom Day publication on musicfreedomday.org (PDF)
 
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