In many countries, women’s voices are particularly at risk. On Friday, Music Freedom Day makes a special focus on women performers and musicians. Events will take place in Asia, Africa, MENA, Europe and USA. The day is celebrated in around 20 countries. In the Swat Valley in Pakistan, Music Freedom Day brings back the voices of women after years of silence
In a new four-minute video, women artists from different countries make statements about why Music Freedom Day is important to them – and how women’s space frequently is “compressed”, as Kenyan artist Valentine Zikki puts it. The video highlights the variety of colourful posters for the events.
The lyrics are not to be “political, controversial or sensitive” and no countries or persons should be named. This was the message sent to artist Hanna Cinthio a.k.a. Hanouneh when she was going to perform in Qatar. One of her songs – an empowering feminist anthem tackling patriarchal traditions, religious hypocrisy and sexual taboos – was on her playlist. How she bypassed the censors?
From Pussy Riot to Dixie Chicks. From Aziza Brahim to Deeyah and Mahsa Vahdat. Regimes, religious fundamentalists and broadcasters have used different arguments to strangle women’s voices. Listen to some of them at the Freemuse Spotify playlist.
Freemuse co-sponsors and is also invited to speak at the presentation of a new UN report on the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on cultural rights, written by Special Rapporteur Karima Bennoune. The event takes place at UN in Geneva on Music Freedom Day 3 March.
Gender and the arts in focus on Women’s International Day
Freemuse is invited to speak at an international debate at UNESCO, Paris, on Women’s International Day, 8 March, entitled ‘The courage to create: Gender equality and the arts’. The interactive debate will address the challenges and barriers facing women artists, as well as the role of the arts and creativity in achieving gender equality. Issues of freedom of artistic expression and the impact of new media will be analysed in depth during the debate.
On Friday, Music Freedom Day will highlight the ongoing need to fight against oppression and censorship in 20 countries around the world. Join us. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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