Nairobi Club chair, Arne Skadhede, with Marie Korpe and Ole Reitov © Kim Dang Trong
Freemuse co-founders Marie Korpe and Ole Reitov received the 2017 Danish Nairobi Award on 31 May 2017 in Copenhagen.
The award is presented annually by the Nairobi Club (Nairobiklubben) to a person, group or organization that “in a reputable way has put focus on poor countries in Danish media, or has provided initiatives for the benefit of populations in poor countries”.
The award was presented to Korpe and Reitov with the following words of recognition:
Nobody fits with the idea behind the award better than Ole Reitov and Marie Korpe and the organization they initiated in Copenhagen in 1998.
Freemuse, under their committed leadership over 19 years, has developed into a worldwide organization that first began focusing on the censorship of music and persecution of musicians – a kind of sister to PEN, the international organization of the written word – to now include a global network for the defence and promotion of artistic freedom in collaboration with similar organizations, including PEN, and with consultative status at UN.
Murder and imprisonment of musicians is a daily phenomenon in countless places in the world. Freemuse documents such abuses and effectively informs about them.
Music is generally good material. Freemuse helps to raise awareness about the difficult conditions musicians and their music face, thereby increasing interest in the living conditions and culture among the world’s poorest and the role culture plays in creating a better world.
Without Marie Korpe’s and Ole Reitov’s energetic and skilled efforts, Freemuse would not have had the impact it has gained in only 19 years.
The Nairobi Club is a professional forum for media and professionals who communicate and provide information on development aid, global development issues, foreign and developing countries in Danish and international contexts, as well as with others who have such issues in their field of interest. The forum works to put development issues on the agenda through meetings, seminars, trips, discussions and cooperation with other organisations.
Marie Korpe, Freemuse Executive Director from 1999-2013, in her acceptance speech told journalists how Freemuse developed into a worldwide organisation © Kim Dang Trong