Lapiro de Mbanga shortlisted for global award
|High profiled panel with conductor Daniel Barenboim points at imprisoned musician Lapiro for the final shortlist of The Orient Global Freedom to Create Prize. Meanwhile, a lawyers organisation backed up by former president of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel, joins the Freemuse campaign for the singer’s release.
Lapiro de Mbanga has been shortlisted for ‘The Orient Global Freedom to Create Prize’. Nominated by Freemuse, Lapiro was selected for the “Imprisoned Artist” Category by a panel consisting of conductor Daniel Barenboim, Time Out founder Tony Elliott, activist and co-founder of the Elders, Ela Bhatt, and leading human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, among others..
The Freedom to Create Prize consists of three categories. Another artist featured on freemuse.org with a video interview, Aziza Brahim from Western Sahara, is shortlisted for the main category of the Freedom to Create Prize.
Earlier this month, a US-based lawyers’ advocacy organisation Freedom Now announced that it is now officially monitoring his case.
“With Freedom Now, International PEN, IFEX, Mondomix, Vigier Guitars and Freemuse joining forces the message to the president of Cameroon is very clear: Release Lapiro now!” Ole Reitov said.
Musicians exceptionally powerful
“Musicians [such as Lapiro] that decide to become politically active and utilize their music as a tool to voice dissent are in my mind nothing short of magic and exceptionally powerful and more meaningful to the people in Cameroon, than I think, anything else.”
A single prize of 25,000 US dollars will be directed towards securing the winning artists’ release, advocating on his/her behalf and cause, and providing a measure of support to their family/families.
The winners of this year’s award will be announced at a ceremony to be held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK, on 25 November 2009. Created last year by Orient Global, a Singapore-based private investment group, this year’s prize has received over 1,000 nominations from over 100 countries.
Prize donated to Freemuse CD album
“This makes me very, very happy,” said Lapiro, who revealed that he had also been able to listen to the RFI program recently broadcasted about his case.
Lapiro de Mbanga has been suffering from effects of typhoid fever for several months.
In a report published in June 2009, UNHCR — the UN Refugee Agency — included Lapiro de Mbanga as one of the human rights defenders that needed “urgent intervention”.
International PEN: focus on Lapiro
Freedom Now: focus on Lapiro
The organisation is currently involved in several campaigns, including a release petition for Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Campaign at Womex
Freemuse Executive Director Marie Korpe said:
‘Songwriter sentenced to three years’ imprisonment’
Sign Freemuse petition for immidiate
release of Lapiro de Mbanga
|Read and listen
Radio France International – 16 October 2009:
‘Campaign to free Cameroon singer Lapiro de Mbanga’
This RFI radio report by Daniel Brown includes interviews of Augustin and Maran, lawyers in Cameroon and the US who are working to have Lapiro released
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|100 languages for Lapiro
Do you speak Corean, Polish, Basque, Mooré Swedish, Wolof or any other language? Then you can join a project on MyMondoMix.com to help Lapiro de Mbanga.
And that’s where they need your help. To create a transition from one song to another, they will use voices saying in different languages what the compilation is about. If you’d like to help the musicians, what you have to do is:
1. Translate into your language this sentence: »In Cameroon, the singer Lapiro is still imprisoned, because one of his songs was not well received by the authorities «.
2. Say this sentence as if you were a speaker giving news on a radio
3. Record yourself doing that
4. Send the recording as an mp3 file to the email-address:
|Daily Nation – 27 October 2009:
Groups Rally for Cameroonian Jailed for ‘Constipation’ Song
|Related reading on freemuse.org|