Gilberto Gil joins Freemuse at festival against censorship
Aziza Brahim, the West Saharian singer who recently performed at the international trade fair WOMEX in Copenhagen, and who currently lives in exile in Spain, will perform together with the Basque group Oreka TX.
Algerian singer Rachid Taha will fly in from France to join the festival.
Inspired by the work of Freemuse, the festival has in the past presented artists from all over the world who have faced censorship. Last year Zimbabwian singer Chiwoniso joined Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat and the exiled Bangladesh writer Tasliman Nasreen.
Forced into exile
Talking about the dark years of the coup d’ Etat, Gil last year in an interview with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, said:
“Music was something important. Music gave the opportunity to the Brazilian resistance . To oppose the regime through the songs… Because of the suspicion that we [the singers] could mobilize people, I was arrested.”
Gil moved to London in 1969 and returned to Brazil 1972. He has received several Grammy Awards, is the winner of the Polar Music Prize.
In 2003 he was asked by President Lula to become Brazil’s Minister of Culture, a post heheld till last year when he resigned in order to continue his artistic work.
Round table on freedom of expression
The Bilbao festival includes exhibitions of comics, cartoons, censored books, and film screenings.
This year, Professor John A Lent, founder and publisher of The International Journal of Comic Art will participate, alongside Freemuse Director Marie Korpe, in a public conference on freedom of speech. As part of the festival, Bilbao hosts Fahed Halabi, as artist-in-residence. Furthermore, the festival will display books that were censored during the Franco regime in Spain.
26 November: Gilberto Gil
|The slogan of the festival in 2009 is: “Everything that is not compulsory is strictly forbidden”.
|Information about the artists
|Related reading on freemuse.org|
|Kurds struggle to find voice in Turkey
In December 2003, one of Turkey’s best-known singers and film stars, Ibrahim Tatlises, sang a song in Kurdish, his native language, live on television. Then, a few days after his performance, members of Turkey’s rightist Ulkucu movement, the youth wing of former government partner the National Action Party, staged a large protest in Istanbul against the singer.
Story from Aljazeera