Global study on the right to artistic freedom
|The United Nations special rapporteur in the field of cultural rights has sent a questionnaire to all member states asking them to report on legislations and practices related to artistic freedom and censorship. Freemuse’s Programme Manager has been attached as a consultant for the world organization’s upcoming study and report on conditions and right to artistic freedom of expression.
“This is the first time such a comprehensive study is carried out. Unfortunately artists all over the world are trapped between political, religious, cultural and economic interests,” said Programme Manager Ole Reitov, who has written a background draft report to the UN office.
“It is not exactly an optimistic report. Too many artists have been killed, attacked or imprisoned in recent years. Censorship legislations in many countries are neither respecting international conventions nor providing any options for artists and cultural producers to appeal. The questionnaire request the UN member states to analyze their policies and legislations,” Ole Reitov explained.
Based on the background report as well as a forthcoming experts meeting and an open consultation in Geneva, the UN Special Rapporteur Ms. Farida Shaheed will submit her final report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2013.
Key questions for democracy
“The protection of artistic expression is just as important for the development of democracy as the protection of media workers. It is frequently artists who – through music, visual arts or films – put the ‘needle in the eye’ and strike a chord with millions of people, some of them unable to read and with no access to express themselves.”
The core work of Freemuse continues to focus on the defence of musicians’ rights to free expression, but Freemuse has in the past two years, though networking and experience, collected a vast knowledge of repression of other artistic expressions as well.
First world conference and global network
The website artsfreedom.org which was created for the world conference is already very substantial and includes highly informative feature articles and reports on violations of artistic freedom. Furthermore, in the past year Freemuse has played an essential role in creating a new global network of organisations defending artistic freedom – artsfex.
|Related reading on freemuse.org|