• Censorship in Nigeria: Musical free expression in the shadow of Fela

    Banning Eyre and Mark LeVine recently spent, between them, a month in Nigeria. LeVine as part of his ongoing research on music and history there, and Eyre, with LeVine’s assistance, to gather material for Hip Deep in Nigeria, a set of five radio programs for the Peabody Award-winning American public radio series Afropop Worldwide. Their […]
  • Qatar: Playing with the censors

    The state of Qatar is young and old at the same time, immersed in both modernity and tradition. Governed by strict Islamic principles under the supreme power of the emir, Qatar is a place where freedom of speech is very limited, and where artistic expression risks being banned or censored due to its religious content […]
  • Listen to forbidden female voices

    » To listen, go to play.spotify.com   MUSIC FREEDOM DAY 2017 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST – IN CELEBRATION AND PROTECTION OF WOMEN’S VOICES Did you know that… Women are banned from singing in public in some countries? Women cannot attend a concert in some places? The music industry is still unequal? This is why Freemuse is focusing […]
  • Vietnam: Popular music and censorship

    The Vietnamese state operates a thorough system of music censorship, and the few songwriters who dare to directly challenge the authority of the Vietnamese Communist Party or its policies face serious consequences. Focusing on popular musicians, this article charts the history of music censorship in Vietnam from the mid twentieth century through to the current digital era. […]
  • Guinea: Increasing censorship and pressure on leading musicians

    The 2010 election of longtime opponent Alpha Kondé as president of Guinea brought with it hope that music and other forms of artistic expression would enjoy relatively untrammelled freedom. Such optimism rode on the wave of a burgeoning hip hop scene, an established roster of international stars, a post-independence policy of preserving traditional music and […]
  • Pakistan: The war on living arts in Swat

    Who is protecting and supporting the living arts after a conflict? A new report reveals how artistic life and the cultural industry is still suffering immensely after the Taliban were ousted from the Swat Valley in Pakistan more than seven years ago. A new report on the effects of war and repression of musicians, performers […]
  • Turkey: “Music that sexually turns on people is a sin”

    Artists are facing severe difficulties under Erdoğan’s rule. On 15 February 2016, The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs, issued a fatwa – a religious ban – on ‘sexual’ music. The latest victim of this arbitrary repression is an imam who runs a rockband and opposes the Directorate’s fatwa from a religious perspective. By Yiğit Günay […]
  • Belarus: Lavon Volski is a free man in an unfree country

    Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Belarusian rock musician Lavon Volski has been one of the most influential cultural personalities in his country fighting for freedom of artistic expression. In May 2016, he is being honoured with the Freemuse Award 2016. By Ingo Petz For more than 30 years now, Lavon Volski has been creating rock and […]
  • Ethiopia: Crackdown on Oromo musicians

    The current unrest in the Oromia region with news reports about a state crackdown on musicians is nothing new in Ethiopia, explains Endalk in this background article. In the last two decades, any Oromo singer who gravitated towards political and social activism have been subjected to intimidation, abductions, and torture. Singers have been killed, and […]
  • India: Singer prosecuted for song critical of state government

    Arrested for singing a song critical of the government of the South Indian state Tamil Nadu, folk singer and activist Kovan has now been released on bail. His arrest is part of a larger crackdown on activism and freedom of expression, reports Lakshimi Sarah At the end of October 2015, the 52-year-old singer S. Kovan […]
  • Mali: Three years after the music ban

    When the religious music ban in the northern part of Mali was lifted in 2013, Andy Morgan wrote the book ‘Music, Conflict and Culture in Mali’. Here is his account of what has happened in the country since then. By Andy Morgan One of the accusations often levelled at the West is that distance has […]
  • France post-November 13: Musicians shocked but defiant

    The massacre at the Bataclan concert hall spreads fear and generates financial losses but also determination to carry on. Daniel Brown reports from Paris two weeks after the attacks “Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, and vive EODM.” Eagles of Death Metal By what eerie twist of fate did the three assaillants […]
  • United Kingdom: Film on Mali music ban leads to new fund

    Freedom of expression campaigners Index on Censorship and the producers of the documentary film ‘They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile’ have launched a Music In Exile Fund along with a song playlist and a series of articles about music and censorship. The aim of the Music In Exile Fund is […]
  • Tunisia: Musicians confronted with censorship and repression

    Of Tunisia’s entire artistic community, the musicians – and in particular urban rappers – have borne the brunt of the state’s censorship and repression. A wide legal arsenal has been used to drag musicians into court and throw them unceremoniously into gaol. By Daniel Brown     ARTSFREEDOM | INSIGHT In Tunisia, there are two kinds […]
  • Zimbabwe: Censorship board should be abolished, says workshop group

    Zimbabwe should abolish the censorship board and other bodies censoring or regulating artistic expressions in order to comply with Zimbabwe’s new constitution. Instead a new classification board should be mandated to issue age recommendations to protect children. This was a recommendation made by arts practitioners, artists, journalists and human rights lawyers at a workshop on […]
  • Morocco: Rapper prosecuted over song deemed insulting

    The Moroccan rapper Al Muntaqim was arrested in August 2015 and accused of inciting violence and drug abuse through his song ‘Korsika’. He has since been released, but his court case is still pending. In August 2015, the Public Prosecution at the Court of First Instance in Khenifra city in Morocco instructed the judicial police […]
  • Angola: Freemuse calls for immediate release of detained rapper

    On 15 October 2015, the 33-year-old Angolan rapper Luaty Beirão entered his fourth week of hunger strike in protest of his detention without trial since June – along with 14 other opposition activists accused of ‘rebellion’ and of seeking to ‘attack the president’. Freemuse holds the Angolan authorities responsible for Luaty Beirão’s well-being and calls […]
  • Uganda: Singer’s ‘pornography’ prosecution

    In February 2014, the Ugandan government implemented a new pornography law – the Anti-Pornography Act. Half a year later, in September 2014, the 20-year-old Ugandan pop singer Jemimah Kansiime published a music video for which, under the new law, she was arrested and prosecuted. In May 2015, the story went around that world that Kansiime […]
  • Egypt: Resolution against revealing clothing and “vulgar” lyrics

    Egypt’s Musicians’ Union bans artists from wearing “indecent” clothing and using “vulgar” vocabulary on stage and television in a resolution passed at the end of August 2015. Hani Shaker, the newly elected head of the union, aims to continue to promote Egyptian art, but not at the expense of the country’s morals and customs, thus […]
  • Burundi: Musicians menaced, silenced and fleeing the country

    Burundian artists are confronted with ever-shrinking possibilities for open and free political speech. Well-known singers and band members are being targeted and, if possible, manipulated to change their artistic or political style. Several musicians have fled the country. By John Banram, Freemuse correspondent – reporting from Burundi Fear of being assassinated is spreading among artists […]
  • USA/Algeria: Heavy metal music keeps stirring up controversy

    Heavy metal bands continue to face bans and controversies around the world. In the United States, two scheduled concerts with an Australian deathcore group have been cancelled. In Algeria, heavy metal fans have been accused of Satanism in a tv programme, causing an uproar in social media. Whenever and wherever heavy metal has appeared on […]
  • Turkey: Iconic folk singer reflects on art and politics

    “My youth was spent from one prison term to another. Imagine! You are not a murderer, you did not steal from anybody. But you are in prison! Why? Because you are a singer. Regardless, I never regretted the music I made in that period. Not once. And if I were to return to those days […]
  • Morocco: Rapper El Haqed – besieged, alienated and oppressed

    Freemuse interview with the Moroccan rapper El Haqed, who was awarded with the 2015 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award for Arts. By Shaima Aly Mouad Belghouat (also spelled: Belrhouate) is better known under his artist name, El Haqed – the now world-famous Moroccan rapper and human rights activist who criticises the widespread poverty […]
  • Tunisia: No investigation into attack on rapper

    How freedom of expression is oppressed through financial, moral and psychological pressure and damages is Tunisian rapper Hamadi Dia’s story. Today, Freemuse publishes his account of what he is going through because of the music and lyrics he produces. By Shaima Aly, Freemuse “Those groups succeeded in their mission to shut me up and get […]
  • Indonesia: Punk music and Shari’a law

    Punks face the tightening grip of Shari’a law in north Sumatra. This is documented in ‘Street Punk! Banda Aceh’ – a film about a punk community that refuses to die. Freemuse asked the film’s production team, director Maria Bakkalapulo and producer Niall Macaulay to tell about the struggle. By Maria Bakkalapulo and Niall Macaulay Punk’s […]
  • Afghanistan: Musicologist and Taliban bomb victim returns to Kabul

    On 25 May 2015, the British newspaper The Guardian published an article which brings an update on what happened with Dr Ahmad Sarmast, a music professor who founded the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, and who was seated in the front row when, on 11 December 2014, a suicide bomber attacked the French cultural centre […]
  • Freemuse presents: ‘From Zombies to Revolutionaries’

    Music is the Weapon… of the Present! Middle East’s Revolutionary Artists meet Fela Anikulapo Kuti One was beaten, one was imprisoned, all have been questioned by the police and most are facing censorship. But their music cannot be stopped. Freemuse is proud to present a unique track with a group of today’s most powerful Arab […]
  • France: 100 censored songs

    Censorship of one form or the other has been a feature of the French music scene. Surprisingly, no books in French have ever been published on this question. Until, that is, a young French radio producer and a historian and law specialist joined forces to bring out the book ‘100 Chansons censurées’ – about 100 […]
  • Cambodia: Film about Khmer Rouge regime’s music censorship

    After a decade of research, the American filmmaker John Pirozzi is telling the story of music censorship in Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s in the film ‘Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll’, which opens at Film Forum in New York, USA, on 22 April 2015. “Through grainy clips of bell-bottomed rockers […]
  • USA: Thousands of protest songs hidden out of fear of retribution

    Out of fear of retribution many American protest musicians hid perhaps thousands of protest songs in plain sight: on the B-sides of the small 45 rpm records that were then commonly used to distribute singles in the era of the civil rights protest movement in the 1960s and 1970s. “Many of the gospel artists, we […]
  • Sweden: Rap group’s concerts cancelled after free speech controversies

    Hip-hop flirting with political violence causes controversy and debate around the world. The Swedes have recently been having a thorough public discussion about where to draw the line between illegal hate speech on one side, and artists’ democratic right to express themselves on the other. Here is a run-down of Kartellen’s free speech journey in […]
  • Syria: Documentary film about Syrian songwriter

    The 30-minute documentary ‘Morning fears, Night Chants’ from 2012 about a young Syrian songwriter touches upon a number of artsfreedom issues, such as the important role of artists during the Arabic revolutions, the threats and challenges they face and especially the extra challenges and censorship women artists face from family, religious groups and the regime. […]
  • USA raises the question about artistic freedom of expression in UN

    “The United States would like to discuss the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, ‎particularly focusing on artistic expression and creativity,” said the American Ambassador Keith Harper in a statement at the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. He continued: “Artistic expression and creativity as a form of freedom of expression is […]
  • Suppression of artsfreedom in Middle East and North Africa discussed in UN

    The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies in conjunction with Freemuse and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry organised a discussion panel on Friday 13 March 2015 on the sidelines of the 28th Human Rights Council session in Geneva, discussing several forms of suppression of artistic freedoms in the Middle East and North Africa. The panel, the […]
  • Iran: Film about singer who outwitted ban on women singing solo

    Nothing like it had been attempted in Iran for 35 years. The Iranian singer and composer Sara Najafi proposed hosting a concert in Tehran – “a festival of the female voice” featuring solo singers. “Since the 1979 revolution, women in Iran have been banned from singing solo. So what happened when this woman decided to […]
  • Egypt: Documentary with Ramy Essam and censored artists

    The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression recently released a documentary exploring freedom of creativity in Egypt by interviewing the artists that have been subjected to governmental censorship. The documentary features interviews with musician Ramy Essam who was dubbed by the New Yorker as “the bard of the Egyptian revolution”, journalist Ahmad Nagy who […]
  • President of Norwegian Parliament: “Curb artistic freedom and you curb democracy”

    Music Freedom Day 2015 in Harstad, Norway, was opened by the president of the Norwegian Parliament, Olemic Thommessen. In his speech he talked about music and freedom of expression. “There are few with the power to convey something about the society we live in with such depth, complexity and honesty as artists and musicians. The […]
  • Russia: Supreme Court upholds sentence against Pussy Riot members

    Russia’s Supreme Court has refused to review the sentence of the Pussy Riot punk band members, the court’s press office told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI). The court dismissed an appeal filed by the band member Yekaterina Samutsevich seeking reversal of the verdict. Pussy Riot’s legal case timeline: • In February 2012, five young […]
  • Pakistan: Artists and singers need safety, not a Censorship Act

    The local government of Pakistan’s northwest province wants to impose a Censorship Board Act to silence singers’ voices and curb artists’ activities, reports Sher Alam Shinwari from Peshawar By Sher Alam Shinwari The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the northwest province of Pakistan, has recently tabled a bill in the provincial assembly […]
  • Pakistan: Music shops disappeared as result of war on music

    Around 95 per cent of all music shops disappeared as result of war on music in Swat Valley. There was a time when Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan was described as the ‘Switzerland’ of the British Empire. Today the beautiful valley is under threat of the Taliban. The valley became globally known for the murderous […]
  • Morocco: Freemuse calls for release of imprisoned rapper

    Freemuse calls for the release of Moroccan rapper Abdul Mou’men Al Shuaibi, who was imprisoned after having criticised Moroccan Police in a song Freemuse condemns the conviction and harsh treatment of Moroccan rapper Abdul Mou’men Al Shuaibi and calls for his immediate and unconditional release ahead of the appeal hearing. Al Shuaibi was arrested in […]
  • Russia, China and Turkey top yearly list of music freedom violations

    Freemuse monitored and documented violations of freedom of expression for musicians on www.freemuse.org in 2014. Musicians around the world are facing imprisonment, attacks, and censorship in attempts by government and non-state actors to silence the music. In 2014, Freemuse registered a total number of 90 attacks and violations against musicians’ rights to musical freedom of expression. […]
  • Turkey: Government reported to the UN Council on Human Rights

    Artists, activists and journalists respond to Turkey’s presentation to the UN Council on Human Rights Universal Periodic Review   On 27 January 2015, Bülent Arinç, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, delivered a report on the state of human rights in Turkey to the United Nations Council on Human Rights. Arinç, accompanied by a delegation of […]
  • Tunisia: Rappers and comedians fear for freedom of expression

    Tunisian rappers, comedians and journalists are bracing themselves to defend the freedoms won since the dictatorship was ousted in 2011, reported Agence France-Presse, AFP. Rappers, a particular bane of the old regime, are leading the way in warning against what they fear could be the effective return to power of long-time leader Zine El Abidine […]
  • Iran: 20-year-old musician’s reality check: oppression persists

    “Rights for musicians are extremely weak in Iran”, wrote Tooka Zokaie, a 20-year-old Iranian-American piano teacher and speech coach who travelled to Iran and unintentionally broke the law: “When I went to Iran this summer, almost everything I participated in related to music was illegal. I played piano to male audiences, participated in underground concerts […]
  • Egypt: Dialogue stopped by restrictions, censorship and arrests

    “Democracy is about dialogue. It is not about shutting down ideas or artistic expressions which may be in opposition to the majority or the ruling system. Due to restrictions and censorship, this dialogue is not possible in Egypt now,” writes Egyptian singer and activist Ramy Essam in this opinion-piece which was first published by Al […]
  • Pakistan: Women musicians speak out about ‘the gender challenge’

    In Pakistan today, women often find themselves unable to pursue music careers because of conservative family attitudes, political insecurity, and gender inequality. But certainly not all women, learned Sabrina Toppa, when she set out to investigate how the country’s ‘gender challenge’ affects musicians. Young, independent women are making a difference and a space for themselves […]
  • Egyptian singer Ramy Essam: “Why I move to Sweden for two years”

    Since Freemuse announced that the Egyptian singer and musician Ramy Essam has been offered a two year residence in the Swedish city Malmö, rumours and tweets in Egypt have speculated whether he is seeking asylum. This is not the case, explained Ramy Essam, who issued the following statement on 23 October 2014: “Malmö, Wednesday, 22 […]
  • Russia and Ukraine: Musicians caught between conflict, bitter rhetoric and outright bans

    As the conflict in Ukraine unfolds, political borders turn into cultural borders, and artists on both sides suffer the consequences. Russians are banning Ukrainian artists from performing, and vice versa. By Masha Egupova On September 25, as Russian singer Andrei Makarevich was performing at the House of Music in Moscow, members of the unregistered nationalist […]
  • China/Tibet: Censored poet and exiled musician sidetrack oppression

    Thanks to Internet connectivity, Tibetan artists inside and outside Tibet are finding new ways to communicate and collaborate. But to the Tibetans inside Tibet, this is at a high risk. By Dechen Pemba   “Music is like the wings of a bird that can fly over man-made borders.” Woeser In July 2013, a musical collaboration […]
  • Freemuse to United Nations: Belarus should explain censorship

    In a Universal Periodic Review submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Freemuse argues that Belarus is failing to abide by its international commitments to fully protect the fundamental artistic freedoms of its citizens. “Belarus should take active steps publicly to document and explain its censorship policy – not least its communications with media […]
  • Morocco: Rapper El Haqed speaks of freedom and flaws

    If the Moroccan authorities meant to silence the dissident Moroccan rapper El Haqed by locking him up in a prison cell on trumped up charges, it didn’t work. The first thing he wanted to do when he stepped out in freedom after four months imprisonment was go to the studio and record more of the […]
  • US fails to protect the human right to read, says report

    In a submission to the UN Freemuse and NCAC document violations of freedom of information and expression in public schools, jails, and prisons in the USA. In a new report to the United Nations assessing the United States’ compliance with its human rights obligations, Freemuse and USA based NCAC, the National Coalition Against Censorship, argue […]
  • Pakistan: Rock guitarist keeps music scene alive despite state-wide fear and censorship

    Pakistan is internationally known for its state-sponsored censorship and terrorists’ attacks on musicians and music shops. But in the capital, the music scene is in a fast transition. Meet Islamabad’s maestro guitarist Zeejah Fazli who works hard to help fix Pakistan’s broken and battered music industry. By Annie Zaman with additional reporting by Sahar Ghazi […]
  • Tunisia and Egypt: Music censorship after the Spring

    ‘The Cultural Spring’ in Tunisia and Egypt: Musicians are pushing the boundaries of artistic expression. By Victor Salama   While some Arab countries saw political changes in 2011 – president Ben Ali was ousted from power after ruling Tunisia for 24 years, Hosni Mubarak was deposed after ruling Egypt for 30 years – many cultural […]
  • Pakistan: Ban of social media has great impact on musicians

    As Pakistan continues to restrict access to social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, activist band Laal discusses the silencing effect that these bans have on artists, and speaks to the future of free expression. By Anushe Noor Faheem, with additional reporting by Annie Zaman Still from Laal’s video for the song ‘Inqalab’ – […]
  • BBC: ‘Britain’s Most Dangerous Songs: Listen to the Banned’

    BBC broadcasts documentary about ‘Britain’s Most Dangerous Songs’: “The reasons why these songs were censored reveals the changing controversies around youth culture over the last 75 years, with Bing Crosby and the Munchkins among the unlikely names to have met the wrath of the BBC.” “From My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock to God Save […]
  • China/Tibet: Artists have to tread an incredibly fine line

    Braving high risks and heavy censorship in China, Tibetan musicians sing their love for Tibet. by Dechen Pemba Tibetan singer Gebey. Photo: from Youtube video   Gebey, a Tibetan singer who had been detained at the end of May 2014 following a live performance in Ngaba Prefecture, eastern Tibet, has been released from detention. Gebey […]
  • Brazil: The music Brazil doesn’t want you to be listening to

    Leading up to the World Cup in Brazil, with sounds of gunfire in the background, forbidden funk rappers continued to talk about what the government wants to hide: extreme violence, social segregation and racism in the favelas. By Debora Baldelli Girls dance at a baile funk party in the Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio de […]
  • Turkey abuse laws to punish artists challenging authorities

    Law suits, arrests, threats and banning orders, these are all dangers that artists in Turkey who touch on sensitive issues face today. This is pointed out by the UPR submission that Freemuse, Siyah Bant and the Initiative for Freedom of Expression has forwarded to the UN. The Turkish Anti Terror Law (TMK) continues to be […]
  • Tajikistan: As Tajik rap gets political, authorities resort to bans and pressure

    The mayor of Dushanbe, Tajikistan banned rap and rock music from the capital’s buses, minibuses (marshrutkas), and taxis, suggesting that the genre was “alien to national and universal human values,” earlier this year. The initiative received the full backing from the country’s Minister of Education who stated that tunes which “do not conform to national […]
  • Morocco: Interview with attorney of arrested rapper El Haqed

    The detained Moroccan rapper El Haqed will stand trial again on 29 May 2014. Freemuse talked with El Haqed’s attorney, Mohemed Messoudi, who provides new information about the case.  By Daniel Brown   Could you describe the circumstances of El Haqed’s arrest? “Haqed was arrested on Sunday 18 May at around 2pm along with his […]
  • Freemuse condemns arrest of Morocco’s ‘musical reporter’

    Freemuse condemns the arbitrary arrest of artist and human rights activist Mouad Belghouat, alias El Haqed (The Indignant) also known as L7a9ed on Sunday 18 May 2014 – for the third time in three years. “Morocco should live up to international conventions guaranteeing free speech,” says Freemuse Director Ole Reitov. El Haqed has earlier been […]
  • Iran: An indie rock band can play once but not twice

    In-depth article by Sune Engel Rasmussen, a journalist based in Tehran, about censorship and the arts in Iran. Excerpts: “For Iranians, negotiating the barriers of censorship is in itself an art form. Film directors, in particular, have long been masters of bending the rules, using metaphors and symbolism to subtly inject criticisms against the system […]
  • Morocco: Music is not a crime – free El Haqed

    The following is a blogpost from www.freel7a9ed.wordpress.com, republished here with permission from the author. On Sunday 18 May 2014, Moroccan authorities arrested – for the third time in three years – artist and human rights activist Mouad Belghouat, alias El Haqed (The Indignant) or L7a9ed. El Haqed has been targeted for his political views and […]
  • Russia: Musicians speak of censorship, persecution and viciousness

    Violations of freedom of expression in Russia hit the frontpages of newspapers and websites all over the world in 2012 when two members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot were imprisoned. Many other music groups and artists in Russia face censorship and persecution – but their cases are never heard of outside of Russia. […]
  • Freemuse to the United Nations: Iran discriminates women artists

    Iran should eliminate discrimination against women artists and abolish censorship of artistic expressions, stated Freemuse in its submission to the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review of Iran in March 2014. For decades the Islamic Republic of Iran has put severe restrictions on the right to freedom of artistic expression. Although the country in 2010 during […]
  • Artists are truth tellers risking their lives for us

    Our consideration of the human rights in any country should include the freedom of artists to express their heart, writes Deeyah Khan – a critically acclaimed music producer, composer and an Emmy award-winning documentary film director – in this statement she submitted to the United Nations in March 2014. Video recording of Deeyah Khan’s speech […]
  • Syria: The soundtrack of Syrian resistance

    Music has been at the core of the Syrian uprising since its beginning in 2011, and for the same reason musicians have been killed and are being silenced by force. It is part of an attempt to impose political and religious agendas, reports Spanish-Syrian activist Leila Nachawati, who is a professor of Communications at Carlos […]
  • Violations of musical freedom of expression in 2013

    Freemuse Annual Statistics Freemuse monitored and documented violations of freedom of expression for musicians on www.freemuse.org in 2013. The documentation found the basis for a statistical compilation presenting a glimpse of the situation for musicians worldwide in 2013 and includes cases from 33 countries. The geographical presentation presents an overview of the situation for musicians […]
  • Cuba: Rappers persecuted – beaten, ransacked, arrested

    Excerpt of blog-post by John Suarez at cubanexilequarter.blogspot.com: “The importance of generating and maintaining attention is critically important for anyone who dissents from the official government line. Rodolfo Ramirez, known by his rapping name as El Primario, member of the hip-hop duo El Primario y Julito, who appears in the above video was so badly […]
  • UN Special Rapporteur requested to discuss Tibet with Chinese government

    Freemuse has requested the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, Ms Farida Shaheed, to discuss the imprisonment of nine Tibetan singers with Chinese government. The artists Lolo, Shawo Tashi, Pema Tinley, Chakdor and Choksal have been given sentences of between one and six years. The crimes for which they have been convicted […]
  • Senegal: Didier Awadi speaks about self-censorship

    You can criticise presidents but not religious leaders, says Didier Awadi, one of Africa’s leading artists, to Freemuse Didier Awadi, for decades considered one of Africa’s most respected and outspoken artists, has criticized neo-colonialism, corrupt presidents and politicians. But even outspoken artists consider the fine balance between what may be important to address and what […]
  • Music & Islam – what’s the big fuss?

    FREEMUSE THEME ##PagePublishedLong## Music & Islam – what’s the big fuss? In Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Taliban continues to attack musicians and music shops, but what is the position on music in Islam? For several years Freemuse has stimulated research and documentation on issues of music and Islam. For instance: Battling over the public sphereTo […]
  • Germany/Russia: Was Hitler listening to ‘forbidden’ music?

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Germany/Russia:Was Hitler listening to ‘forbidden’ music? The newspaper International Herald Tribune reports that a record collection possibly belonging to Adolf Hitler has been found in Russia. The nearly 100 records were stored in the attic of a former Soviet intelligence agent who recently died. The agent left a note behind him, saying that […]
  • North Korea: Jason Carter – ‘The Colour Of Silence’

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## North Korea:The Colour Of Silence Excerpts from Jason Carter’s diary, ‘The Colour Of Silence In The Axis Of Evil’ Jason Carter is a British guitarist who has travelled and toured in more than 70 countries. This is his personal account of his first performance in North Korea – as the second person from […]
  • Korea: ‘The people united’

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## THE PEOPLE UNITED: MUSIC FOR NORTH KOREA’S ‘GREAT LEADER’ AND ‘DEAR LEADER’By Keith Howard, Senior Lecturer, SOAS, and Director, AHRB Research Centre for Cross-Cultural Music and Dance Performance, UK In North Korea the word “censorship” is a euphemism. The government simply controls all areas of musical life. Keith Howard’s paper examines this very […]
  • Freemuse annual report: Violations of freedom of musical expression in 2012

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong##   Freemuse annual statistics: Violations of freedom of musical expression in 2012   Freemuse has compiled statistics presenting a glimpse of the situation for musicians worldwide in 2012. A total number of 173 cases of attacks on musicians and violations of their rights have been registered. The cases include 6 artists being killed, […]
  • Freemuse annual report: Violations of freedom of musical expression in 2011

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Freemuse Annual Statistics: Freedom of musical expression violations in 2011 Freemuse has compiled statistics to present an overview of the situation for musicians worldwide in 2011. This is a geographical presentation of musicians who were: – killed– injured, tortured or physically attacked– imprisoned- arrested or on trial– threatened– and concerts that were stopped. […]
  • Denmark: Writer’s safe cities should also be for musicians

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Denmark:Writer’s safe cities should also be for musicians The proposal by Freemuse to include musicians in the Safe Cities programme finds backing in the Danish parliament. The opposition wants this corrected by a revision of the law, but the government does not agree. The two opposition parties, the Socialdemocrats and SF, believe that […]
  • Artist Visa Applications: Arguments for Success – a Quick Guide

    CAMPAIGN ##PagePublishedLong## Freemuse Quick Guide ©Artist Visa Applications: Arguments for Success When you deal with visa issuing offices and embassies it may sometimes be useful to refer to various points set out in international conventions and recommendations. Here are a few references that you can mention when you argue for smooth visa handling. By Ole […]
  • Freemuse Awards

    FREEMUSE AWARDS The Freemuse Award Freemuse Award 2016 Lavon Volski, an icon of Belarusian rock music, is the winner of the 2016 Freemuse Award. 25 April 2016    Freemuse Award 2014 Freemuse Award Winner 2014 is City of Harstad in Norway. In 2013, Harstad declared itself as the world’s first ‘Safe city for musicians’. Harstad […]
  • Freemuse: Presentation in one of the most deadly places for musicians

    ACTIVITIES 18 June 2009 Freemuse: Presentation in one of the most deadly places for musicians Freemuse was invited in June 2009 to the final week of one of Latin America’s biggest music festivals, Ollinkan, for a 40 minute powerpoint presentation on the challenges the organisation is facing in monitoring abuses against musicians. At the Multiforo […]
  • South Korea: Protest music returns to be remembered

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## South Korea: Protest music returns to be remembered For protesters scared of arresting officers and being bludgeoned in the streets, some were too frightened to express their minds. But with songs people found the courage to deliver their message. Until the late 1980s, recording music that criticized the government was prohibited.Undeterred, students and […]
  • Afghanistan report Post Scriptum, 2003

  • Norway/UK: “My first love was always music”

      NEWS   Video recordings from ‘All that is Banned is Desired’: “My first love was always music” In the session ‘STOP THIS FILTH: ARTISTS UNDER THREATS’, ex-singer Deeyah and actor Arshad Hussain testifies about serious threaths and an actual abduction, a reality faced by some performing artists due to social and cultural pressures in Afghanistan […]
  • Turkey: ‘Silencing Music in Turkey 2012’ – an 18-pages leaflet

    NEWS Turkey: ‘Silencing Music in Turkey 2012’ – an 18-pages leaflet The leaflet contains updates on violations of musical expression in Turkey in a period of 12 months. It was published in October 2012 by the Initiative for Freedom of Expression in Istanbul, Turkey, in connection with the first world conference on artistic freedom of […]
  • Azer Cirttan

    AZER CIRTTAN(Azerbaijan) Exiled singer-songwriter Azer Cirttan speaks about censorship, fear and Eurovision This interview with Azer Cirttan was recorded by Nicklas Wallén in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in February 2012. Explaining what lead up to his decision to leave the country, Azer tells me that the concerts he tried to make were all cancelled. A while […]
  • Afghanistan: Freemuse workshop in Kabul

    NEWS Afghanistan: Freemuse workshop in Kabul At a workshop in Kabul participants from all over the country identified some of the key problems that make life difficult for Afghan musicians and composers. Musicians in Afghanistan continue to face several security problems. The problems are not only related to threats from Taliban but even from warlords. […]
  • Fuat Talay

    FUAT TALAY(Turkey) ##PagePublishedLong## Fuat Talay comments on music censorship in Turkey. Recorded on 21 November 2011. 29 October 2008 Turkish musician Fuat Talay explains about his personal experiences with music censorship in Turkey which led to his imprisonment and exile. The interview was held in connection with a ‘Concert against music censorship’ which was organised by […]
  • Afghanistan: They play rock music in Afghanistan – and get away with it

    NEWS 15 August 2011 Afghanistan: They play rock music in Afghanistan – and get away with it “What the hell were you doing in Kabul?” Helo Magazine asked the Kabul-based rock trio White City. The three members of the band originally travelled to Afghanistan as expatriate crisis responders. But life in the Afghan capital called […]
  • Middle East: Hip-hop is a soundtrack to the North African revolt

    ARTICLES 20 April 2011 The Middle East: Hip-hop is a soundtrack to the North African revolt Hip-hop plays a central role in the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and Libya. Rap songs create an important platform for communication creating moral support and encouraging a spirit of resistance and revolt against the regime.  A new music […]
  • Music Freedom Day: Local ownership creates diversity of innovative events

    MUSIC FREEDOM DAY     Marie Korpe, Executive Director of Freemuse: Local ownership to the event develops great diversity of innovative events   Music Freedom Day 2011: An exiled DJ returned to Kabul, music was smuggled out from Burma, and Freemuse visited Cameroon and handed over a much awaited award. Lapiro de Mbanga with the […]
  • Radio Without Borders: Listen to the Banned

    RADIO PROGRAMMES USA: Radio Without Borders: ‘Listen to the banned’ Here on Earth — Radio Without Borders, a one-hour live weekday global cultural affairs programme on Wisconsin Public Radio broadcasted a special feature programme about the album ‘Listen to the banned’ on 10 November 2010. Guests: * Deeyah, singer, musician, human rights activist, and producer […]
  • Somalia: Al-Shabaab bans music like the Taliban

    NEWS     Somalia: Al-Shabaab bans music like the Taliban   Somalia is starting to resemble Afghanistan under the Taliban, where hard-line Islamist militia bans music and movies and forbids the public from watching sports on tv, reported the Associated Press. Events in the past years in the failed state of Somalia indicate that Islamist […]
  • Songlines review of Freemuse CD: ‘It is Top of the World’

    PUBLICATIONS United Kingdom: Review of Freemuse CD: ‘It is Top of the World’ Songlines, an influential UK-based world music magazine, chose the Freemuse CD ‘Listen to the banned’ as Top of the World in their August 2010 issue. “You need to hear this record – as much for the quality of the music as for […]
  • Afghanistan: Ban on women singers debated in Herat

    NEWS Afghanistan: Ban on women singers debated in Herat A Morality and Knowledge Association recently established in Herat wants to ban women’s voices from the airwaves, reported Jean MacKenzie and Rateb Muzhda from Herat The privately owned association has about 60 staffers, says its director, Aminullah Mohtasem, all of whom work voluntarily. Jean MacKenzie and […]
  • CD: Listen to the banned

    PUBLICATIONS Tiken Jah Fakoly about the new Freemuse CD album: ‘CD highlights artists who fight for justice’ The CD ‘Listen to the banned’ has been well received by broadcasters all over Europe. “Some broadcasters have mentioned that not only does the CD feature some important political songs but even has a ‘spiritual dimension’”, told Freemuse […]
  • Ferhat Tunc

    FERHAT TUNÇ(Turkey) Singer and musician Ferhat Tunç from Dersim in the Kurdish part of Turkey speaks about his personal experiences with and understanding of music censorship in Turkey Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required The Kurdish-Turkish singer Ferhat Tunç was born in 1964 in Turkey’s most eastern region, Dersim. His music has been censored in […]
  • Ferhat Tunc

    FERHAT TUNÇ(Turkey) Singer and musician Ferhat Tunç from Dersim in the Kurdish part of Turkey speaks about his personal experiences with and understanding of music censorship in Turkey Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required The Kurdish-Turkish singer Ferhat Tunç was born in 1964 in Turkey’s most eastern region, Dersim. His music has been censored in […]
  • Nakaaya Sumari

    NAKAAYA SUMARI(Tanzania) 12 August 2009 In this interview the Tanzanian singer Nakaaya Sumari explains why she sings about corruption, inefficiency and discrimination in her hit song ‘Mr Politician’. She talks about ‘the inconvenience of truth’, and also about musicians’ self-censorship, and the strong role which music plays as a tool for communication in East Africa. […]
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan: Understanding the Taliban’s campaign against music

    NEWS Afghanistan / Pakistan: Understanding the Taliban’s campaign against music Renowned British ethnomusicologist John Baily and Freemuse executive director Marie Korpe spoke to Radio Liberty correspondent Abubakar Siddique about the Taliban’s campaign against music and musicians in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Excerpts: By Abubakar Siddique, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty correspondent The Taliban justifies their […]
  • Human Rights for Musicians – Ferhat Tunc

    PUBLICATIONS TEN YEARS WITH FREEMUSE FOLK SINGER FERHAT TUNÇ ACQUITTED IN IZMIR Jens-Peter Bonde President of EU Democrats Danish member of the European Parliament from 1979-2008 On 2 October 2007 I went to Izmir in Turkey and joined a small delegation, which had flown in to observe a trial against the popular singer and composer, […]
  • Human Rights for Musicians – Impressions & Descriptions: Ferhat Tunc

    PUBLICATIONS TEN YEARS WITH FREEMUSE IMPRESSIONS & DESCRIPTIONS Ferhat Tunç Musician and composer, Turkey My relationship with Freemuse started in 2003. In August that year I was imprisoned and was released again soon afterwards. This drew attention both locally and internationally. Through this incident, the Freemuse members that got in touch with me had the […]
  • Pervaiz Akhtar

    PERVAIZ AKHTAR(Pakistan / Denmark) 29 October 2008 Pakistani musician Pervaiz Akhtar, today based in Denmark, explains (in Danish language) about his personal experiences with music censorship in Pakistan.   Wimpy Wasp Player The interview was held in connection with a ‘Concert against music censorship’ which was organised by the Danish Refugee Council in Copenhagen on […]
  • Pasajeros

    PASAJEROS(Colombia) 08 October 2008 Colombian rappers and protest musicians Don Vito and Medina speak about their personal experiences of music censorship in Cobacabana. In this interview they focus on what happened to their colleagues in the band Pasajeros. The interviews were recorded in May 2007.  Wimpy Wasp Player The band Pasajeros was formed in 1991 […]
  • Pasajeros

    PASAJEROS(Colombia) 20 October 2008 Vídeo con los raperos colombianos Don Vito y David Medina, integrantes del grupo Bellavista Social Club, donde exponen sus experiencias de persecución y atropellos cometidos por las fuerzas de seguridad del estado colombiano contra sus compañeros el grupo Los Pasajeros.En este vídeo Vito y Medina narran como son encarcelados por terrorismo […]
  • China/Cote d’Ivoire/Myanmar/Burma: ‘An Independent Mind’

    FILM 22 September 2008 Burma / China / Côte d’IvoireFilm with Freemuse Award winner Tiken Jah Fakoly, who received the Freemuse Award 2008, is one of the main characters in a new documentary film, ‘An Independent Mind’ — about freedom of speech and how far individuals in different countries will go in order to preserve […]
  • Tiken Jah Fakoly

    ARTISTS ON CENSORSHIP 04 September 2008 Côte d’Ivoire:Interview with Tiken Jah Fakoly By Ole Reitov Wimpy Wasp Player Transcription of the full interview When was the first time that you realised that your music could be dangerous to the policy makers? I think it was in 1999. I did an album which title was ‘Cours […]
  • Turkey: Interview with exiled musician Fuat Talay

    ARTIST PROFILE Turkey:Fuat Talay: ‘I escaped and cannot return’ Baglama-player and singer Fuat Talay doesn’t make much noise about how the Turkish authorities kept him in a police station’s cellar for 23 days, and later on convicted him to 12 years in prison. In July 2008 he is in the media limelight because of a […]
  • Cuba/Netherlands: Film about the underground music scene

    FILMS ##PagePublishedLong## Cuba:Film about the underground music scene The documentary film ‘¡Cuba RebelióN!’ is an unusual and very outspoken portrait of the Cuban underground music scene. It’s about the punk-rock and metal musicians rebelling against the bureaucracy and imposed conformity of the Castro regime. By Kristina Funkeson, Freemuse The film gives an historical overview of music […]
  • Sudan: Censored singer tries to reform Janjaweed ‘hate singers’

    NEWS Sudan:Censored singer tries to reform ‘hate singers’ While struggling with censorship in Khartoum, the Sudanese singer-songwriter Abazar Hamid hopes to bring peace to Sudan with his music. He travels to rural areas of the country where he tries to reform the traditional Arab ‘hate singers’ known as the Janjaweed women. Abazar Hamid told his […]
  • Finland/Sweden/Norway: The destruction of a minority’s music culture

    ARTICLE 21 April 2008 Sámi land:The destruction of a minority’s music culture As a comment to Freemuse’s interview with Sámi singer Marie Boine, ‘This music was from the devil’, the Finnish ethnomusicologist and musician Ilpo Saastamoinen shares his insight and personal experiences with the oppression and destruction of Sámi music culture.By Ilpo Saastamoinen In her […]
  • Afghanistan: Restrictions on music discussed in parliament

    NEWS Afghanistan: Restrictions on music discussed in parliament On 1 April 2008 a commission for cultural and religious affairs in Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament suggested to impose new restrictions on music and dance performance in Afghanistan. By Samay Hamed reporting for Freemuse from Kabul The main articles in the proposal from the commission for cultural […]
  • Norway: Video interview with Mari Boine

    MARI BOINE(Norway) 31 March 2008 Norwegian and Sámi singer Mari Boine speaks about her personal experiences with the religious ban of joik singing. The interview was recorded when Mari Boine participated in an event in Norway to mark the annual Music Freedom Day in March 2008.  Wimpy Wasp Player Mari Boine grew up in an […]
  • USA: Video interview with Kris Kristofferson

    KRIS KRISTOFFERSON(USA) 31 March 2008 Singer and songwriter Kris Kristofferson speaks about his personal experiences of music censorship.  Wimpy Wasp Player “Kris Kristofferson is not only one of America’s most celebrated and finest singer-songwriters. He is also among the most controversial. He keeps provoking and challenging the political establishment, and he has experienced both media […]
  • Beate Slydal: About the Turkish Penal Code Article 301

    BEATE SLYDAL(Norway) Political scientist Beate Slydal speaks about the infamous Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. Beate Slydal works as a political advisor and lobbyist for Amnesty International Norway.  Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required Turkey’s Penal Code Article 301 says: “Those who (1) Public denigration of Turkishness, the Republic or the Grand […]
  • Freemuse: Music and resistance during apartheid

    EVENT 28 February 2008 Freemuse/Museum of World Cultures:Music and resistance during apartheid In corporation with the Museum of World Cultures in Gothenburg, Sweden, Freemuse proudly presents a film screening of the documentary “Stopping the Music” in presence of Roger Lucey and Paul Erasmus. The event “Snuten, sångaren och den förbjudna musiken” (The Cop, the Singer […]
  • Sahar Afarin

    Sahar Afarin (Afghanistan)   Sahar Afarin is an up-and-coming star. She had her national break-through in 2006 when she recieved the honourary titles ‘Artist of Radio Television Afghanistan’ and ‘Golden Star of National TV’. Click on the photo two times to start the video.   Flash Player upgrade required   In this interview the 21-year-old […]
  • Safdar Tawakoli

    Safdar Tawakoli(Afghanistan) 25 February 2008 Safdar Tawakoli is a leading Hazara folk singer and dambura player in Afghanistan. Since the 1950’s Tawakoli’s song ‘We are all brothers’ has been famous as a national unity song. It was re-recorded by the singer Farhad Darya in 2002. Wimpy Wasp Player Click on the photo two times to start […]
  • Farhad Darya

    Farhad Darya(Afghanistan) 25 February 2008 Farhad Darya is the most famous and best-selling pop singer, music director and composer in Afghanistan. He is known as ‘Voice of Afghan People’ as well as ‘International Voice of Afghanistan’. Regarding the history of music censorship in the country, Farhad Darya’s case is one of the most significant. Wimpy […]
  • Ghazal Ahmadi

    Ghazal Ahmadi(Afghanistan) 25 February 2008 Ghazal Ahmadi is a film actress in Afghanistan, and is also known for performing in music videos. Click on the photo two times to start the video. Wimpy Wasp Player In this interview Ghazal Ahmadi speaks about her experience as a music student who stopped learning how to play the […]
  • Nairez

    Nairez(Afghanistan) Fazl-u-Rahman Nairez is a famous singer in Afghanistan, mostly known from national tv performances. Nairez was one of the singers who were forced to sing praisal songs for the Taliban regime in 1996-2001. Click on the photo two times to start the video. Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required In this interview Nairez […]
  • Aziz Ghaznawi

      Aziz Ghaznawi (Afghanistan)     Aziz Ghaznawi is an authority on music administration in Afghanistan. Aziz Ghaznawi is also a singer, and his songs have been broadcasted on air since 1965. He was employed by Radio Afghanistan in 1968 where, during a period, he was head of the music production department.     Click […]
  • Afghanistan – special report: The cage is singing

    SPECIAL REPORT Afghanistan:The cage is singing In-depth report with ten video interviews about music censorship in Afghanistan – past and present By Samay Hamed During the Taliban regime all music was banned in Afghanistan. But even before this dark chapter of Afghan history musicians suffered from censorship. This special report presents 10 unique video interviews […]
  • Aiab Gul Delshad

    Aiab Gul Delshad(Afghanistan) Aiab Gul Delshad is the head of Afghanistan’s Music Union, and also a famous folk singer. He started working with Radio Afghanistan in 1950. Aiab Gul Delshad was arrested once, and imprisoned and tortured another time, because of a few words in two song lyrics. Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required […]
  • Zhakfar Hussaini

    ZHAKFAR HUSSAINI(Afghanistan) 25 February 2008 Zhakfar Hussaini was censor in Afghanistan Writers Association in Balkh in 1986-1992. Today he is a poet and a graphic designer. He is also head of Afghanistani PEN’s publication section. Click on the photo two times to start the video.  Wimpy Wasp Player In this interview Zhakfar Hussaini explains the […]
  • Baktash Kamran

    Baktash Kamran (Afghanistan) Baktash Kamran is a lead singer in his own band, Kamran Music Group, famous amongst young Afghans. Baktash Kamran is the son of the popular Afghan comedian, Haji Mohammad Kamran. Click on the photo two times to start the video. Flash Player upgrade required   In this interview Baktash Kamran speaks about […]
  • Fazl-u-Rahman Wahdat

    Fazl-u-Rahman Wahdat (Afghanistan) Fazl-u-Rahman Wahdat is a famous Pashto folk singer from the south of Afghanistan. He is a board member of Afghanistan Music Union, and has been working for Radio Television Afghanistan since 1978. Click on the photo two times to start the video. Flash Player upgrade required   In this interview Fazl-u-Rahman Wahdat […]
  • Freemuse campaign: ‘Safe cities’ should include all artists

    CAMPAIGN 10 January 2008 Freemuse:Danish ‘safe cities’ should include all artists Freemuse initiates a campaign for inclusion of musicians and other artists in the ‘safe cities’ system The Danish government has proposed to introduce ‘safe cities’ for persecuted writers. The Danish system would be linked to ICORN, the International Cities of Refuge Network, which offers […]
  • Afghanistan: Female musicians put their lives in danger

    ARTICLE 15 January 2008 Afghanistan:Female musicians put their lives in danger A report from a music school in Kabul, published in San Francisco Chronicle, is a story about the kind of difficulties and dangers female musicians face in present day Afghanistan. They must practice music under cover, work in secret, and be careful to protect […]
  • Jonas Otterbeck: Islamic reactions to the music of today

    WORKING PAPER Battling over the public sphere: Islamic reactions to the music of today A working paper – by Jonas Otterbeck, PhD in history of religions “States and local authorities have taken action against heavy metal musicians, female singers, music videos, and public concerts. Islamist and conservative Islamic organizations or individuals try to disturb and […]
  • Afghanistan: Famed exiled singer returned after 18 years

    NEWS     Afghanistan: Famed exiled singer returned after 18 years One of “Afghanistan’s living treasures”, singer Farida Mahwash stepped foot in Afghanistan for the first time in almost two decades to give a series of benefit concerts in Kabul, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif in October 2007, reported San Francisco Chronicle “I’ll have programs there and […]
  • Turkey: A personal letter from musician Ferhat Tunc

    ARTIST STATEMENT Turkey:“The values that made me Ferhat Tunç” Kurdish-Turkish musician Ferhat Tunç was appointed ‘Freemuse ambassador’ in September 2007. In this personal letter from him, he explains about his relationship with the organisation, and what the new appointment means to him. By Ferhat Tunç On the fourth anniversary of my acquaintance with Freemuse, I […]
  • 3rd Freemuse World Conference – report

    FREEMUSE REPORT 20 August 2007 Marie Korpe (ed.)MUSIC WILL NOT BE SILENCED – 3rd Freemuse World Conference on Music & Censorship, Istanbul 25-26. November 2006Report no. 8Freemuse, Copenhagen, 2007ISSN: 1601-2127.   75 pages. Read the reportThe printed version of the report is unfortunately out of stock. MUSIC WILL NOT BE SILENCED INTRODUCTIONBy Ole Reitov Listening to many […]
  • Turkey: Ferhat Tunc: “I will continue my struggle”

    ARTIST STATEMENT Turkey:Ferhat Tunç: “I will continue my struggle” Despite death threats and continuous court cases, Kurdish-Turkish singer and writer Ferhat Tunç continues to critise the Turkish court system and the government. In this statement of his, Tunç says: “I am not an artist who sings poppy songs… and I will cry out the reality of this […]
  • Argentina and Uruguay: Miguel Angel Estrella

  • Rabah Donquishoot

    RABAH DONQUISHOOT (MBS) (Algeria) Rabah is a musician and rapper who has produced a ‘Music Freedom Day’ signature song for Freemuse together with his group MBS and rappers around the world.In this interview he speaks about music censorship in Algeria and about the role of the Algerian musician Matoub Lounes who was assassinated in 1998.  […]
  • Selda Bagcan: speech – November 2006

    SELDA BAĞCAN(Turkey) Selda Bağcan has sold albums counted in millions, and she has been accused with sentences that accumulate to over 500 years of imprisonment if they were carried out. In this testimony she speaks about her personal experiences of music censorship in Turkey. See translation below.  Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required Selda […]
  • Pakistan: Fear and persecution follows Afghan musicians

    ARTICLE Pakistan: Fear and persecution follows Afghan musicians Fear and persecution forced them to leave Afghanistan. Now it is haunting them in north-west Pakistan. Islamists’ continous attacks on music centres send fear across the region and make the Afghan singers living in Peshawar feel insecure. They experience lack of job opportunities, and are on the […]
  • Grup Yorum

      GRUP YORUM (Turkey)     Ali Aracı, Öznur Turan and Cihan Keşkek are members of the politically active Turkish folk music band Grup Yorum. In this 12-minutes interview they talk about their personal experiences of music censorship in Turkey. See also transcription below. Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required     Speaking on […]
  • Fadal Dey

    FADAL DEY(Côte d’Ivoire) ##PagePublishedLong## Fadal Dey is currently one of the rising stars of reggae music in Africa. His concerts attract thousands of admirers. In this interview he speaks about music censorship in Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa, as he experienced it concerning his song ‘Bat Government’.  Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required Fadal Dey […]
  • Video interviews from the 3rd Freemuse World Conference

    | Start page | Media coverage | Speakers | Programme | Photos |  3rd FREEMUSE WORLD CONFERENCE ON MUSIC AND CENSORSHIP VIDEO INTERVIEWSfrom the conference in Istanbul, 25-26 November 2006 Fadal Dey – singer from Côte d’Ivoire Grup Yorum – music group from Turkey Jason Carter – British guitarist about Saudi Arabia Jeroen de Kloet – Dutch researcher about China Mario Masvidal – professor from […]
  • Mirwaiss Sidiqi: Music in Afghanistan 2006

    MIRWAISS SIDIQI (Afghanistan) Mirwaiss Sidiqi of the Aga Khan Music Initiative for Central Asia works with music education in Afghanistan. In this interview he speaks about the present situation concerning music in Afghanistan – as it appeared by the end of 2006 – and also more generally about the power of music. Flash Player upgrade […]
  • 3rd Freemuse World Conference on Music and Censorship

    | Media coverage | Speakers | Programme | Photos | Video interviews |   3rd FREEMUSE WORLD CONFERENCE ON MUSIC AND CENSORSHIP     25-26 November 2006 in Istanbul, Turkey Professional musicians, scholars, and composers from 22 countries met at the 3rd Freemuse World Conference. Over two intensive days, they documented how music censorship is being […]
  • Stephan Smith-Said

    STEPHAN SMITH-SAID (USA) Stephan Smith-Said is an Iraqi American songwriter whose father’s family lives under the daily threat of bombing in Baghdad and Mosul. In this interview he speaks about the importance of music and of fighting music censorship – inspired by his attendance at the 3rd Freemuse World Conference in Istanbul in November 2006.  […]
  • Sanar Yurdatapan

      ŞANAR YURDATAPAN (Turkey)       Composer Şanar Yurdatapan is Director of the Turkish-based Association for Freedom of Expression. In this interview he speaks about the session entitled ‘Turkey – Crossing the bridge’ which was an important event at the 3rd Freemuse World Conference in Istanbul in November 2006. Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player […]
  • Programme of the 3rd Freemuse World Conference

    | Start page | Media coverage | Speakers | Photos | Video interviews |   3rd Freemuse World Conference on Music and Censorship   CONFERENCE PROGRAMME Latest update on 16 November 2006  SATURDAY 25 NOV   10:00 – 10:30 — OPENING CEREMONY —   MUSICAL WELCOME Mahsa Vahdat & Marjan Vahdat, Singers, Iran   WELCOME […]
  • Photos of the 3rd Freemuse World Conference

    | Start page | Media coverage | Speakers | Programme | Video interviews |  3rd FREEMUSE WORLD CONFERENCEON MUSIC AND CENSORSHIP ##PagePublishedLong## PHOTOS Photos copyright: Anna Schori for Freemuse      1.   Shakeb Isaar, exiled VJ from Afghanistan 2.   Gözde Cangüzel, student from University of Istanbul 3.   Selda Bağcan, singer from Turkey 4.   Attendees […]
  • UNESCO-study in support of freedom of musical expression

    A new study carried out for UNESCO by the International Music Council underlines the importance of freedom of musical expression while listing examples of suppression and censorship of music in numerous countries around the world The study entitled ‘The Protection And Promotion Of Musical Diversity’ is intended to reveal the situation of musical diversity in […]

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