• Ukraine: Russian Eurovision contestant banned over performance in Crimea

    Ukraine’s security service has banned Russian singer Julia Samoilova from entering the country for the next three years due to her giving a performance in Crimea in 2015, thus not allowing her to compete in European song contest Eurovison taking place in capital Kiev in May 2017, reported BBC on 22 March 2017. Geneva-based Eurovision […]
  • Tanzania: Rapper released after being detained over song

    Tanzanian popular rapper Ney wa Mitego (real name Emmanuel Elibariki) was released on 27 March 2017 without charges from police custody after he was held for nearly two days for his new song, ‘WAPO (They are There)’, which allegedly ridiculed the government. Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Harrison Mwakyembe said Tanzanian President John […]
  • Nigeria: Singer arrested, out on bail for releasing uncensored song

    Singer Sadiq Zazzabi (real name: Sadiq Usman Saleh) was released on bail on 6 March 2017 after having been detained since 1 March 2017 for allegedly releasing a song before receiving approval from the Kano State Censorship Board in the country’s north, reported Nigerian newspaper Premium Times on 6 March 2017. The newspaper reported on […]
  • Israel: Gazan singer on conditional release by Hamas authorities

    On 25 January 2017, Hamas authorities in Gaza released singer-comedian Adel al-Mashwakhi on bail after having been arrested and in prison since 11 January 2017 for a video he posted on his Facebook page, reported Minneapolis Star Tribune on 26 January 2017. Al-Mashwakhi said his release was conditional upon him no longer making “politically flavoured” […]
  • Azerbaijan: Rapper’s family detained over music video

    Azerbaijani authorities detained rapper Jamal Ali’s mother, uncle and two cousins for four days after Ali released an online music video critical of the government, reported Eurasianet on 9 January 2017. The video for song ‘Heykal Baba’ (Monument Grandpa) was released on 31 December 2016 and was dedicated to two young activists who are serving […]
  • USA: Artists arrested, banned, receive death threats related to Trump actions

    Italian opera tenor Andrea Bocelli and US singer Jennifer Holliday both backed out from performing at the US presidential inauguration of Donald Trump just days before the event revealing they received death threats if they went ahead with their performances, reported Daily Mail on 15 January 2017. “They were saying I should kill myself or […]
  • China: Ministry of Culture allegedly blacklists 55 artists

    China has allegedly blacklisted 55 artists, mostly musicians, a majority of whom are from Hong Kong and Taiwan, who have participated in pro-democracy movements or expressed political views that China deems objectionable, reported Quartz on 11 January 2017. Hints of the blacklist came a week earlier, on 6 January, when works by some pop artists […]
  • Zambia: Hounded singer remains defiant

    by Phoenix Gauthier, Freemuse correspondent On 11 August 2016, incumbent Zambian president Edgar Lungu squeezed out a controversial victory in the general elections, taking 50.35% of the votes. In the months that followed, Zambia experienced its worst attacks on press freedom in years. Three of its media outlets were suspended, including Muvi TV, the southern […]
  • Burundi: Music censorship or artist protection?

    Since a political crisis hit Burundi in May 2015, tensions have been high between the powers that be and the opposition; the media and civil society have all been involved in this polarising battle; and it seems that the newest victims of this battle are local musicians who now need to pass a “quality test” […]
  • Russia: Artistic freedom threatened by nationalist and orthodox groups

    While Russian president Vladimir Putin vowed in a meeting with film directors and artists in early December 2016 to protect artistic freedom, he also said artists carry a responsibility not to offend religious believers, saying “there is a very narrow divide between dangerous shock value and freedom of creativity”, reported The New York Times on […]
  • South Korea: Alleged government blacklist of 9,473 artists over politics

    South Korean daily newspaper Hankook Ilbo revealed on 11 October 2016 that the South Korean government blacklisted 9,473 artists from receiving state support, including financial support, due to their political activity of either being critical of the current government or backing opposition politicians, reported The Korea Times on 12 October 2016. The 100-page blacklist is […]
  • China: Singer’s music scrubbed from online music services due to Hong Kong activism

    Music fans in China have reported that several major Chinese music and video streaming platforms, as well as the Chinese iTunes store, have removed, blocked or filtered out the music and online content of pop star Denise Ho, who has been active in the Hong Kong independence and pro-democracy movement since 2014, as well as […]
  • Ukraine: Government to bar blacklisted Russian singers in European song contest

    The Ukrainian government said on 9 September 2016 that it would deny entry into the country to blacklisted Russian singers competing for the 62nd Eurovision contest set to take place in capital Kiev in May 2017 if they are found to support the separatist cause stemming from Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, reported Reuters on 9 […]
  • Somalia: Concert cancelled for “objectionable” shows in Europe

    A concert with singer Nasteexo Indho, along with DJ Subeer and the singers from Stars of the Horn, was cancelled one hour before it was scheduled to begin on 13 August 2016 in Hargeisa as armed soldiers surrounded the DJ and a young TV cameraman, informing them of the cancellation and that Nasteexo would be […]
  • Sierra Leone: Musician allegedly censored due to political song

    Popular musician Emmerson Bockarie claims the government has banned him from playing a concert in Sierra Leone capital Freetown and a radio DJ has said that his station manager told him to not play the artist’s latest hit ‘Munku Boss Pan Matches’ (‘A Kid in a Candy Store’), a 15-minute song that criticises the government […]
  • Iran: Concerts in the crosshairs

    Religious conservatives in Iran have been tightening control over the nation’s cultural and moral values ever since the 2013 election of liberal President Hassan Rouhani and the 2015 nuclear deal, amidst fears that the country will lose its values to Western influences. Art, especially music and live concerts, has become one such target for religious […]
  • USA: Anti-Donald Trump song censored

    US presidential nominee Donald Trump and the secret service demanded changes be made to two songs by rapper YG on his latest album released in June 2016 for anti-Trump lyrics, reported entertainment news outlet Vulture on 16 June 2016. The two censored songs – ‘FDT’ (an abbreviation for Fuck Donald Trump) and ‘Blacks and Browns’ […]
  • Somalia: Security forces arrest musician

    Security forces in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, arrested musician Farhan Hidig (Farxaan Xidig) in late June 2016 due to him visiting Mogadishu and remains in custody, according to Freemuse sources. According to local media sources the musician was arrested in connection to his political activity. Somaliland authorities have not commented yet on Hidig’s arrest. While […]
  • China: American singer banned due to Dalai Lama meeting

    American pop star Lady Gaga is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of artists banned by China for their meetings with the Dalai Lama or stances on Tibet, reported The Guardian on 28 June 2016. The singer met with the Dalai Lama on 26 June 2016 at the US Conference of Mayors for approximately […]
  • Nigeria: Musician kidnapped, found, later detained allegedly due to song

    Musician Ado Daukaka was abducted in Adamawa State in north-eastern Nigeria in the early hours of 25 June 2016 just after the release of his latest anti-corruption song ‘Gyara Kayanka’ (‘Put your house in order’), and found five days later on 29 June 2016 unconscious in some bushes 80 kilometres away from state capital of […]
  • Iran: Musician and filmmaker imprisoned

    According to Freemuse sources, musician Mehdi Rajabian and his brother, filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, were imprisoned for their art on 5 June 2016. They have been convicted to three years imprisonment. Please help us in getting the charges dropped against the two artists and freeing Mehdi and Hossein by taking action and sharing the video below and using the […]
  • Iran: Two musicians and a filmmaker summoned to prison

    A summons order issued on 27 May 2016 by Iranian authorities requires musicians Mehdi Rajabian, Yousef Emadi and filmmaker Hossein Rajabian to turn themselves in to prison by 31 May 2016 to serve out their three-year sentences. The summons orders them to report to the Office of the Prosecutor at Tehran’s Evin Prison. “Art is […]
  • Afghanistan: Kandahar authorities ban broadcast of songs by women

    Local Ministry of Information and Culture authorities in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan have banned women’s songs from being broadcast across local media, directly affecting the 11 radio stations in operation in the area, reported Afghanistan’s TOLONews on 23 May 2016. Head of Wranga Radio in Kandahar told TOLONews that “local officials in Kandahar […]
  • Iran: Concerts cancelled under pressure from religious conservatives

    This article on cancelled concerts and the nebulous state of artistic freedom due to opposing viewpoints between religious conservatives and the government in Iran was originally published by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on 19 May 2016, who have kindly allowed Freemuse to republish it here: Concerts of Popular Iranian Musicians Cancelled Due […]
  • France: Mayor cancels WWI centenary concert over rapper’s “anti-France” lyrics

    Verdun city mayor Samuel Hazard cancelled French rapper Black M’s concert commemorating the 100-year anniversary of WWI’s Battle of Verdun due to protests fuelled by far-right website’s fdesouche.com post on the rapper’s “anti-France” and homophobic lyrics, reported French radio station RFI on 14 May 2016. The site, along with National Front party members, in particular […]
  • Germany: Turkey attempts to stop EU funding orchestra performance

    Markus Rindt, the director of the Dresden Symphony, has claimed that Turkey has demanded the European Commission (EC) pull its 200,000 Euros funding from the ‘Aghet’ art project, in which his orchestra will perform a piece on 30 April 2016 marking the 101-year anniversary of the Armenian genocide, reported The Independent on 25 April 2016. […]
  • Jordan: Rock concert banned for “contradicting” religious beliefs

    The Jordanian Ministry of Interior has confirmed that it banned Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila from performing their concert set to take place on 29 April 2016 at the Roman Theatre in the country’s capital of Amman, reported CNN Arabic on 27 April 2016. The popular band, whose music has been called the “soundtrack to […]
  • China: American pop star tour dates cancelled

    Chinese authorities have allegedly banned US pop star Selena Gomez from performing two dates in the country on her Revival Tour due to photos of her with the Dalai Lama posted on her social media profiles in 2014, reported The New Zealand Herald on 20 April 2016. The singer was set to play in Guangzhou […]
  • Iran: Banned music legend may sing again

    Mohammed Reza Shajarian has been known as Iran’s “king of singing” for his renditions of classical poems and religious prayers; however, since he publicly supported the Green Movement against Ahmadinejad in June 2009, Shajarian found himself the victim of a nation-wide ban, unable to perform live or release music. Now, at 76, Shajarian has announced, […]
  • Turkey: Baby donkeys, insults and presidents

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is notorious for bringing thousands of his citizens, including many artists, up on insult charges ever since he took power in 2014. Freemuse continues to report on the president’s repression of artistic expression; and while he currently tries to force another country – Germany – to do the same on his behalf, artists […]
  • Jordan: Concert by Israeli musician in Wadi Rum cancelled

    Israeli musician Nadav Dagon cancelled his appearance at a three-day music festival scheduled from 7-9 April 2016 in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert after outcry against the performance surfaced on social media, reaching several parts of Jordan’s society and political groups, reported The Jerusalem Post on 4 April 2016. A group of members of parliament signed a […]
  • Indonesia: West Aceh bans outdoor concerts

    The regency of West Aceh has banned all outdoor concerts based on a recommendation from a group of Muslim scholars trained in Shari’a law, reported The Sydney Morning Herald on 7 April 2016. Ulema, the body of scholars, believed that outdoor concerts had “more disadvantages than advantages”, leading West Aceh regent Teuku Alaidinsyah to no […]
  • Burundi: Musician detained for insulting head of state

    Cedric Bangirinama, a musician also known as Bangy, was arrested on 27 January 2016 by SNR agents from Burundi’s national intelligence service for statements he made on his personal Facebook account that were deemed “insulting to the head of state”, French-language Burundi news portal Iwacu reported on 2 February 2016. Witnesses say they saw agents […]
  • Mexico: Two more states ban narcocorridos

    The governors of the states of Sinaloa and Coahuila are imposing restrictions on public performances of narcocorridos and movimiento alterado artists, joining the state of Chihuahua, which was the first state in the newest round to ban narcocorridos beginning in 2015. There are now three states in Mexico imposing limitations to these music genres, which […]
  • Egypt: Fear of heavy metal returns

    Recent controversies in Egypt over heavy metal music continue to highlight findings in the 2010 Freemuse report “Headbanging against Repressive Regimes”, wherein the music and its fans remain misunderstood and victims of conservative policies and societies. Freemuse Egypt stringer, Shahira Amin, explains the recent events around heavy metal concerts, the role of the Musicians Syndicate and its […]
  • Iran: Two musicians and a filmmaker sentenced

    Branch 54 of the Tehran Appeals Court has issued their final judgment on Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, sentencing each of the three artists to three years in prison, three years probation and a 200 million rial (about  USD 6,600) fine, reported the Human Rights Activists News Agency on 29 February 2016. According to a source of […]
  • Iran: Singer banned from tv and festival

    Salar Aghili has been banned from appearing on Iranian television and performing in the country’s Fajr International Music Festival, reported human rights organisation journalismisnotacrime.com on 26 January 2016. The famous singer was banned due to his appearance on Manoto TV, a Persian-language satellite channel based in London. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati […]
  • Iran: 165 Iranian artists and activists protest charges against two musicians and a filmmaker

    165 Iranian musicians, filmmakers, writers and activists have signed and released a statement objecting to the 2013 imprisonment and 2015 sentencing of Mehdi Rajabian, a musician and founder of BargMusic, an alternative music distributor in Iran, along with his filmmaker brother Hossein Rajabian and musician Yousef Emadi. All three have been sentenced to six years […]
  • Ukraine: Italian opera singer cancels concerts in Crimea

    After the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture said on 18 January 2016 that it would cancel Italian opera singer Alessandro Safina’s concerts in the country since he also scheduled performances in Crimea, the singer announced on 22 January 2016 that he would cancel his two dates in the contested region, reported Ukraine Today. Safina said he […]
  • Egypt: Government cancels concert marking revolution anniversary

    The band Elawela Balady posted on its Facebook page that they were informed by the Ministry of State of Antiquities to cancel a concert they had scheduled on 24 January 2016 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, reported The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. The cancellation comes despite the fact […]
  • Turkey: Children’s play banned due to “inappropriate” song

    A play that has been staged for children for the last 14 years was banned in the Çankaya District Directorate of Education of Turkey’s capital Ankara for having one song deemed “inappropriate”, reported Today’s Zaman on 14 January 2016. Playwright Serap Gültekin told newspaper Radikal that the application to stage her play ‘My Chess Pieces’ […]
  • Call on Iranian authorities to drop charges on two musicians and a filmmaker

    Human rights organisations Freemuse and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, along with 14 other organisations, protest the 2013 imprisonment and 2015 sentencing of musicians Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, and filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, and call on the head of the judiciary and other Iranian authorities to drop the charges against them. Mehdi […]
  • Nigeria: Singer detained for song critical of politician

    Singer Baba Iyali was arrested on 9 January 2016 in the Adamawa state in north-eastern Nigeria for a song he recently released criticising the speaker of the Adamawa state house of assembly, Kabiru Mijinyawa. This was reported by the online news site The Whistle. The singer remains in detention in police headquarters in reportedly inhuman […]
  • Iran: Album by prominent musician denied distribution

    Majid Derakhshani’s latest album ‘Khoroosh’ will not be distributed in Iran, reported Payvand Iran News. The album, which translates to ‘Roar’, is comprised of Derakhshani’s music sung by Mojtaba Asgari and was tied up in legal red tape for over two years before the denial was issued. Further, the Ministry of Guidance’s security department has […]
  • China: Hip-hop group censored and detained

    Chinese rap trio IN3 may never be able perform in Beijing after garnering the current unenviable status of having the top 17 spots in China’s list of 120 banned songs, according to the Daily Mail. Due to the blacklist the Beijing-based group has had a difficult time finding venues to play, going as far as […]
  • Iran: 26 popular singers banned from performing

    The Intelligence Ministry banned 26 popular musicians and singers from performing in Iran after their music was aired by networks abroad, IranWire reported citing an investigative piece from Etemad newspaper published on 19 October 2015. The head of the music department at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance confirmed that letters were sent to […]
  • Turkey: Election board bans AK Party campaign song

    In September 2015, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) imposed a ban on broadcasting the AK Party’s campaign song for the 1 November election on the grounds of “abusing religious symbols in the name of politics”. According to Today’s Zaman and other Turkish media, the ban was issued after the Republican People’s Party’s deputy Mahmut Tanal […]
  • Turkey: The disconnect between what is said and what is done

    Copenhagen, 9 July 2015 | Out of 278 recommendations for improvements in human rights put forward, the Turkish government accepted 215 as Turkey’s second Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council came to a close on 26 June. Turkey rejected key recommendations to amend or abolish laws which are used to unfairly […]
  • Egypt, Lebanon: Trance music boycotted for Israeli collaborations

    German trance music producer and DJ Paul Van Dyk has had his new album ‘The Politics of Dancing 3’ banned in Egypt, Lebanon and several other countries in the Middle East, allegedly because it was produced in collaboration with Israeli producers. Paul Van Dyk, one of the world’s most famous trance artists, made a point […]
  • Turkey: Court reverses Governor’s ban on concert in Istanbul

    The famous Turkish folk music band Grup Yorum celebrated its 30th anniversary with a concert in Istanbul on 28 June 2015, even though the first two attempts to organise this concert earlier in the year were banned by the Istanbul Governor’s Office. The ban was eventually reversed by a court decision, so that on 28 […]
  • Turkey: 10 months imprisonment for dancing to Kurdish songs

    Semra Getiren Gören has been charged with 10 months imprisonment for participating in a meeting organised on the World Peace Day in Bursa where she danced the ‘halay’ accompanied by Kurdish songs, reported antenna-tr.org. Semra Getiren Gören and 16 of her friends reportedly stood trial with the allegation of having been “dancing the halay accompanied […]
  • Turkey: Young Kurdish singer imprisoned

    Al Jazeera has published a video by a Turkish-Kurdish filmmaker about the Kurdish singer Nûdem Durak. The singer’s future is uncertain, because the Turkish government allegedly has convicted her to 10.5 years imprisonment for “promoting Kurdish propaganda”, according to Al Jazeera. Published on Youtube on 30 April 2015 Maker of the documentary film, Eylem Kaftan, […]
  • Mexico: City bans ‘narcocorridos’ after shooting at concert leaves two dead

    The Chihuahua city council has banned the performance and distribution of a genre of music known as ‘narcocorridos’ – songs whose lyrics are inspired by drug trafficking and organised crime bosses – within city limits. The new law was implemented shortly after a shooting at a narcocorrido concert in the nearby city of Parral that […]
  • Turkey: Legal breakthrough in favour of prosecuted singer Ferhat Tunç

    The European Court of Human Rights has convicted Turkey of violating freedom of speech in the case of singer Ferhat Tunç. A Turkish court had sentenced Ferhat Tunç to three months in prison and ordered him to pay a fine for having made dissident comments during a concert. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) […]
  • Turkey: Charges against musician of insult to prime minister

    On 16 January 2015 an investigation was opened against folk music artist Kutsal Evcimen because of insulting prime minister of the time, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with the folk song ‘Satın Eşek Sıpaları’ which he sang – and with a short speech he made – during Malatya 11th International Arguvan Folk Music Festival. The Initiative for Free Expression […]
  • New Zealand: Musician takes ban of his satirical song to court

    New Zealand blues singer Darren Watson has taken the country’s Electoral Commission to court to try and reverse a ban on his satirical song ‘Planet Key’. The commision told him to stop promoting and selling the song, which makes fun of Prime Minister John Key, or face prosecution. A hearing in New Zealand’s High Court […]
  • Azerbaijan: Report about artistic freedom of expression

    A new 33-page report by Art for Democracy details cases of violations of the right to artistic freedom of expression over the past three years in Azerbaijan. According to the report, ‘Creativity Under Pressure: Artistic Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan’, the Azerbaijani authorities have used a range of tactics to silence critical artistic expression, including […]
  • Israel: Conference about ‘music on troubled soils’

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Israel: Conference in October about ‘music on troubled soils’ Which role does music play for countries in conflict? Does music have a power to overcome physical or cultural barriers? Such questions will be investigated when musicians, politicians and experts from Europe, the United States and Africa gather in Jerusalem, Israel, on 23-26 October […]
  • Yemen: 18 months in prison for ‘insulting the president’

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Yemen:18 months in prison for ‘insulting the president’ The popular Yemeni singer and performer Fahd al-Qarni is said to have insulted the president and the ruling party, and for this he recieved a sentence of one year and a half in prison as well as a fine of 500.000 Yemeni Riyals (2,500 US […]
  • Musical responses to 9/11: List of allegedly ‘banned’ songs

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Musical responses to September 11th: The list of allegedly ‘banned’ songs In the wake of the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, a list of 160 “lyrically inappropriate” songs was said to have been distributed to 1,200 radio stations in the US, and consequently bands such as Rage Against The Machine were allegedly banned from […]
  • USA: The US rock group Pearl Jam’s anti-Bush statement censored on webcast

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## USA:Rock group’s anti-Bush statement allegedly censored After Pearl Jam’s live show on 5 August 2007, the band was informed by fans that parts of the webcast of their concert had been left out by the main sponsor AT&T. There was an interruption of the webcast when the lead singer made a statement against […]
  • 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 […]
  • USA: Dixie Chicks’ triumph over censorship: Five Grammys

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## USA:Dixie Chicks’ triumph over censorship: Five Grammys It was a victory over censorship, boycott and death threats when Dixie Chicks ‘swept’ the most prestigious honours in the global music calendar, the Grammy Awards The news went around the globe: A triumphant comeback for the country trio The Dixie Chicks three years after they caused […]
  • The world’s all out of tune: Popular music after 9/11

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## 9/11 – The world’s all out of tunePopuläre Musik nach dem 11. September 2001 A new book on music post September 11 is published in October. Among the contributors are Freemuse Chairperson Martin Cloonan. Please note: The book is published in German. A Freemuse report on music censorship post 9/11 is scheduled for […]
  • USA: ‘Crash into me, baby!’

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Crash into me, baby: America’s implicit music censorship since 11 Septemberby Eric Nuzum “Freedom has been attacked, but freedom will be defended.” These were the words of President George Bush shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. Bush went on to say that the terrorists “cannot touch the foundation […]
  • Elton John attacks new ‘era of censorship’ in America

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Elton John attacks new ‘era of censorship’ in America“There’s an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious. They’re all too scared.” British singer Elton John has attacked what he calls a McCarthy-like “era of censorship” in America. Entertainers who speak out against the Bush administration or […]
  • Singer ‘strips’ over censorship

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Singer ‘strips’ over censorshipAlanis Morissette wore a “nude suit” on stage at Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys to complain about censorship in the US.Morissette, who was hosting the Juno Awards in Edmonton on Sunday, wore the cartoon-style bodysuit in protest at TV and radio censorship in the US. Story from BBC Read more: […]
  • 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 […]
  • Vietnam: Two musicians sentenced to four and six years in prison

    NEWS Posted: 30 october 2012.  Updated: ##PagePublishedLong## Vietnam: Two musicians sentenced to four and six years in prison A Vietnamese court convicted two renowned musicians to four and six years imprisonment for anti-state propaganda and links to a banned political group, one of their lawyers said on 30 October 2012. Viet Khang, 34, (real name: […]
  • Iran: Banned Israeli Persian-language album gains popularity

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran: Banned Israeli Persian-language album gains popularity The music of Rita Jahan-Foruz — an Iranian-born, Israel-based singer — is becoming increasingly popular in both Iran and Israel, as tensions grow between the two countries. 50-year-old Rita Jahan-Foruz’s music is banned in her birthplace Iran where any music whose singing, performance or distribution is […]
  • Russia: Detention of Pussy Riot members extended again

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Russia:Detention of Pussy Riot members extended again On 20 June 2012, a Tagansky district court ruled to keep the three detained band members of Pussy Riot in prison until 24 July 2012 while the police probe continues. Since February 2012, three band members of the all-female punk rock band from Moscow have been […]
  • Russia: Detention of Pussy Riot members extended to three months

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Russia:Detention of Pussy Riot members extended to three months Following the punk group Pussy Riot’s protest song in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral on 21 February 2012, Russian authorities arrested three women who are held in detention until their case comes before court on 24 June. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were arrested on […]
  • Russia: Punk band arrested after protesting against Putin

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Russia:Punk band arrested after protesting against Putin Shortly before the presidential elections in Russia, authorities put an end to punk band Pussy Riot’s anti-Putin protest concerts, held illegally in public places, by arresting six members of the band, reported the newspaper The Moscow Times. You do not really need to be able to […]
  • Pakistan: Under the censorship radar, anti-establishment songs flourish

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Pakistan:Under the censorship radar, anti-establishment songs flourish Using humour and satire, song writers increasingly enjoy a new sense of openness and freedom of speech in Pakistan nowadays, reported Times of India on 1 November 2011: “In a country racked by terrorist violence and extreme disillusionment with the state, humour and satire not only […]
  • Book by John Street: ‘Music and Politics’

    BOOKS ##PagePublishedLong## United Kingdom:John Street: ‘Music and Politics’ This is the first book to examine systematically music’s political power. It shows how music has been at the heart of accounts of political order, at how musicians from Bono to Lily Allen have claimed to speak for peoples and political causes. The book looks too at […]
  • South Korea: Ban on North Korean praise music upheld

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## South Korea: Ban on North Korean praise music upheld The Supreme Court in South Korea has ruled that possessing instrumental music with titles praising communist North Korea is a crime, reported Radio New Zealand. Read the full story here: Radio New Zealand – 08 November 2010:‘Banned: music with titles praising North Korea’ Related […]
  • Israel/Palestine: Rapper in Gaza struggles to make voices heard

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Palestine: Rapper in Gaza struggles to make voice heard Sponsors, studio owners and party organisers shun Mothafar Assar’s Street Band Rappers due to Hamas disapproval, reported the British newspaper The Guardian. Read the full story here: The Guardian – 20 October 2010:‘Last rapper in Gaza struggles to make voice heard’ Related reading on […]
  • Iran: Petition in support of 26 year-old Iranian musician

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iran:Petition in support of 26 year-old protest musician On 1 October 2010, an online petition in support of Iranian singer Arya Aramnejad was started. After the first two weeks, over 800 people had signed the petition. The 26 year-old musician was imprisoned and held in solitary confinement for singing his famous song ‘Ali […]
  • Commentary from South Africa: Music Freedom from self-censorship Day

    MUSIC FREEDOM DAY ##PagePublishedLong## Commentary from South Africa: Music Freedom from self-censorship Day “Buying artists to advance some political party’s cause may not be censorship, but more often than not, it will lead to self-censorship, which equally places us on the slippery slope,”writes Mike van Graan, Secretary General of Arterial Network, in his Music Freedom […]
  • Egypt and Tunisia: The artistic revolution in the Middle East

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Egypt and Tunisia:The artistic revolution in the Middle East “This was a very artistic revolution,” Noor Ayman Nour, son of a famous dissident Egyptian politician and founder of the Egyptian metal band Bliss, told Andy Morgan — a writer, journalist, researcher and event programmer with a background in the music industry who has […]
  • Azagaia

    AZAGAIA(Mozambique) ##PagePublishedLong## Rapper Azagaia speaks about freedom of expression in Mozambique Azagaia means light javelin or spear. It is also the name used by a Mozambican hip-hop artist, rapper and sociologist, Edson da Luz. The rawness of his music and the lyrical content of his songs have caused discomfort in some circles, took the Mozambican […]
  • Generation Wave

    GENERATION WAVE(Burma / Myanmar) ##PagePublishedLong## Generation Wave speak about freedom of expression in Burma Freemuse interview with four members of Generation Wave — a group which is part of an underground political network both inside and outside Burma. 21 members of the group are presently held as political prisoners in Burma. Generation Wave use hip-hop […]
  • Darg Team

    DARG TEAM(Palestine) ##PagePublishedLong## Rappers Fadi and Bess speak about freedom of expression in Palestine Freemuse interview with two members of the hip-hop group Darg Team from Gaza Town — about their experiences with censorship because they use their music to communicate critical and political messages, and about the negative image hip-hop has in Gaza because […]
  • Launch of Freemuse’s new report on censorship of heavy metal music

    FREEMUSE REPORT ##PagePublishedLong## Take part in the launch of Freemuse’s heavy metal report Mark LeVine is online, ready to communicate with you on Facebook and Skype, from 6 PM to 8 PM GMT on Monday 22 February 2010. SkypeIn order to communicate with Mark LeVine on Skype, you need to establish contact with his skype […]
  • Freemuse report on censorship of heavy metal music

    FREEMUSE REPORT ##PagePublishedLong## Mark LeVineHEADBANGING AGAINST REPRESSIVE REGIMES – Censorship of heavy metal in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and China Report no. 9 Freemuse, Copenhagen, 2010ISSN: 1601-2127. ISBN 978-87-988163-3-1.    104 pages. Purchase printed version Right-click to download(On Mac: CTRL-click) Review Metalunderground.com – 4 March 2011:Review by Rockstar_Scribbler“Immediately after the first couple pages […]
  • South Africa: Old anti-apartheid song banned on hate speech charges

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## South Africa: Old anti-apartheid song banned on hate speech charges On 26 March 2010, a South African court prohibited the singing of a controversial anti-apartheid song, ‘Ayesab’amagwala’ (‘The cowards are afraid’). A part of the lyrics translates as ‘kill the boer’, or ‘shoot the boer’, urging to the shooting of white farmers, and […]
  • Zimbabwe: No end to music censorship in Zimbabwe

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe: No end to music censorship in Zimbabwe Musicians Hosiah Chipanga and Raymond Majongwe, and their lawyers, speak about their recent experiences with music censorship in the “new” Zimbabwe under a coalition government. INTERVIEWS – by Sebastian Nyamhangambiri reporting for Freemuse from Harare         Album: pulled off air In Zimbabwe, it might be seven […]
  • Russia: Punk fans and bands claim to be persecuted and silenced

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Russia:Punk fans and bands claim to be persecuted and silenced Is the Russian punk band PTVP censored from radio and tv because of their anti-government stance, or simply because they play aggressive punk music? The debate is rolling in the media in August 2009 In July 2009, a number of punk music fans […]
  • Russia: ‘Government fights outspoken musicians, says rock singer

    Russia:‘Government fights outspoken musicians’, says rock singer Music censorship exists in full glory in Russia, lead singer of the Russian rock group Televizor, Mikhail Borzykin, told SPINearth.tv ‘The Russian government fights outspoken musicians through censorship,’ said the rock singer. However, “today’s censorship does not happen directly. Instead of making a list to include certain songs […]
  • Nigeria: Proceedings against composer of banned song

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Nigeria: Proceedings against composer of banned song A popular Hausa singer in Kano in Northern Nigeria, Ala (real name: Aminu Ladan Abubakar), was arrested in Kano on 4 July 2009 for publishing his song ‘Hasbunallahu’ — a song which was banned by a mobile court judge linked to the Kano State Censorship Board […]
  • India: Political party promises to ban Western music

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## India: Political party promises to ban Western music The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in the Indian state Haryana has promised the voters that if they were to replace the congress government, the party would ban Western music. “Western music and vulgarity in the name of culture will be banned,” declared a party […]
  • Nigeria: 11 songs banned by Kano State Censorship Board

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Nigeria: 11 songs banned by Kano State Censorship Board A Kano chief magistrate has banned listening, sale and circulation of 11 Hausa songs, described as obscene, confrontational and immoral. Chief magistrate Muhtari Ahmed who presides over a mobile court attached to the Kano State Censorship Board said the court is going to prosecute […]
  • Zimbabwe: Radio ban on singer for attacking government officials

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe: Radio ban on singer for attacking government officials The music of 56-year-old Sungura musician Hosiah Chipanga has been banned on national radio, Radio Zimbabwe (formerly Radio 2), wrote the newspaper ZimDaily on 7 June 2009. When Hosiah Chipanga released the controversial album ‘Hero Shoko’, his songs quickly hit the airwaves. But after […]
  • Czech Republic: Bizarre attack on Scottish rock band Primal Scream

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Czech Republic:Bizarre attack on Scottish rock band Primal Scream In a bizarre and surrealistic media storm in the Czech Republic, the Scottish rock band Primal Scream has been accused for ‘promoting fascism’ by the Czech Radio Council. The council has banned the song ‘Swastika Eyes’.        Primal Scream According to an article written by […]
  • Georgia: Song ‘too political’ for Eurovision Song contest

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Georgia:Song deemed ‘too political’ for the Eurovision Song Contest Georgia has pulled out of the Eurovision Song Contest after organisers banned song that ‘mocks’ the Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin. Georgia has pulled out of the Eurovision Song Contest after the organisers, the European Bradcasting Union, EBU, banned it from entering with the […]
  • Zimbabwe: Song banned for allegedly criticising ruling party

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe: Song banned for allegedly criticising ruling party A song composed by Tongai Moyo, a popular Zimbabwean musician, has reportedly been denied air play by the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), which has sole monopoly of the country’s airwaves, reported Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) from Windhoek, Namibia. SOURCE: This news story […]
  • Aziza Brahim

    AZIZA BRAHIM(Western Sahara) ##PagePublishedLong## Aziza Brahim is a Sahrawi singer who was born in a refugee camp in Algeria. In this interview she speaks about how and why her music is banned in Western Sahara.   Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required Aziza Brahim refers to the Western Sahara territory as ‘the occupied zone’, […]
  • USA: Opera composer says he is ‘blacklisted’ by US authorities

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## USA: Opera composer says he is ‘blacklisted’ by US authorities Interviewed on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Music Matters’ on 18 October 2008, composer John Adams said he was now ‘blacklisted’ and followed by US security forces, supposedly because he composed ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ — a controversial opera about the Palestinian Liberation Front’s 1985-hijacking […]
  • Bellavista Social Club

    BELLAVISTA SOCIAL CLUB(Colombia) ##PagePublishedLong## Colombian rappers and protest musicians Don Vito and Medina speak about their personal experiences of music censorship in Cobacabana. In this video interview they focus on how they have been threatened and persecuted because of the songs on the album ‘Road to Neighbour- hood’ (‘Camino al Barrio’).  Wimpy Wasp Player Flash […]
  • Israel: British musician defied death threats by militants

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Israel:British musician defied death threats by militants British musician Paul McCartney defied death threats by religious militants in the Middle East before his concert in Israel where he performed in Tel Aviv for 40,000 fans on 25 September 2008 — 43 years after Israeli authorities banned the Beatles from performing there. “Paul McCartney survives […]
  • Turkey: Pianist Fazil Say sentenced for Twitter posts

    World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say was given a 10 month suspended jail sentence for blasphemy by the 19th Criminal Court in Istanbul on April 15 2013 after retweeting an ancient poem on Twitter. Fazil Say, 42, was found guilty of violating Article 216 (3) of the Turkish Criminal Code, which prohibits  the ‘denigration of the […]
  • Radio Freemuse: ‘Music censorship in Africa 2008’

    RADIO FREEMUSE 27 February 2008 Music censorship in Africa today This 15 minutes radio report is produced specifically for African radio stations that wish to inform their listeners about music censorship – for instance on the occasion of the global Music Freedom Day on 3 March Introduction to the programme (suggestion)“If you listen carefully the next […]
  • China: Online music store blocked because of pro-Tibetan album

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## China: Online music store blocked for selling pro-Tibetan album Access to Apple’s online iTunes Store has allegedly been blocked in China after it emerged that Olympic athletes have been downloading and possibly listening to a music album advocating Tibetan independence The album is entitled ‘Songs for Tibet’ and was produced by a group […]
  • Zimbabwe: Musician asks: why do you ban my music?

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe:Musician asks: why do you ban my music? In an open letter in the Zimbabwean newspaper Harare Tribune in August 2008, musician Leonard Zhakata asks the country’s ruling party ZANU-PF: “Why do you ban my music from being played on ZBC tv and radio?” When Leonard Zhakata first heard that certain of his […]
  • Zimbabwe: Censorship does not silence music

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe: Censorship does not silence music Many songs of the Zimbabwean music star Leonard Zhakata have been blacklisted by the state broadcaster. This has not silenced him, though, as a spokesman for tolerance and peace. During the past months he has toured the country with his band, performing in rural and marginalised communities. […]
  • North Korea: Three years in prison for simply singing a wrong song

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## North Korea:Three years in prison for simply singing a wrong song Because she had sung a South Korean folk song and taught it to four others in 1992, the North Korean singer Ji Hae Nam (Hae-Nam Ji) was imprisoned for three years, tortured and sexually abused. “Normally, concerts in North Korea are limited […]
  • Tanzania: Political pressure and corruption silence musicians

    INTERVIEW ##PagePublishedLong## Tanzania:Political pressure and corruption silence musicians According to Tanzanian musician Muumin Mwinjuma there are a significant number of causes for oppression and censorship of music in Tanzania – ranging from political pressure and corruption in media houses to economically unfair rewards, all of which lead to so many frustrations for Mwinjuma that he […]
  • Zimbabwe before the elections: Airplay is only for the “patriots”

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe before the elections:Airplay is only for the “patriots”Zimbabwean musicians are bracing for a crucial election set for the end of March 2008. While the radio keeps rotating songs that praise the current regime, opposition and dissenting voices are silenced, and things fall apart, writes Freemuse executive committee member Maxwell Sibanda in his […]
  • USA: Anti-Iraq war rock song claimed blacklisted by US government

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## USA: Anti-Iraq war rock song claimed blacklisted by US government Rock musician Mick Star claims that his anti-Iraq war song “Jets” is not getting air time due to pressure on radio stations from the White House. Press Release Newswire writes: “The American music community has turned a deaf ear to the most dramatic […]
  • Chiwoniso Maraire

    CHIWONISO MARAIRE(Zimbabwe) ##PagePublishedLong## Songwriter Chiwoniso Maraire speaks about her personal experiences of music censorship in Zimbabwe. She was interviewed together with poet Chirikure Chirikure, and Book Café’s creative director Paul Brickhill. They explain how music communicates hidden messages and why music is an ‘unstoppable force’ in Zimbabwe.  Wimpy Wasp Player Flash Player upgrade required Chiwoniso […]
  • Estonia: Banned choral singing became a Singing Revolution

    FILMS ##PagePublishedLong## Estonia:Banned choral singing became a Singing Revolution “A single nation. A million voices. An unstoppable dream…”   The documentary film ‘The Singing Revolution’ shows how choral music played an imporant role in the small Baltic country’s struggle against its occupation by the former Soviet Union. Most people don’t think about singing when they […]
  • Tanzania: Pressured to stop performing for opposition party

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Tanzania:Pressured to stop performing for opposition party Interview with Tanzanian composer and performer Mzee Seif Thabit who says he has been censored for his alignment with opposition political parties By Lingson Adam, reporting for Freemuse from Mbeya in Tanzania “I was being followed up frequently. In the beginning they were polite. I thought […]
  • Sierra Leone: Interview with Daddy Saj

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Sierra Leone:‘Lyrical warrior’ speaks about censorship Freemuse interviewed Sierra Leone’s superstar Daddy Saj in August 2007 to learn more about why he was imprisoned in 2004 after publishing a song about corruption.By John Sahr Sahid, freelance journalist and writer– reporting for Freemuse from Freetown in Sierra Leone Many musicians in Sierra Leone have […]
  • Sierra Leone: Death threats to musicians

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Sierra Leone: Death threats to musicians Two well-known musicians in Sierra Leone wrote a song in support of a political party. Soon after they received death threats from their political opponents and had to go in hiding. The so-called ‘musicalisation of the political scene’ turned into a dangerous enterprise for the composers of […]
  • Poland: Anti-sect organisation blacklists metal and rock bands

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Poland:Anti-sect organisation blacklists metal and rock bands In July an anti-sect organisation will distribute a list of artists with a “dangerous message” to the Polish authorities. It will likely result in the artists getting banned from performing in Poland. According to Poland’s Metro newspaper, the ‘All-Polish Committee for Defence against Sects’ has put together a list […]
  • Sierra Leone: Musicians stopped from entering the political arena

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Sierra Leone: Musicians stopped from entering the political arena A performance with one of Sierra Leone’s most popular artists, K-Man, was stopped. As a supporter of the ruling party, he finds himself caught in an on-going debate in the country as to whether it should be forbidden for musicians to be politically active […]
  • North Korea: Exiled because of passion for jazz

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## North Korea:Pianist exiled because of his passion for jazz Classical pianist Kim Cheol-woong (Cheol Woong Kim) had to flee North Korea to realise his dream of becoming a jazz pianist. Since 2003, he has lived in South Korea In North Korea, access to most foreign music is banned. People can be imprisoned for […]
  • Uzbek singer on trial for song about massacre

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Uzbek singer on trial for song about massacre Dadakhan Khasanov, a popular singer and political dissident in Uzbekistan, finds himself in a position he remembers well from Soviet days. He is on trial for having written a song. His song urges Uzbeks and the rest of the world not to forget the May […]
  • Freemuse report on censorship in post 9/11 USA

    FREEMUSE REPORT 13 February 2006 Eric Nuzum’Singing in the Echo Chamber’Music censorship in the U.S. after September 11Freemuse, Copenhagen, 2005ISSN 1601-2127 Soon after the 9/11 attacks, the discussion concerning the long-term impact on free expression and personal privacy became heated and intense. Musicians have participated (directly and indirectly) in the public discourse, both through word […]
  • Nigeria: Radio station restricted for playing song with political lyrics

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Nigeria:Radio station in Kano partly banned Playing a particular song with political lyrics appears to be the reason that the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission imposed a ban on the prime time broadcasting period of a radio station A “curfew” on the Kano-based private radio station Freedom Radio was issued on 27 March 2006 by the Nigerian government agency regulating broadcasting […]
  • Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife banned in Tunisia

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Lebanese singer banned in Tunisia By Freemuse Marcel Khalife, one of the most appreciated composers and singers in the Arab world and also one of the most respected by local and international rights groups, recently told the media that his music and songs have been banned in Tunisia by the state-controlled radio and […]
  • The music industry from the perspective of women

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## The music industry from the perspective of women These are the stories of two African women, living in a Muslim country, but more important is that these are the stories of two musicians and feminists. Above all, the author would like to point out that there are many similarities between these women and other women […]
  • Senegal seminar 2005 video English

    Pour la page en version fran SENEGAL SEMINAR 2005 VIDEO 
  • United Kingdom: Banned group returns to stage

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Banned group returns to stageThey were censored on Top of the Pops and infuriated the National Front in the late 70’s. Now the Gang of Four returns to the stage for a few gigs. Vocalist Jon King claims Gang of Four was banned more than the Sex Pistols. Full story at The Guardian […]
  • New US study on cultural exchanges since September 11

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## New U.S. study on cultural exchanges since September 11A new study by Center for Arts and Culture, “Cultural Diplomacy: Recommendations and Research,” concludes that U.S. cultural diplomacy has become a neglected facet of foreign and domestic policy.In an era when American culture often drives resentment and fear in foreign lands, the study cautions […]
  • Malawi police shoot protesters

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Malawi police shoot protestersA riot erupted when officers tried to break up a protest against the death in police custody of the outspoken reggae musician Evison Matafale.Article from BBC Related reading
  • Musical responses to 9/11: From Conservative patriotism to radicalism

    ARTICLE ##PagePublishedLong## Musical responses to September 11th: From conservative patriotism to radicalismby Martin Cloonan Read about 9/11 and music censorship in “Musical responses to September 11th: From conservative patriotism to radicalism” – a chapter by Freemuse chairperson Martin Cloonan, from the book “9/11 – The world’s all out of tune Populäre Musik nach dem 11. […]
  • Singer Lee Jones attacks Bush

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Singer Lee Jones attacks BushAmerican singer Rickie Lee Jones has attacked the policies of the Bush administration on her latest record – despite the potential risk to her career. “I usually reflect things totally internally. But I think what is happening in America is so disturbing to me, it becomes internal”. Story from […]
  • Public Enemy vs MTV

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Public Enemy vs MTVMTV will not show the video for ‘Gotta Give the Peeps What They Need’.Full story and petition Related reading
  • 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 […]
  • Venue expels Linda Ronstadt after political remarks

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Venue expels Linda Ronstadt after political remarksUS singer Linda Ronstadt was booed and removed from a Las Vegas casino for praising film-maker Michael Moore and his film Fahrenheit 9/11 during a show. Ronstadt called Moore a “great American patriot” and “someone who is spreading the truth” during a performance at the Aladdin venue […]
  • 9/11: Is protest music dead?

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Is protest music dead?Ever since John Lennon and Yoko Ono led a raucous crowd of flower-toting, peasant-bloused hippies in a pot-hazy chorus of “Give Peace a Chance,” it seems to have been a pop axiom: When the United States goes to war, the musicians begin calling for peace. So why, since Sept. 11, […]
  • Middle East: Hip-Hop on the frontline

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Hip-Hop on the frontlineGlobalised rap music may have lost its bite, but in the Middle East it’s giving voice to both sides in the conflict. Article from The Guardian. For Arab countries and the Middle East, the influence and performance of hip-hop lights a few fuses. First, the debate that hip-hop’s cultural swamping […]
  • The day protest music died

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## The day the protest music diedPop music played a crucial role in the national debate over the Vietnam War. By the late 1960’s, radio stations across the country were crackling with blatantly political songs that became mainstream hits.“The Trouble With Corporate Radio: The Day the Protest Music Died”. Editorial from New York Times […]
  • Aung Zaw: Music censorship in Myanmar / Burma

    INTERVIEW ##PagePublishedLong## Music censorship in Myanmar/BurmaAung Zaw, journalist, member of the Freemuse Executive Committee Aung Zaw is from Myanmar/Burma and is the editor of The Irrawaddy, a magazine published in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Irrawaddy covers news and offers in-depth analysis of political and cultural affairs in Burma and Asia generally. This interview was conducted by Freemuse’s […]
  • Damon Albarn: Music is destroyed by censorship

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Damon Albarn: ‘Music is destroyed by censorship’Three musicians took part in a press conference about music censorship during this year’s Roskilde Festival. The big business of the record industry exerts a covert censorship, which makes it incredibly difficult for musicians across the world to express themselves freely. That was the message from Damon […]
  • Cuban musicians criticize new U.S. travel rules

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cuban musicians criticize new U.S. travel rulesA group of musicians has criticized new U.S. regulations that will further limit travel to Cuba, urging the United States to build bridges to the island instead of tearing them down. The musicians, who produce jazz, Afro-Cuban music and a ballad style known as Cuban trova, tied […]
  • Repression against musicians of Belarus

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Repression against musicians of BelarusOpen letter from Belarusian musicians concerning political pressure being placed on musicians who allegedly oppose President Aleksandr Lukashenko. “OPEN LETTER from Belarusian musicians We, musicians of Belarus, feel it necessary to express our concern about the pressure we have already been experiencing for almost two months since July 21, […]
  • Clear Channel: September 11 & Corporate Censorship

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Clear Channel: September 11 & Corporate CensorshipA collection of articles which examines the role of Clear Channel as market leader and, as some will say, the biggest corporate censor in U.S. history, with special focus on their role in the censorship debate following the September 11 terrorist attacks. The day after the September […]
  • DR Congo: Ban on rap music

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Ban on rap music in D.R. CongoIn June 2004, the Committee of Censorship in the Democratic Republic of Congo censored all Congolese rap groups and foreign music. This decision was taken by the Attorney General of the Republic. The reason given for banning rap is that it is ‘obscene and violent, and causes […]
  • CRAG Report: The Missing Cuban Musicians

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## CRAG Report: The Missing Cuban Musicians This 34 page report reviews the history of the current blanket ban the U.S. government has put on any Cuban musicians coming to the U.S.From AfroCubaWeb:“Entrance into the United States by Cuban musicians, artists and academicians has been extremely limited since November of 2003. No Cuban bands […]
  • Explicit Lyrics & Parental Advisory

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Explicit Lyrics & Parental AdvisoryTipper Gore, the PMRC, and the infamous black-and-white logo: Background material and news articles The Recording Industry Association of America, which represents the majority of record labels in the country, has posted a black-and-white logo, warning of explicit content, on album covers since 1985. The history behind Parental Advisory […]
  • Ukrainian nationalists: Russian pop hits off buses

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Ukrainian nationalists: Russian pop hits off busesNationalist politicians fear that their culture and language are under threat from Russian pop songs.Article from BBC Related reading
  • Mixing Pop & Politics: Music Making Change

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Mixing Pop & Politics: Music Making ChangeConference on 1+2 October 2004, Montreal, Canada This October, the Rights & Democracy Network is sponsoring the second annual Mixing Pop & Politics conference, which takes place alongside this year’s Pop Montreal music festival. Founded last year in response to the glaring lack of musical protest against the U.S. […]
  • Zimbabwe: Singing The Walls Down

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Zimbabwe: Singing The Walls DownProtest music may be dead in the West, but it’s alive and well in Zimbabwe, where the oppressed and the impoverished find hope and strength in the songs of Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi.Extensive article with background information, interviews with Mapfumo, Mtukudzi, and with government officials. Article from Time […]
  • Cat Stevens denied access “on national security grounds”

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Cat Stevens sparks US plane alert and is denied access “on national security grounds”A security alert involving the singer, whose name is now Yusuf Islam, has forced a London-to-Washington flight to be diverted to another US airport. The plane was already in the air when US officials identified that the singer was on […]
  • Hip-Hop as a Political Tool

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Hip-Hop as a Political ToolFive steps to using hip hop within a political framework and to developing a viable political constituency in the hip-hop generation.Many people who want to politically and civically engage young people see hip hop culture as the best avenue to accomplish these goals. Although hip hop culture is ubiquitous, […]
  • USA: Politician seeks musician Bruce Springsteen boycott

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Politician Seeks Springsteen BoycottUpset with Bruce Springsteen’s effort to oust President Bush from the White House, the New York Conservative Party’s candidate for the U.S. Senate is launching a “Boycott the Boss” television commercial. (Story from AP) “He thinks making millions with a song-and-dance routine allows him to tell you how to vote,” […]
  • The Beginnings of Zimbabwean Protest Music

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## The Beginnings of Zimbabwean Protest MusicUseful background information on the history of music and protest in Zimbabwe, including BBC interviews with Zimbabwe’s top musicians on their active role in the current political turmoil, article from Centre for Political Song on political music in Zimbabwe, and excerpt from Alice Dadirai Kwaramba, Popular Music and […]

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