Freemuse has issued a declaration in support of the ‘Spring of Culture’ performance in Bahrain. The declaration reminds politicians in Bahrain of their responsibility of defending human rights and freedom of expression.
The declaration was read aloud in front of an audience at a cultural manifestation in Bahrain on 18 April 2007.
The manifestation was organised by artists’ organisations and civil society in Bahrain. It was a clear signal to those members of parliament in Bahrain who recently attacked a performance by Lebanese composer Marcel Khalife and Bahraini poet Qassim Haddad as being a violation of Islamic morals and sharia laws.
In the declaration Freemuse welcomes a public discussion on artistic expressions but equally points out that the cultural climate in Bahrain has taken a serious direction.
Among other things, the declaration states:
‘When a political discussion focuses on censorship – rather than dialogue and constructive criticism – the situation easily develops into confrontation. It is therefore the responsibility of the politicians and other influential communities of Bahrain to seek dialogue create space for innovation and to protect the artists’.
|Read the declaration:
Freemuse Declaration (in English)
|Video statement: ‘Majnoon Layla’
In this statement Marcel Khalife speaks (in Arabic language) about why artists must engage in the defence of creativity.
See the video.