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 persecuted writers a safe haven where they can live and work without fear of being censored or silenced.
Backed up by the Council of Danish Artists and DJBFA, an association of popular music composers, Freemuse has initiated a campaign for inclusion of musicians and other artists in the Danish ‘safe cities’ system.
“Safe cities are important and they should be inclusive,” says Marie Korpe, Freemuse Executive Director. “During the last ten years Freemuse has documented violations of freedom of expression of musicians and composers worldwide, we have witnessed musicians being jailed, harassed and even killed, and it is about time that this is seriously understood by our governments.”
Through its international network, the Council of Danish Artists has knowledge of similar problems faced by painters, film directors, cartoonists, etc.
“There is clearly a need to protect other artists as well,” says Franz Ernst, chairperson of the Council of Danish Artists.
It is the second time in few months that DJBFA joins Freemuse in a campaign. DJBFA took part in the delegation that witnessed a controversial court case against Kurdish singer Ferhat Tunç last autumn in Izmir.
Freemuse’s Programme Manager Ole Reitov has been invited to speak in front of leading Danish culture politicians in the Danish Parliament on Wednesday 16 January 2008 to tell about the situation of persecuted musicians. He will be joined by Poul-Henrik Jensen of DJBFA.
The following day Ole Reitov will meet the new Mayor of Culture in Copenhagen, Pia Allerslev. Copenhagen is one of the Danish cities which have indicated an interest in hosting persecuted writers.