Spain: Bilbao festival against censorship

22 November 2008
Iranian artists Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat, Chiwoniso from Zimbabwe and Kamilya Jubran from Palestine are featured artists at this years’ Festival Against Censorship in Bilbao in northern Spain

This is the third consecutive year where the Basque production company Serrano promotes freedom of expression for artists in collaboration with Freemuse.

The Festival Against Censorship opens on October 18 with one of Spain’s major rock bands, Soziedad Alkoholika, and the following week will focus on various aspects of censorship.

Freemuse programme manager Ole Reitov will join world famous author Taslima Nasrin in a conference on freedom of expression. Taslima Nasrin has received several death threats from religious fundamentalists in her home country Bangladesh and now lives in exile in Sweden, hosted by one of Sweden’s ‘Safe Cities’, Uppsala.

Films and exhibion
Apart from concerts and conferences, the festival will present several films, organise an exhibition and feature one of Africa’s exiled cartoonists, Issa Nyaphaga.

Issa Nyaphaga spent several months in prison for his critical cartoons and was later forced into exile. Nyaphaga is joined by FreeDimensional — an international network linking together safe havens for censored and persecuted artists at artists communities round the world.

The Rex Bloomstein documentary ‘An Independent mind’ featuring Freemuse Award winner Tiken Jah Fakoly is screened during the festival. Simon Broughton, editor of Songlines, will also take part in a roundtable with the featured artists and Freemuse, and furthermore he will present his film ‘Sufi Soul’.


See Freemuse interviews with the artists

Mahsa Vahdat
Kamilya Jubran
Tiken Jah Fakoly

Marjan Vahdat


Click to see Tiken Jah Fakoly interview

Festival programme

18 October 2008
21:00 Concert: Soziedad Alkoholika
At Santana 27 concert hall

21 October
20:30 Documentary and film show
‘Sufi Soul’ – documentary film
‘Ahlaam’ – film
At Bidebarrieta Library, Bilbao

22 October to 21 November
Censured books and stamps exhibition
At Aula de la Experiencia of Bilbao

Exhibition of Issa Nyaphaga
Aula de la Experiencia of Bilbao

22 October
20:30 Documentary and film show
‘Issa’s story’ – documentary film
‘Cometas en el cielo’ – film
At Bidebarrieta Library, Bilbao

19:00 Conference
Issa Nyaphaga
Todd Lester, freeDimensional
At Aula de la Experiencia of Bilbao

23 October
11:00 Round table: Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat, Chiwoniso, Kamilya Jubran, Issa Nyaphaga, Antonio Gala, Taslima Nasrin, Ole Reitov, Simon Broughton, and Todd Lester
At meeting room of EITB (Basque Television)

20:30 Documentary and film show
‘An Independent Mind’ – documentary film
‘Buddha Collapsed from Shame’ – film
At Bidebarrieta Library, Bilbao

24 October
19:00 Conference
Ole Reitov, Freemuse
Taslima Nasrin
At Aula de la Experiencia of Bilbao

20:30 Concert: Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat
At Bidebarrieta Library, Bilbao

25 October
13:00 Perfomance: Issa Nyaphaga, Urban Way
At Bilbao’s New Square

20:30 Concert: Chiwoniso
At Bidebarrieta Library, Bilbao.

26 October
20:30 Concert: Kamilya Jubran
At Bidebarrieta Library, Bilbao

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