MUSIC FREEDOM DAY 2007
Freemuse invited broadcasters to participate in a global media event on the subject of music & censorship. The Music Freedom Day gave a unique international, tri-media look at the subject through all of our many languages, cultures, countries and points of view
Media houses from Canada and USA in the west to Zimbabwe in the south and Pakistan in the east joined the first global ‘Music Freedom Day’. Journalists based in countries such as India, Lebanon and Zimbabwe went out on their own and interviewed censored musicians as well as censoring radio executives, and it didn’t take long before their interviews were quoted in other medias around the world. Within weeks, a Google search showed that the event was mentioned more than 10,000 times on the internet. Artists from all over the world were interviewed by journalists, and several important magazines made special articles. (See the list below).
The idea for the event was born in November 2006 in Istanbul, when Freemuse held a very successful international conference on music and censorship. Present were musicians, journalists, academics, writers, activists – all focused on the fact that today still musicians in many parts of the world face a variety of censors to their music. Initially a suggestion from Ann MacKeigan from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, one of the outcomes of the conference was to designate a specific date for the world’s media to explore the issue of music and censorship… in their own countries, in their own mediums, and in their own way.
Freemuse has designated the first Saturday in March, annually, to be Music Freedom Day, and we invite any and all colleagues to consider directing their programming on this day, or the days leading up to it, on the subject of banned music.
During January and February 2007, this particular web page functioned as a ‘meeting point’ for the participating media people. It includes a list of all of the various partners who participated in the world-wide Music Freedom Day.
The Freemuse web site is already an excellent resource on the subject for research purposes and we now extended our services to the media and loaded up free high resolution video and audio clips for use in radio and tv programmes. The list can be seen below.
R A D I O
• Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC: One week of dedicated programming, called Censor-This!, involving 17 programmes and including a one hour music documentary, from 18-24 February 2007, and then repeating the music documentary on 3 March for Music Freedom Day. Read more on: cbc.ca/censorthis
• Radio Canada’s Espace Musique: (quoting host Dan Behrman) “keeps talking about it before and after 3 March”.
• British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC in UK: Radio 3 runs a radio report by Songlines editor Simon Broughton on 3 March. The BBC Radio 3 programme World Routes includes an interview with Freemuse director Marie Korpe and reports on Turkey, Belarus and Zimbabwe. The programme can be heard online, where the Freemuse item starts at 35 minutes in. Music Freedom day also comes up in the following item with oud player Adel Salameh: www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/worldroutes
Simon Broughton is guest in the programme ‘Today’ for the morning of Saturday 3 March. (The programme ‘Today’ is the most important radio programme there is in the United Kingdom. It’s where the politicians are interviewed and where the news agenda is set.)
Simon Broughton says: “The discussion in ‘Today’ will include some general music censorship issues and then current areas of concern. I will probably talk about Belarus and Zimbabwe.”
• Daily Times Pakistan, FM 101, a country-wide public sector radio channel: Journalist and broadcaster Ahmed Raza looks into how they can contribute to and support the initiative.
• Uruk Media International Organization and Iraqi National News Agency: Wessam K. Hussain has informed Freemuse that they “are ready to participate in this global day for the fredom of music”.
• Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation: prepares a day of specific programming for 3 March. S
Should you wish to join, you are most welcome to make use of the interviews that we’ve prepared for broadcasters for this purpose.
You may use this material for free as long as you state the source: Freemuse. (On web sites preferably with a clickable link, pointing at www.freemuse.org)
Ideas for themes
• Political censorship (e.g. Belarus, Zimbabwe, China)
• Religious censorship (e.g. Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan)
• Corporate censorship ( e.g. USA: Dixie Chicks, and more)
• Women and censorship ( e.g. Iran, Afghanistan, and more)
If you would like to participate, please inform our web editor, , at Freemuse, so we can include your programme, URL and description on this web page.
Freemuse will continously update this page which is dedicated to the project and to its media partners.
High resolution audio for broadcast – please note
The audio files listed below are accessible in low resolution (24 Kps) for instant listening online. If or when you find one which you would like to use for your radio programme, you will need it high resolution. Please contact to receive password for ftp server where you can download the high resolution (320 Kps, broadcast quality) version of the file. Click on icon for instant listening:
|• Grup Yorum – about music censorship in Turkey
Istanbul-based Grup Yorum has published 19 albums, and have experienced music censorship in many ways. The interview is in Turkish. Translation to English and more information
|• Roger Lucey – what censorship means to artist and society
Based on his personal experiences as a censored artist in apartheid South Africa, musician Roger Lucey’s says about censorship: “It is nothing short of death for an artist.” More information
|• Stephan Smith-Said – about the importance of music
Iraqi American songwriter. Speaks about the importance of music and of fighting music censorship – inspired by his attendance at the third Freemuse World Conference. Includes a short statement by Kaiser Abdurusul, PhD student from East Turkistan, about the censored musician Kurash Sultan. More information
|• Şanar Yurdatapan – about Turkey
Composer, director of Turkish-based Association for Freedom of Expression. Speaks about ‘Turkey – Crossing the bridge’ which was an important session at the conference. More information
|• Jeroen de Kloet – about China
Has done extensive field research in Beijing about its local music cultures. Teaches at University of Amsterdam. Speaks about music censorship in China. Music clips: Chinese artists Back Dormitory Boys and Li Yuchun, from Youtube.com. More information
|• Mario Masvidal – about Cuba
Professor at the Higher Institute of Arts of Havana. Hosts a weekly radio show and has published various articles and essays on Cuban music. Speaks about music censorship in Cuba.
|• Mirwaiss Sidiqi – about Afghanistan
Country director of the Aga Khan Music Initiative for Central Asia which works with music education in Afghanistan. Speaks about the Taliban and music in Afghanistan. More information
|• Fadal Dey – about Côte d’Ivoire
Singer. One of the rising stars of reggae music in Côte d’Ivoire. Sings a censored song and speaks about music censorship in Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa. (In French language). More information and translation to English
|• Jason Carter – about Saudi Arabia and the Middle East
Solo guitarist with strong artistic links with the Middle East. Speaks about his personal experiences with the impact of music censorship and music prohibition in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
|• Ruba Saqr – about the impact of self-censorship in the Middle East
Touches on important aspects connecting the issue of censorship with more general problems in the society in Jordan and in the Middle East. More information
• ‘Hidden Truths’– six songs from Belarus
Six examples of banned and blacklisted music from Belarua which is a supplement to the new Freemuse report on music censorship in Belarus. Audio files and more information
|• Signature song: ‘Navai’ – recorded for Freemuse
The song is recorded especially for the Music Freedom Day 2007 by Iranian singer Marjan Vahdat and British guitarist Jason Carter.
|Media coverage of Music Freedom Day
– articles about or inspired by the event
Index on Censorship – 3 March 2007:
‘Let the music play’
Aftenposten, Norway – 3 March 2007:
‘Musikksensur i Guds navn’ (‘Music censorship in God’s name’)
World Music Central – 2 March 2007:
‘Thoughts About Censorship for Music Freedom Day 2007’
Afropop Worldwide – 1 March 2007:
‘Radio Around the World focuses this March on Music and Human Rights’
Daily News & Analysis, DNA India – 28 February 2007:
‘Censoring the censors’
Zimbabwe Standard – 25 February 2007:
‘Zimbabwe: ZBH Snubs Music Day and Maintains Censorship’
World Music Central – 3 February 2007:
‘On Saturday 3 March 2007 Radio and TV Broadcasters Worldwide Will Focus on Music Censorship’
International Freedom of Expression Exchange, IFEX – 30 January 2007:
‘Media Invited to Highlight Music and Censorship’
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