The State of Artistic Freedom 2019 report launch

13 March 2019


Freemuse will officially unveil The State of Artistic Freedom 2019, an analysis of 673 cases of violations of artistic freedom that occurred in different cultural spheres in 80 countries throughout 2018. It identifies key challenges for artists’ freedom of expression and points out violation patterns and trends. In addition, it provides analysis of legal, political and social developments occurring in different countries that have significantly impacted the state of artistic freedom and creativity. Key findings include: 

  • 19 artists were sentenced to jailor imprisoned using counter-terrorism legislation in four countries: Spain, Turkey, Israel and Egypt.
  • Four artists were killed: two in Pakistan, one in Brazil and one in Bangladesh. A further 14 artists were attacked.
  • Musicians targeted: 2 killed, 16 prosecuted, 36 imprisoned, 24 detained, 6 attacked, 31 persecuted, 44 sanctioned/fined, 14 received threats or were harassed.
  • Censorship was practiced in at least 60 countries, affecting 1,807 artists and artworks.
  • The top reason artists were targeted was for expressing political opinions in their country, mainly for being critical of governments.



Welcome/Introductory Remarks:                  
Knut Olav Åmås, Executive Director, Fritt Ord Foundation
Marianne Hagen, State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur (video message)
John Peder Egenæs, Director, Amnesty International Norway
Maria Arnqvist, Programme Specialist, Sida

The State of Artistic Freedom 2019 presentation:  
Srirak Plipat, Executive Director, Freemuse

Expert and Artist Discussion on Artistic Freedom:
Hanan Benammar, Artist, Ways of Seeing
John Peder Egenæs, Director, Amnesty International Norway
Katya García-Antón, Director and Chief Curator, Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Helge Lunde, Executive Director, ICORN
Pia Maria Roll, Director, Ways of Seeing
Ingerid Salvesen (moderator)                           



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