Freedom of artistic expression has often been hampered in the context of ongoing conflicts. Apart from creating overall sense of insecurity and adverse environment for the exercise of artistic expression, limiting opportunities for regular cultural activities and freedom of movement, conflicts can also cause other problems for artists. They can face censorship as well as legal consequences if their works are deemed to express support to the opponent side or criticism towards the group they are perceived to belong. Freemuse further documented cases in which artists faced pressure if they were known for expressing solidarity with victims in the context of both domestic and conflicts occurring abroad.
Artists vocal about legacies of past conflicts, particularly if they raise the issue of accountability for committed crimes, are also prone to attacks by both state and non-state actors. Apart from censorship, Freemuse’s research demonstrates that they can be subject to smear campaigns which sometimes lead to threats with violence and physical attacks.