Music Freedom Day, held annually on 3 March since 2007, is a global celebration of the human right to musical expression, with artists and organisations uniting to support musicians who simply insist on their right to express themselves. The sad reality is, censorship, persecution, prosecution and imprisonment rob many of these artists of this basic human right.
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Previous examples of Music Freedom Day events include:
Italy: In Milan, Ladies First celebrated Music Freedom Day by focusing on empowering women through music and giving women artists space to create. The 2018 event will also include self-defense classes and live-paint performances.
Pakistan: Takhleeq Development Foundation (TDF) organised a Music Freedom Day celebration at the Peshawar Press Club including the Cultural Journalists Forum (CJF), KP musicians, singers, industry professionals, media, government officials and music lovers and was live streamed to social audiences.
Serbia: A panel discussion on global artistic freedom with a focus on Serbia was held in Belgrade. The talk was led by Bob Randjelovic and participants included musician and human rights activist Ivan Djuric, musician Duška Rajković, music journalist and DJ David Vartabedian, and Freemuse coordinator in Eastern Europe Jasmina Lazovic.
Senegal: As part of Urban Women’s Week, hip hop group Guediawaye was featured in a concert organized by Association Africulturban.
Germany: Turning Tables organised an event in Berlin with Waladalamm (The Cousins), a Syrian hip-hop/rap group from Aleppo. Turning Tables is a global organisation supporting marginalised youth by providing them with the means to express their grievances, hopes and dreams through music and film.
Sierra Leone: Music Freedom Day was celebrated as part of the Mano River Union Conference with a discussion at the China Friendship House Hall, Freetown, and broadcast on Culture Radio 104.5 FM and Radio Democracy 98.1 FM. The day also featured concerts in Freetown and Bo in southern Sierra Leone, as well as a music workshop at Balanta Music Academy.