Freemuse announces departure of Executive Director

21 July 2021

Image credit: Vincent van Gogh (1853-03-30 — 1890-07-29), Acacia in Flowers, Nationalmuseum, Sweden

The Freemuse Executive Committee today announces the departure of its Executive Director, Dr Srirak Plipat.

21 July 2021: After over four years as Freemuse’s Executive Director, Dr Srirak Plipat has stepped down from his position. Since his appointment in 2017, Srirak has led the professionalisation of Freemuse, bringing his extensive leadership experience within the human rights sector to shape the flagship State of Artistic Freedom report into the premier research document that it is today, widely referenced by governments, UN officials, academia, and key actors in the fields of culture and art.

“I am so proud of what the Freemuse team has achieved in the past five years,” said the outgoing Executive Director. “It is a privilege to serve, and I am deeply thankful to all the staff, volunteers and partners of Freemuse. It is these beautiful people who make the journey from a team of 3.5 to 18 a worthwhile and joyful one. I want to thank each and every Executive Committee member for their significant but often invisible contributions during this time. I wish the Freemuse team every success as they continue to stand up for artists at risk and advance freedom of artistic expression.”

Srirak has led the Freemuse team to place freedom of artistic expression firmly on the international human rights agenda, bringing innovation in research and advocacy on free speech and cultural rights. In 2020, Freemuse made history as artistic freedom found its place in the final UPR recommendations of Spain and Turkey, while the European Parliament adopted a resolution including aspects of artistic freedom as advocated by Freemuse.

In 2019, Srirak initiated the organisation’s Global Action Network (GAN) for Artistic Freedom, connecting artists, cultural workers, cultural institutions, art organisations and individual artistic freedom defenders to collectively respond to the shrinking space for culture and art. The GAN offers to nurture the creation of grassroots networks, putting the decision-making and leadership powers into the hands of artists and cultural workers.  

The Freemuse secretariat wishes to thank Srirak for his leadership and impact on the state of artistic freedom around the world. The Freemuse Executive Committee will appoint both interim and permanent Executive Director in due course following a public recruitment process. The Acting Executive Director position will be held by Palle Hejl-Carlsen and Acting Spokesperson will be held by Emily D’Alterio.  


Media contact

Kaja Ciosek – Freemuse

About Freemuse

Freemuse ( is an independent international non-governmental organisation advocating for freedom of artistic expression and cultural diversity. Freemuse has United Nations Special Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council (UN-ECOSOC) and Consultative Status with UNESCO. Freemuse operates within an international human rights and legal framework which upholds the principles of accountability, participation, equality, non-discrimination and cultural diversity.

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