The surroundings are splendid when SKAP – the Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers – celebrates its 85th anniversary on Monday 16 May and in addition to presenting annual grants will give a special prize to Freemuse. Stockholm City Hall’s Blue Hall, world famous for serving the Nobel Prize banquets, will be the impressive setting for the SKAP Spring Festival and the prize ceremonies. Freemuse is being awarded for its work advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers and fighting music censorship.
Marie Korpe, co-founder and director of Freemuse, is very happy that the organisation is awarded with SKAP’s special prize, in particular because the award comes from the composers themselves. At the same time, she emphasizes that the fight for freedom of musical expression still has a long road to go.
– Right now we are working actively in West Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the MENA region creating regional networks that can support persecuted musicians and authors and promote their rights to freedom of musical expression. We hope that the prize will help to bring further focus to our work.
Freemuse was founded in 1999 as a result of the 1st World Conference on Music and Censorship in Copenhagen, a city that also became the home for its secretariat. The conference highlighted that censorship of music is widespread, that it is a violation of human rights, and that far too many musicians and songwriters are being threatened to silence – for the moment or for life.
Today, more than a decade later, the work continues with funding from, among others, SIDA, the Roskilde Festival Charity Society and the Sigrid Rausing Trust. The Freemuse website, www.freemuse.org, is today the world’s largest database on music censorship. The website is continuously updated with video interviews, articles and news items about musicians who have been subjected to threats and censorship – a clear indication that the work being done is as important as it is incessant.
– Music and culture are essential pillars of society. In many respects, it is also the conscience of society. The right to express your voice and opinion is vital and therefore the work of Freemuse is crucial, says Alfons Karabuda, chairman of SKAP.
By awarding Freemuse this special prize, SKAP wishes to show that they are wholeheartedly supporting this work for freedom – freedom for all musicians of the world, not least those we may never ever get to listen to.
SKAP – an abbreviation of Svenska Kompositörer Av Populärmusik, Swedish Composers of Popular Music – is an association of professional Swedish music authors (composers, lyricists and arrangers) covering all musical genres except classical music. Founded in 1926 SKAP has nearly a thousand members across all genres. For more information about SKAP, its activities and members, visit www.skap.se.
Download / print the press release – in A4 PDF format
Download / print the press release – in open A4 Microsoft Word format