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North Korea: Sun Mu – the faceless painter

30 August 2013

Sun Mu is not the artist’s actual name. It’s a nom de plume that uses a combination of two Korean words that translate to ‘The Absence of Borders’. It not only represents what he feels is the transcendence of art but also the literal military demarcation line that keeps the …

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Artist Alert: June 2013 | Article 19

17 July 2013

Newsletter from Article 19, published at article19.org on 17 July 2013: Art, in any form, constitutes a key medium through which information and ideas are imparted and received. Artist Alert, launched by ARTICLE 19 in 2008, highlights cases of artists around the world whose right to freedom of expression has …

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South Korea: Enhanced censorship on cultural contents

21 August 2012

A new South Korean bill requires every music video to be rated prior to upload. Failure to comply will result in up to two years in prison or a hefty fine, reported Global Voices on 20 August 2012. Artists and South Korean net users have labeled it a new form …

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South Korea: Teenagers prohibited from attending American pop concert

2 April 2012

  American pop singer Lady Gaga’s upcoming Seoul concert has been restricted to over-18s by the Korea Media Rating Board, as the Gender Ministry considers one of her songs, ‘Just Dance’ which is to be performed at the show, as “inappropriate” for minors, reported The Korea Herald. The Korean Association …

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South Korea: In the past two years 2,607 songs have been banned

29 July 2011

  The South Korean Ministry of Gender Equality & Family has caused distress amongst fans in recent months for a series of bans they’ve made on songs they considered ‘hazardous media’ to the youth. In this context, a representative clarified that a total of 2,607 songs have been banned by …

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South Korea: Music and oppression in Korea in the 1970s

7 February 2011

“In the history of Korean music, the 1970s was the darkest era. So many songs were banned, and so many musicians had to give up music,” writes Kim Seon-joo in a column in The Hankyoreh where he describes the era in the background of the banned songs. By Kim Seon-joo, …

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South Korea: Ban on North Korean praise music upheld

2 November 2010

The Supreme Court in South Korea has ruled that possessing instrumental music with titles praising communist North Korea is a crime, reported Radio New Zealand. Read the full story here: Radio New Zealand – 08 November 2010: ‘Banned: music with titles praising North Korea’      

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South Korea: Censors attempted to silence hip hop group

1 March 2007

Because the top-selling Korean hip hop group Epik High talks about social issues, the South Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism has tried to censor their songs, tells the group in an interview with The Korea Times Epik High is a three-member hip-hop group whose fourth album ‘Remapping the Human …

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South Korea: Government pressure on musical about North Korea

24 March 2006

A cultural center in southern Seoul runs the musical ‘Yoduk Story’ which is set in a remote North Korean detention camp, Yoduk. Its creator had to overcome several obstacles because of the controversial message of the show. Musical director Jung Sung-san said the government’s possible pressure forced some investors to …

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