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Lebanon: Backlash mounts after psychedelic music festival

24 October 2016

The Hexaplex psychedelic music festival held from 1-4 September 2016 at a camping site in Chahtoul, Lebanon, 35 kilometres north of capital Beirut, has been receiving backlash from the local Christian community, politicians and general public who claim festivalgoers participated in acts contrary to their religious, cultural and social norms …

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Lebanon: Two films pulled from festival over politics

12 October 2016

In its 16th year, the Beirut International Festival announced on 5 October 2016 that three films would no longer be part of the schedule due to Lebanese authorities not granting screening permits; however later in the week one movie, ‘The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood’ directed by Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, acquired …

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Lebanon: Authorities ban song on grounds of offending God

17 May 2016

The censorship bureau of Lebanon’s General Security Directorate has banned Bachar Mar-Khalife’s song ‘Kyrie Eleison’ because it “contains offenses to God as the singer talked to God in the song saying, ‘have mercy on us and leave us alone’”, reported CNN Arabic on 12 April 2016. The authorities further stated …

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Lebanon: Sculptures spark suspicion of Satanism

27 January 2016

Over 20 of Michel Elefteriades’ sculptures have been seized by Lebanese authorities on the grounds that they could be interpreted as Satanist symbols, reported online arts portal Hyperallergic on 21 January 2016. On 6 January 2016 police arrested a worker at the bronze factory that Elefteriades uses to cast his …

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Lebanon: Play banned after director refuses to make changes

1 December 2015

The General Security’s Censorship Bureau on 16 November 2015 banned playwright Lucien Bourjeily’s ‘Beirut Syndrome’ from being performed after he refused to alter sentences in the work, reported The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. Bourjeily submitted his play for approval on 23 October 2015. After review, the bureau called …

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Lebanon: Documentary film with Sahrawi artists banned

14 October 2015

The film ‘Life Is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara’ has been banned in Lebanon. All screenings at Beirut Film Fest have been cancelled. ‘Life Is Waiting’ is a new film by director Iara Lee, who asked Sahrawi activists and artists to give answers to questions such as: ‘What …

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Iran/Lebanon/Ukraine: Artists affected by conflicts

4 August 2015

When conflicts unfold between and within countries, artists’ rights to artistic freedom of expression are often violated. Recently, artists have been affected by the ongoing conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, and between Israel and Lebanon as well as Iran. Singer banned in Iran after performance in Israel The Iranian-born British …

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Iran/Lebanon: Artists affected by conflicts

4 August 2015

When conflicts unfold between and within countries, artists’ rights to artistic freedom of expression are often violated. Recently, artists have been affected by the ongoing conflicts between Israel and Lebanon as well as between Israel and Iran. Singer banned in Iran after performance in Israel The Iranian-born British Muslim singer …

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Egypt, Lebanon: Trance music boycotted for Israeli collaborations

3 July 2015

German trance music producer and DJ Paul Van Dyk has had his new album ‘The Politics of Dancing 3’ banned in Egypt, Lebanon and several other countries in the Middle East, allegedly because it was produced in collaboration with Israeli producers. Paul Van Dyk, one of the world’s most famous …

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