Download and distribute the conference report

Written by Robin Denselow, a British writer, journalist and broadcaster who reports for The Guardian, BBC tv and radio, this report is a catching, touching and enlightening publication about the current state of freedom of expression among artists around the world.

It reflects on the numerous accounts and incidents of censorship, persecution and imprisonment of artists, as they were revealed in testimonials and panel debates during ‘All that is Banned is Desired’, the first world conference on artistic freedom of expression which took place on 25-26 October 2012 at the Oslo Opera House in Norway.

Click to open. Right-click to download.
Conference report. 44 pages. PDF. Click to open. Right-click to download.



Over the two days of the conference, more than 50 artists and individuals involved in the arts addressed vital and complex issues concerning artists’ freedom of expression. To honour the histories of the struggle to advance the freedom to make and use art, we placed the artists at the centre of this gathering. Artists shared both their experiences of censorship and the many strategies developed to claim, defend and advance their freedoms as well as the freedoms of other artists.

It is our hope that the conference was the beginning of a concerted effort to enhance the monitoring of and defense against violations of artists’ freedom of expression worldwide. In recent years, hundreds of artists have been attacked, persecuted, imprisoned and even killed because they insist on expressing themselves through their art. Many have become symbols of resistance against dictatorial regimes, religious extremists, corporate greed, and oppressive cultural, gender and sexual norms.

The entire conference was filmed by VIMAGO and each session, as well as interviews with artists, can be found on and

We would like to thank the artists for contributing and sharing their experiences and artistic expressions through statements, speeches, dialogues, film screenings and live performances.

The programme committee

Marie Korpe and Ole Reitov, Freemuse
Bente Roalsvig and Rune Eraker, Fritt Ord

The World Conference on Artistic Freedom of Expression was organised by Freemuse and Fritt Ord.
Conference Rapporteur and Report Writer: Robin Denselow
Published by Freemuse
Editor in Chief: Marie Korpe
Graphic design: Hothorse Design Bureau |
Proofreading by Julian Isherwood
Report no. 10/2013
ISBN: 978-87-988163-4-8
Copyright Freemuse 2013
The views in this report do not necessarily represent the views of Freemuse.

Copenhagen K. Denmark |

This conference report was made possible through the generous support of Svenska PostkodLotteriet.

Home / Resource / Download and distribute the conference report