Smashed Hits 2.0

United Kingdom:
Index on Censorship publishes issue on music censorship
Index on Censorship, Britain’s leading organisation promoting freedom of expression, released a magazine issue on music censorship entitled ‘Smashed hits 2.0’ on 8 September 2010.

‘Smashed Hits 2.0’ investigates music and free expression with writing and interviews. The issue is produced in collaboration with Freemuse and features interviews with Daniel Barenboim, Lapiro de Mbanga, Femi Kuti, Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood, Simon Broughton, Negar Shaghaghi, Malu Halasa, Louise Gray, Peter Jenner and many more, including an article by Freemuse founders Marie Korpe and Ole Reitov and a short piece by the English novelist, reviewer and columnist, Will Self.

The title is a reference to an issue which Index on Censorship published in 1998 in connection with the 1st World Conference on Music Censorship. Since then social media and the use of internet has exploded and even changed the censorship environment.

Listen to exclusive Smashed Hits playlists
Read interview with Lapiro; “VOICE TO THE VOICELESS” by Daniel Brown
Read “Rough Guide” by Marie Korpe and Ole Reitov

For more information, see:

  Click to read more about Smashed Hits 2.0
Cover of ‘Smashed Hits 2.0’

Cover of ‘Smashed Hits’ which was published in 1998  
Smashed Hits 1.0
The 1998 issue of ‘Smashed Hits’ is still available from:


Launch event
Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat and oud player Khyam Allami launch the new issue of Index on Censorship, “Smashed Hits 2.0″, at the Free Word Centre, 21 September from 6.30pm

Mahsa Vahdat won the Freemuse award 2010 for freedom of expression.

enquiries [AT] indexoncensorship [DOT] org
or call 020 7324 2522

Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Nearest tube Farringdon. Buses: 38, 341, 63, 19 (gmap)

After party
from 9pm at the Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road, with Resonance FM DJ Fari Bradley.

Radio special
Plus, listen to Free Lab Radio’s special on protest music and music from censored countries on Resonance FM, 11pm-12am, 18 September. 104.4 FM

Khyam Allami is the first recipient of BBC Radio 3′s World Routes Academy scholarship and made his debut at Womad and the Proms this summer.



Mahsa Vahdat



Clemency Burton-Hill: “That brings us to an important point about the de facto censorship of Wagner in Israel. You have always been adamant that Wagner was originally banned after Kristallnacht in 1938 not because of his own anti-Semitism — which had been well known since the 19th century — but because of the anti-Semitism of the Nazi party, i.e. the monstrous and appalling uses to which Hitler put the music. That distinction seems still not to be being made in Israel today, where the ban is very much still in place.”

Daniel Barenboim: “I’m afraid Israeli public opinion has manipulated all that. I’m sure there are many people in Israel who “don’t want to hear Wagner” who think that Wagner was around in 1940 — that Wagner was a Nazi. But you know, none other than [Arturo] Toscanini — who besides being a great musician was a great fighter for liberty — in 1936, when he was conducting the opening concerts for the new symphony orchestra in Tel Aviv, ironically then called the Palestine Philharmonic, played Wagner and there was no problem. The decision to stop playing Wagner was taken by members of the orchestra after Kristallnacht and that was perfectly understandable and just, from my point of view, in 1938. But to continue with that now is arguably as bad as it would have been to continue to play Wagner from that day.”

Clemency Burton-Hill: “It seems ironic that you were accused of being a fascist for playing Wagner’s music, when it could be argued that censorship of any music in a democratic country is verging on the fascist.”

Daniel Barenboim: “As I have said before, the idea this was a scandal was started the following day by people with a political agenda, not those in the concert hall, which greatly saddened me. I have always said that I respect anybody’s right not to listen to Wagner and that is why his work should be offered to a non-subscription audience. Israel is a democratic society, there should be no place for such taboos.” Read more…

Click to read more about Smashed Hits 2.0

For musicians, broadcasters, singers and their fans around the world, censorship is a fact of life – from legal threats against filesharers to restrictions on performing live. But some musicians and music lovers face more extreme conditions than others.

In Iran, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei recently declared that music was incompatible with the values of the Islamic Republic; in Tibet, musicians are imprisoned for singing resistance songs and in Turkey, Kurdish singers can face prosecution for making political statements.

In its latest issue, Index publishes interviews and articles by leading music writers and musicians on the challenges to free expression – whether digital, legal or commercial.

Index: Don’t Stop The Music!

Read about the songs they tried to ban, the musicians stopped from playing live, and the singers who are put on trial, in the bumper SMASHED HITS issue of Index

DANIEL BARENBOIM: Bring music, bring life
An exclusive interview by Clemency Burton-Hill

COLIN GREENWOOD: Set yourself free
Technology brings Radiohead closer to their fans

WILL SELF: Words and music
God Save the Queen

Musicians have to play the game to succeed

Banned: A rough guide to music censorship
MALU HALASA: Fight the power
Hip hop is the sound of modern protest

NEGAR SHAGHAGHI: Sounds of silence
Young Iranians defy convention to make music

SIMON BROUGHTON: Notes from underground
The challenges facing a female singer in Tehran

GILAD ATZMON: Primacy of the ear
The education of a jazz musician

MALU HALASA: Words and music
Chuy y Mauricio

KHYAM ALLAMI: Dispatches from a new generation
The independent music scene in the Middle East

DIVINE COMEDY: Portraits by Chaza Charafeddine

Preview of the new exhibition

FEMI KUTI: Words and music
Beng Beng Beng

LOUISE GRAY: Can Music Kill?
Is there some music that deserves banning?

LAPIRO DE MBANGA: Voice to the voiceless
The Cameroonian musician speaks to Index from prison

KAYA GENÇ: Coffee-house blues
Kurdish musicians are battling against prejudice

HTEIN LIN: Rocking Rangoon
Music and resistance in Burma

WOESER: Tradition of protest
A singer unafraid of taboos in Tibet

RACHEL ASPDEN: Trance music
A vibrant culture is being challenged by orthodox Islam

JAN FAIRLEY: Control shift
Cuban musicians are pushing the boundaries

A round-up of music censorship stories

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