Afghanistan: Singer becomes symbol in the struggle for music freedom

13 March 2008

18-year-old Lima Sahar has placed herself in the middle of Afghanistan’s continous gender and music struggle. She could become the winner of the tv show ‘Afghan Star’ – the war-torn country’s answer to ‘American Idol’ which is drawing millions of viewers despite being condemned as ‘un-Islamic’ by Kabul’s Islamic council …

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Afghanistan: Female musicians put their lives in danger

15 January 2008

A report from a music school in Kabul, published in San Francisco Chronicle, is a story about the kind of difficulties and dangers female musicians face in present day Afghanistan. They must practice music under cover, work in secret, and be careful to protect their names and never show their …

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Afghanistan: Broadcast of Colombian singer censored

20 November 2007

Senior Muslim clerics and members of Afghanístan’s Ministry of Culture warned the country’s largest private television station Tolo TV of “serious consequences” and possible legal action following the broadcast of a concert by Shakira, even though Tolo TV had covered her chest with computer pixellation.A performance by the Colombian pop …

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Afghanistan: Famed exiled singer returned after 18 years

23 October 2007

 One of “Afghanistan’s living treasures”, singer Farida Mahwash stepped foot in Afghanistan for the first time in almost two decades to give a series of benefit concerts in Kabul, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif in October 2007, reported San Francisco Chronicle “I’ll have programs there and collect money, and give this money …

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China: Once banned Taiwanese singer regains popularity

17 September 2007

Beijing officials who seven years ago banned the music of pop star Chang Hui-mei, better known as A-mei, now use her name to improve political ties between mainland China and the small island of Taiwan, reported Reuters on 13 September 2007.By Martin Buch Larsen, Freemuse Taiwan’s top pop singer A-mei …

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Sweden: Explicit lyrics cause heated debate about women’s sexuality

11 July 2007

In Sweden a song by Frida Muranius has caused furore. After being banned on two regional public service radio stations, the song lyrics are debated in newspapers, radio, web forums and court yards in the country. Almost everyone has an opinion about Muranius’ sexually explicit lyrics – journalists and academic …

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Iran: ‘Half Moon’ – film about women’s right to sing

25 April 2007

‘Half Moon’ is a feature film which talks of women’s right to perform in public, and to participate in the artistic development of a land   They jump into an orange mini bus and begin the search for a female singer who will join their company – which is not …

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Syria: ‘Silenced voices’

7 November 2006

In Syria, music is a mirror which shows the soul of the listener. The hedonist youth of Damascus sees fuel for the fun of their parties, fundamentalists suspect moral corruption, the authocratic regime fears the output of subversive minds. And just a few young musicians perceive a magic language of …

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Afghanistan: Fewer music prohibitions on religious grounds

28 September 2006

According to a new report from U.S. Department of State conditions for music in Afghanistan are improving. The Afghan government rejects claims that Afghan authorities should have issued a list of restrictions on broadcasting in June 2006  The broadcasting restriction case is mentioned in a report which was released on …

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