Background information

Turkey: A prolonged tragedy for theatre

Students protesting the dismissal of their professors with presidential decrees in Ankara University.  Photo: haber.sol.org.tr   The level of suppression against art in Turkey can only be grasped by going deep into details and history. Sacking of 4,464 public servants including 330 academics sounds alarming, but knowing it also meant the practical closing down of […]

UN report: Impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the enjoyment of cultural rights

In her second report to the Human Rights Council, Karima Bennoune – the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights – considers how the rise of fundamentalism and extremism, in diverse forms, represent major threats to human rights worldwide. Fundamentalism and extremism represent a growing challenge that must be faced with urgency, […]

Turkey: The Freemuse Files on Censorship of the Arts

For almost 20 years, Freemuse has documented violations on freedom of musical expressions and since 2012 also violations on other art forms in Turkey. ‘Turkey – The Freemuse Files’ is the first in a series of Freemuse compilations. The idea is to provide our readers, network partners and policy makers with an easy, quick overview […]

Turkey: The coup still continues for the art scene

The state of emergency following the failed coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016 resulted in increased pressure against artists. The already-ongoing attack against freedom of art has accelerated after the coup attempt. Artists are trying to keep their heads up under the pressure, while the government is planting the seeds for a total transformation […]

Greece: Artistic freedom at stake

Censorship incidents and controversies over artworks have multiplied over the last few years in Greece, particularly since the crisis hit the country in 2008. At the same time, legal controversies over blasphemous and obscene publications continue while hate crimes are on the rise, as exemplified by the murder of young rapper Fyssas in 2014.   […]

Turkey: How Erdoğan turned the tables on the EU to stifle free speech

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan demands that comedian Jan Böhmermann be prosecuted under Germany’s own laws criminalising insult to foreign heads of state because he has read out an offensive poem. The existence of this law has clearly taken Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German judiciary by surprise, but Merkel sees that she has no […]

Belarus: Lavon Volski is a free man in an unfree country

Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Belarusian rock musician Lavon Volski has been one of the most influential cultural personalities in his country fighting for freedom of artistic expression. In May 2016, he is being honoured with the Freemuse Award 2016. By Ingo Petz For more than 30 years now, Lavon Volski has been creating rock and […]

Uzbekistan: The naked truth about state censorship

The Uzbekistan government tightens its control over the arts, prohibiting anything that is believed to threaten national values – including 700 films which have been banned, and musicians who have their performing licenses withdrawn. Censorship was a key instrument for controlling the masses during Soviet times. These days Uzbekistan’s ageing President Islam Karimov — who served as […]

Egypt five years after the revolution: Artistic freedom is stifled

In the wake of a security clampdown on free expression since the military takeover of the country in July 2013, rights advocates lament that the space for free artistic expression and creativity has diminished in Egypt as restrictions on art and literary works that address politics, sex and religion, remain firmly in place.  By Shahira […]

Poland: Controversies over theatre plays

Censorship of play by Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek calls attention to the precariousness of state funded art in Poland By Anna Gotowska   Less than a month after winning the November 2015 elections in Poland, the conservative Law and Justice party gained international attention for its controversial internal politics. One of the most heated […]

Venezuela: When censorship is social

Interview with the Venezuelan artist Daniel Arzola about the oppressiveness of social norms. By Laura Vidal   Gender fluidity, the oppressiveness of social norms, and the dignity of the LGBT community are at the centre of Daniel Arzola’s art and visual campaigns, most notably the project ‘No soy tu chiste’ (‘I’m not a joke’), which […]

Ethiopia: Crackdown on Oromo musicians

The current unrest in the Oromia region with news reports about a state crackdown on musicians is nothing new in Ethiopia, explains Endalk in this background article. In the last two decades, any Oromo singer who gravitated towards political and social activism have been subjected to intimidation, abductions, and torture. Singers have been killed, and […]

India: Singer prosecuted for song critical of state government

Arrested for singing a song critical of the government of the South Indian state Tamil Nadu, folk singer and activist Kovan has now been released on bail. His arrest is part of a larger crackdown on activism and freedom of expression, reports Lakshimi Sarah At the end of October 2015, the 52-year-old singer S. Kovan […]

Mali: Three years after the music ban

When the religious music ban in the northern part of Mali was lifted in 2013, Andy Morgan wrote the book ‘Music, Conflict and Culture in Mali’. Here is his account of what has happened in the country since then. By Andy Morgan    INSIGHT  One of the accusations often levelled at the West is that distance […]

Bangladesh: Censorship board blocks minority language film

The first Chakma language film in Bangladesh has been censored by the Bangladesh Film Censor Board By Pantha Rahman Reza   ‘Mor Thengari’ (‘My Bicycle’) is the first feature film made entirely in Chakma, an indigenous language spoken by the Chakma ethnic minority in Bangladesh. Directed by Aung Rakhine, the film centers around indigenous people, […]

France post-November 13: Musicians shocked but defiant

The massacre at the Bataclan concert hall spreads fear and generates financial losses but also determination to carry on. Daniel Brown reports from Paris two weeks after the attacks “Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, and vive EODM.” Eagles of Death Metal By what eerie twist of fate did the three assaillants launch their massacre […]

United Kingdom: Guides to legal framework of artistic expression

The British freedom of expression campaigners Index on Censorship have published a series of law packs addressing questions about legal limits related to free expression and the arts. “Freedom of expression is essential to the arts. But the laws and practices that protect and nurture free expression are often poorly understood both by practitioners and […]

United Kingdom: Film on Mali music ban leads to new fund

Freedom of expression campaigners Index on Censorship and the producers of the documentary film ‘They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile’ have launched a Music In Exile Fund along with a song playlist and a series of articles about music and censorship. The aim of the Music In Exile Fund is […]

Turkey: EU and UN address Turkey’s troublesome arts freedom record

Significant shortcomings in the promotion of democracy and human rights feature highly in the European Commission’s 2015 Progress Report on Turkey, which points to ‘significant backsliding’ on protection of freedom of expression in the last two years after several years of progress. By Sara Whyatt   The report refers to a worrying number of writers […]

Turkey: Tensions between film festivals and government take toll

The film festival circuit in Turkey has been among the most visible casualties as the increasingly authoritarian Justice and Development Party (AK-Party) fights to stay in power, reported the film magazine Variety. Simmering tensions between artists and the government came to a head at the Antalya film festival in October 2014, as officials sought to […]

Zimbabwe: Censorship board should be abolished, says workshop group

Zimbabwe should abolish the censorship board and other bodies censoring or regulating artistic expressions in order to comply with Zimbabwe’s new constitution. Instead a new classification board should be mandated to issue age recommendations to protect children. This was a recommendation made by arts practitioners, artists, journalists and human rights lawyers at a workshop on […]

Angola: Freemuse calls for immediate release of detained rapper

On 15 October 2015, the 33-year-old Angolan rapper Luaty Beirão entered his fourth week of hunger strike in protest of his detention without trial since June – along with 14 other opposition activists accused of ‘rebellion’ and of seeking to ‘attack the president’. Freemuse holds the Angolan authorities responsible for Luaty Beirão’s well-being and calls […]

USA/Europe: Less incidents of arts censorship over indecency

On 28 September 2015, Apollo Magazine published an article by Philippa Malas which seeks to analyse the current situation for freedom of artistic expression in Europe and the United States. The article runs through examples of how issues of freedom of expression and art are currently playing out in various countries. In May 2015, the […]

Cuba: Repression and resistance – story of ‘The Sixth Prisoner’

Danilo Maldonado, the Cuban graffiti artist commonly known as ‘El Sexto’, is fighting imprisonment with paper. Since December 2014, repression of artists in Cuba has increased significantly. Despite warming relations with the United States. By Pamela Kalkman The drawing below shows a man who, even with a pig’s nose, a cap, and sunglasses, bares an […]

France: Law on artistic freedom adopted by First House of French Parliament

On 29 September 2015, the First House of the French Parliament – Assemblée Nationale – adopted a new law on artistic freedom, architecture and heritage, which is now to be presented to the Senate. The law is to protect the principle of artistic freedom and freedom of dissemination. Laurence Cuny, who helped shape the law through […]

Egypt: Resolution against revealing clothing and “vulgar” lyrics

Egypt’s Musicians’ Union bans artists from wearing “indecent” clothing and using “vulgar” vocabulary on stage and television in a resolution passed at the end of August 2015. Hani Shaker, the newly elected head of the union, aims to continue to promote Egyptian art, but not at the expense of the country’s morals and customs, thus […]

Burundi: Musicians menaced, silenced and fleeing the country

Burundian artists are confronted with ever-shrinking possibilities for open and free political speech. Well-known singers and band members are being targeted and, if possible, manipulated to change their artistic or political style. Several musicians have fled the country. By John Banram, Freemuse correspondent – reporting from Burundi  INSIGHT  Fear of being assassinated is spreading among […]

Qatar: Joint call to United Nations to help imprisoned poet

16 non-governmental organisations have sent a joint letter to UN Special Rapporteurs on the imprisoned Qatari poet Mohammed al-Ajami On the commencement of the 30th session of the Human Rights Council, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), along with 15 international NGOs, including Freemuse, sent a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur […]

Artistic freedom: Tunisia walks a narrow tightrope

At first, much of the heavy-handed censorship on artists by the Ben Ali regime appeared to have been swept away. But as artists are more frequently being arrested and charged in courts with penal codes of the pre-revolutionary days, Tunisian legislation has increasingly come under fire from defenders of freedom of expression. By Daniel Brown, […]

Russia: Art exhibition attacked and vandalised

On 26 August 2015, two people, a man and a woman, vandalised an art exhibition in Manège, an art exhibition hall in Manezhny Dvor in Moscow which has a history of controversy. This is Moscow Manège where the USSR Communist Party Secretary General Nikita Khruschov back in 1962 lambasted artists for their ‘degenerating art’. 80 […]

Pakistan: Various Bollywood films banned

A number of Hindi films have been prohibited from releasing in Pakistan for diverse reasons over the past few years, according to an article in Hindustan Times. • Most recently, the Lahore High Court on 20 August 2015 temporarily banned the screening of the upcoming Indian film ‘Phantom’ in Pakistan – and directed the federal […]

Iran: 14 films banned since 2007

Films continue to be banned in Iran. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has compiled a list of 14 films banned since 2007 in Iran. Other films may also have faced censorship issues but their makers have chosen to remain quiet, hoping to eventually get a screening permit. “Rouhani’s remarks during his election […]

Morocco: Rapper El Haqed – besieged, alienated and oppressed

Freemuse interview with the Moroccan rapper El Haqed, who was awarded with the 2015 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award for Arts. By Shaima Aly Mouad Belghouat (also spelled: Belrhouate) is better known under his artist name, El Haqed – the now world-famous Moroccan rapper and human rights activist who criticises the widespread poverty […]

Tunisia: No investigation into attack on a local rapper

How freedom of expression is oppressed through financial, moral and psychological pressure and damages is Tunisian rapper Hamadi Dia’s story. Today, Freemuse publishes his account of what he is going through because of the music and lyrics he produces. By Shaima Aly, Freemuse “Those groups succeeded in their mission to shut me up and get […]

Turkey: Artists under pressure – a year of trials and penalties

Yesterday, Turkey’s voters headed towards the ballot boxes to place their votes in the 7 June general elections. As the election day approached, threats to the media, both veiled and overt, were in the air. This was not entirely unexpected, given that Turkey’s poor record of protection of the right to freedom of expression is well-known. […]

Deeyah Khan: Build a sustainable alternative to the contorted worldview of extremists

Deeyah Khan is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director and producer, whose work highlights human rights, women’s voices and freedom of expression. On 1 June 2015, she published a blog post on Huffington Post’s UK website under the title ‘We Must Tackle Extremism Without Compromising Freedom of Speech’ In the piece, Deeyah Khan […]

A brush too far? Six art pieces that stirred controversy in Africa

“A selection of bold, daring and provocative art makes up this list of six art pieces from around the continent. In one way or another, they challenged the communities they appeared in. Sometimes the artwork offended people’s political sensibilities, sometimes it challenged people’s sense of African social norms and customs. All this boundary-pushing art has […]

USA raises the question about artistic freedom of expression in UN

“The United States would like to discuss the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, ‎particularly focusing on artistic expression and creativity,” said the American Ambassador Keith Harper in a statement at the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. He continued: “Artistic expression and creativity as a form of freedom of expression is […]

Iran: Film about singer who outwitted ban on women singing solo

Nothing like it had been attempted in Iran for 35 years. The Iranian singer and composer Sara Najafi proposed hosting a concert in Tehran – “a festival of the female voice” featuring solo singers. “Since the 1979 revolution, women in Iran have been banned from singing solo. So what happened when this woman decided to […]

Suppression of artsfreedom in Middle East and North Africa discussed in UN

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies in conjunction with Freemuse and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry organised a discussion panel on Friday 13 March 2015 on the sidelines of the 28th Human Rights Council session in Geneva, discussing several forms of suppression of artistic freedoms in the Middle East and North Africa. The panel, the […]

Egypt: Documentary with censored artists

The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression recently released a documentary exploring freedom of creativity in Egypt by interviewing the artists that have been subjected to governmental censorship. Artistic expression in Egypt is one of the most tightly controlled forms of expression. It was so before the January 2011 revolution and still is today. […]

United Kingdom: Public debate warns of self-censorship in the arts

Artistic institutions in Britain are increasingly self-censoring subversive material to secure funding and avoid protests, according to a panel of arts grandees. Jude Kelly, artistic director of the Southbank Centre, Munira Mirza, deputy mayor for education and culture, and Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights organisation Liberty were among those who called the rise of […]

President of Norwegian Parliament: “Curb artistic freedom and you curb democracy altogether”

Music Freedom Day 2015 in Harstad, Norway, was opened by the president of the Norwegian Parliament, Olemic Thommessen. In his speech he talked about music and freedom of expression. “There are few with the power to convey something about the society we live in with such depth, complexity and honesty as artists and musicians. The […]

Violations on artistic freedom of expression in 2014

Freemuse annual statistics on violations of artistic freedom of expression 2014 shows that artists all over the world increasingly are facing attacks on their rights to freedom of expression. In 2014 Freemuse registered a total number of 237 attacks and violations against artistic freedom. The violations range from killings and abductions to attacks, threats, prosecutions, […]

Russia, China and Turkey top yearly list of music freedom violations

Freemuse monitored and documented violations of freedom of expression for musicians on www.freemuse.org in 2014. Musicians around the world are facing imprisonment, attacks, and censorship in attempts by government and non-state actors to silence the music. In 2014, Freemuse registered a total number of 90 attacks and violations against musicians’ rights to musical freedom of expression. […]

Cuba: Artist Tania Bruguera continues to be retained

After one month of having her only passport confiscated by the Cuban Ministry of the Interior and with no possibilities to exit from Cuba, artist Tania Bruguera – currently under conditional freedom – must wait for another period up to 60 days, so that the Prosecutor may weigh in on the charges brought by the […]

Syria/USA: Exiled pianist portrayed in remarkable documentary

National Geographic released its documentary film ‘Notes For My Homeland’ featuring USA-based, Syrian composer and pianist Malek Jandali’s musical journey to Carnegie Hall. » See the film here “The Syrian-American composer and pianist has performed in leading concert halls around the world and has also written a song so powerful that his parents were beaten in […]

Turkey: Government reported to the UN Council on Human Rights

Artists, activists and journalists respond to Turkey’s presentation to the UN Council on Human Rights Universal Periodic Review   On 27 January 2015, Bülent Arinç, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, delivered a report on the state of human rights in Turkey to the United Nations Council on Human Rights. Arinç, accompanied by a delegation of […]

After the Charlie Hebdo attack: Critical moment for artistic expression

In light of the events in France in January 2015, where the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was brutally attacked, numerous articles have been published about artistic expression and arts freedom. Here is a small selection of articles that touch on the issues of artistic freedom of expression. Walking the tightrope between art and politics Cressida […]

Iran: 20-year-old musician’s reality check: oppression persists

“Rights for musicians are extremely weak in Iran”, wrote Tooka Zokaie, a 20-year-old Iranian-American piano teacher and speech coach who travelled to Iran and unintentionally broke the law: “When I went to Iran this summer, almost everything I participated in related to music was illegal. I played piano to male audiences, participated in underground concerts […]

USA: Arts advocacy project displays 24 censored works

In its latest newsletter, National Coalition Against Censorship looks back at art censorship incidents in 2014 and launches an “arts advocacy project”. NCAC writes: “Don’t hold your breath for nipple reveals or cock shows – while artistic representations of nudes remain a regular target of censorship, the most compelling and controversial artwork in 2014 came […]

Norwegian PEN publishes report about freedom of expression in Turkey

The Norwegian PEN has published a special report titled ‘Turkey: Free Expression Under a Shadow’. In the 60-page report, data and information related to violations of freedom of expression, the effects of the judicial system and the law on freedom of expression, self-censorship, the pressure on press, hate speech and freedom of religion and conscience […]

USA: NCAC raises curtain on theatre censorship in public schools

National Coalition Against Censorship in the U.S. has published a toolkit for organising against theatre censorship in public schools: ‘The show must go on’ “Censorship of the theatre has existed since its emergence as an art form. From Oedipus Rex to Cabaret, some of the most artistically rich theatre has been disturbing, subversive, transformative, and often a target of […]

Egypt: Dialogue stopped by restrictions, censorship and arrests

“Democracy is about dialogue. It is not about shutting down ideas or artistic expressions which may be in opposition to the majority or the ruling system. Due to restrictions and censorship, this dialogue is not possible in Egypt now,” wrties Egyptian singer and activist Ramy Essam in this opinion-piece which was first published by Al […]

Egyptian singer Ramy Essam: “Why I moved to Sweden for two years”

Since Freemuse announced that the Egyptian singer and musician Ramy Essam has been offered a two year residence in the Swedish city Malmö, rumours and tweets in Egypt have speculated whether he is seeking asylum. This is not the case, explained Ramy Essam, who issued the following statement on 23 October 2014: “Malmö, Wednesday, 22 […]

Morocco: Rapper El Haqed speaks of freedom and flaws

If the Moroccan authorities meant to silence the dissident Moroccan rapper El Haqed by locking him up in a prison cell on trumped up charges, it didn’t work. The first thing he wanted to do when he stepped out in freedom after four months imprisonment was go to the studio and record more of the […]

Myanmar/Burma: How censorship shaped an artist

In this 5-minute video film, an artist offers a peek into the underground of Myanmar where artists are taking their non-violent fight for freedom of expression to the streets. “They destroyed our art in a very ruthless way.” A young graffiti artist in Myanmar was censored for using the orange colour – associated with monks […]

Pakistan: Ban of social media has great impact on musicians

As Pakistan continues to restrict access to social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, activist band Laal discusses the silencing effect that these bans have on artists, and speaks to the future of free expression. By Anushe Noor Faheem, with additional reporting by Annie Zaman Laal, Pakistan’s most vocal social-justice oriented band, has built […]

USA: Literature and censorship – the biggest challenge is apathy

The American organisation National Coalition Against Censorship writes: “For nearly as long as the written word has existed, it has been a target for censorship. (…) The difference between the book bans of yesteryear and the battle against censorship today is that, with vigilance, we have the power to stand up to censorship and defend the […]

A history of literary censorship: three books

Three new works concerned with banned literature – from Joyce to Rushdie – are reviewed by Leo Robson in New Statesman • The Zhivago Affair: the Kremlin, the CIA and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book  Peter Finn and Petra Couvée Harvill Secker, 350pp, £20 • The Most Dangerous Book: the Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses  Kevin […]

Amnesty International on silencing of filmmakers: ‘Manuscripts Don’t Burn’

Steven W. Hawkins, the executive director of Amnesty International USA, and writer and film director Gregory Nava have written an article in Huffington Post’s The Blog about the silencing of filmmakers and other artists in countries such as China, Iran and Russia. “Freedom of expression is both an essential human right and a foundational requirement […]

China: Tibetan artists have to tread an incredibly fine line

Braving high risks and heavy censorship in China, Tibetan musicians sing their love for Tibet. by Dechen Pemba   Gebey, a Tibetan singer who had been detained at the end of May 2014 following a live performance in Ngaba Prefecture, eastern Tibet, has been released from detention. Gebey (sometimes spelled Gaybay or Gepey) has chosen […]

Morocco: Open letter to Moroccan minister about El Haqed

The Moroccan rapper Mouad Belghaoute – also known as Lhaqed or El Haqed, ‘the enraged one’ – was sentenced on 1 July 2014 to four months in prison amid concerns that the trial was unfair, and that he is being held because of his popularity and lyrics that condemn corruption and police brutality. Arrested on […]

Morocco: The government’s “war” on young filmmakers

In this article the Moroccan filmmaker Nadir Bouhmouch describes the background for the current arrests of young filmmakers, actors and hip-hop artists in Mohammedia, Morocco. The article highlights a problem that plagues young Moroccan filmmakers and forces them to break the law in order to produce films. By Nadir Bouhmouch   Morocco’s war on art […]

Brazil: The music Brazil doesn’t want you to be listening to

Leading up to the World Cup in Brazil, with sounds of gunfire in the background, forbidden funk rappers continued to talk about what the government wants to hide: extreme violence, social segregation and racism in the favelas. By Debora Baldelli Girls dance at a baile funk party in the Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio de […]

Nepal: Forms and evolution of censorship

Ensuring freedom of expression and dissent to all is a balancing act yet to be mastered by Nepal, writes Slok Gyawali in an article published by Fair Observer which describes how censorship in Nepal has been employed for political reasons at various points in history. “The difference in reaction to perceived insults to religious sentiments […]

China: Exclusive essay by Ai Weiwei: ‘On Self-Censorship’

This month, Ai Weiwei withdrew his work from a show at Beijing’s influential Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, a tribute to the late scholar Hans Van Dijk, with whom he worked closely, reported Huffington Post. It was a move made in protest: In a series of correspondences that surfaced online, UCCA chief Xue Mei admitted […]

Egypt: Artists and writers defy censorship

Egyptian cultural figures say they will not be silenced as the authorities tighten their grip on freedom of speech. Fatenn Mostafa, the founder of the Cairo-based organisation, Art Talks, said the crackdown has mainly been limited to critics of Sisi, such as the political satirist Bassem Youssef, whose television programme has been suspended until after […]

Tajikistan: As Tajik rap gets political, authorities resort to bans and pressure

The mayor of Dushanbe, Tajikistan banned rap and rock music from the capital’s buses, minibuses (marshrutkas), and taxis, suggesting that the genre was “alien to national and universal human values,” earlier this year. The initiative received the full backing from the country’s Minister of Education who stated that tunes which “do not conform to national […]

Freemuse condemns arrest of Morocco’s ‘musical reporter’

Freemuse condemns the arbitrary arrest of artist and human rights activist Mouad Belghouat, alias El Haqed (The Indignant) also known as L7a9ed on Sunday 18 May 2014 – for the third time in three years. “Morocco should live up to international conventions guaranteeing free speech,” says Freemuse Director Ole Reitov. El Haqed has earlier been […]

Freemuse meets Pussy Riot: Punk is a great inspiration

There was a good deal of humour and a talk about the meaning of punk culture when original Pussy Riot members Masha and Nadya (Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova) met Freemuse Director Ole Reitov in front of an audience at a jam-packed Kulturhuset in Oslo, Norway, on 13 May 2014. Asked whether music has to […]

Azerbaijan: Report about artistic freedom of expression

A new 33-page report by Art for Democracy details cases of violations of the right to artistic freedom of expression over the past three years in Azerbaijan. According to the report, the Azerbaijani authorities have used a range of tactics to silence critical artistic expression, including harassment, intimidation, threats, interference, legal pressure, arrest, imprisonment, and […]

Russia: Musicians speak of censorship, persecution and viciousness

Violations of freedom of expression in Russia hit the frontpages of newspapers and websites all over the world in 2013 when two members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot were imprisoned. Many other music groups and artists in Russia face censorship and persecution – but their cases are never heard of outside of Russia. […]

Vietnam: The new censors of Hanoi

In an article in The New York Times journalist Nguyen Qui Duc who also runs the alternative-art space Tadioto in Hanoi reflects on the censorship mechanisms of art in Vietnam during the communist area and today. According to Duc, market-driven concerns may be hampering artists in Vietnam more than censorship did under classically communist governments. […]

United Kingdom: Hundreds of artists arrested during World War One

Artists sketching the countryside during the First World War were often accused of spying for Germany and arrested, according to the top art historian Dr James Fox, University of Cambridge. There was a great deal of paranoia during the conflict and the general population were urged to report suspicious activity, and hundreds of artists were […]

Syria: Surviving civil war with heavy metal

Armed with a cellphone and borrowed camera, the young Syrian Monzer Darwish seeks refuge in producing a ‘rockumentary’ about Heavy Metal music in Syria. His documentary film called ‘Syrian Metal Is War’ is currently being edited in Lebanon. A trailer was published on youtube.com in January 2014: Syrian Metal Is War – Documentary Promo Published […]

Lebanon: Increase in cultural censorship

“The alarming security situation in 2013 had a negative impact on media and cultural freedom in Lebanon,” wrote Firas Talhouk in the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom’s annual report on press and cultural freedom in the Levant. Censorship of media, media activists and bloggers increases during periods of political tension – the same […]

India: Pressure from fringe groups raise concern in film sector

A growing trend of fringe groups holding to ransom censor-certified films and attempting to stall their release has become a cause of concern for filmmakers, producers, and fans. In an article entitled ‘Holding Tamil box office to ransom’, The Hindu reported that insiders in the Indian film industry worry that pressure groups prevent the release […]

Belarus: Outspoken musicians endangered

In May 2014, the Icehockey World Championships will begin in Belarus, and the government of Alyaksandr Lukashenka will do its best to ensure that fans and tourists experience Belarus as a “normal” European country. Lavon Volski is a musicians who wants to “rock” that facade of normality. With his new album he has decided to […]

France: Open letter addresses censorship in the arts sector

An open letter, ‘Against censorship, action!’, signed by 20 organisations and published by the French organisation Observatoire de Liberté de Dréation on 24 March 2014, has focussed attention on the ongoing challenges of censorship in French arts and culture. The letter denounces what it calls a “legal arsenal” used by ultra-conservative groups to prosecute, sanction […]

Israel: Gaza theatres battle censorship and conservatism

A lack of female performers, the siege and close monitoring by the Hamas government has resulted in a dwindling Gaza theatre industry, reported Al Monitor. Hanouna said that the theater’s decline began about eight years ago, “when artists started self-censoring their work and thinking of the ruling authorities and their opinion about plays and the […]

Turkey: World writers call on Turkey to respect freedom of expression

Leading writers from Turkey and around the world have joined PEN, the international association of writers, to call on the Turkish authorities to respect freedom of expression as a universal and fundamental human right, and to create an environment in which all citizens are able to express themselves freely without fear of censorship or punishment. […]

Mexico and Honduras: Writers have no freedom of expression

Corruption; the control of the media; impunity; censorship and its counterpart self-censorship; the role and responsibilities of a writer as citizen; and the vital importance that freedom of expression plays in challenging the status quo. At ‘Free The Word!’, an event held on 30 January 2014 at Hay Festival Cartagena, writers and journalists from across […]

“Don’t Like It? Destroy It…” Two chronicles on censored art

The magazine The Dangerlands has published two chronicles about “How we’re still going through the Dark Ages when it comes to art”. “Controversy will always be good for art, because art is meant to evoke emotion. As long as there is a debate and a clutch on freedom to deliver images like the two above […]

Artists are truth tellers risking their lives for us

Our consideration of the human rights in any country should include the freedom of artists to express their heart, writes Deeyah Khan – a critically acclaimed music producer, composer and an Emmy award-winning documentary film director – in this statement she submitted to the United Nations in March 2014. Video recording of Deeyah Khan’s speech […]

Lebanon: Inconsistent and bizarre censorship practices

March, a Lebanese NGO, have been documenting the obscure and arbitrary censorship practices in Lebanon via their ‘Virtual Museum of Censorship’ since the group was founded in 2011. In March 2014, Global Post published an in-depth coverage of their work and the current censorship practices in the country. “To describe their findings as bizarre would […]

Violations on artistic freedom of expression in 2013

Freemuse monitored and documented violations on artistic freedom of expression on artsfreedom.org in 2013. The compilation presents a glimpse of repression of artistic freedom worldwide in 2013 and includes cases from 48 countries across the fields of dance, film, music, theatre, visual arts and literature (journalists not included) as they were documented on artsfreedom.org The […]

Pakistan: Voiceless singers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cry for security

Black curtains have fallen on Pashto cinema in KP as militants have speeded up their attacks. Musicians are receiving death threats, being kidnapped and forced to leave their homes. Local government hopes a new cultural policy can change the desperate situation for artists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. By Sher Alam Shinwari, reporting for Freemuse from Peshawar […]

South Korea: K-pop music booms but censors still loom

The South Korean music style K-pop has become a success story of music export and glamour, but a long history of censorship and regulation still affects the music markets in South Korea. By Yoo Eun Lee, Global Voices Korean editor and founder of K-pop Decoder     K-pop has dominated the Asian music market for […]

The soundtrack of Syrian resistance

Music has been at the core of the Syrian uprising since its beginning in 2011, and for the same reason musicians have been killed and are being silenced by force. It is part of an attempt to impose political and religious agendas, reports Spanish-Syrian activist Leila Nachawati, who is a professor of Communications at Carlos […]

BBC: An Argentinian playlist of freedom

‘An Argentinian playlist of freedom’ was broadcasted on the BBC World Service on 18 February 2014. The music of a generation – growing up in the shadow of violent military rule in 1970s and 1980s Argentina. The slide show is part of the ‘Freedom 2014’ special series on BBC, ‘Freedom World Service’. “Whether it’s freedom […]

UN study on the impact of advertising and marketing on cultural rights

The United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, is launching a new study on the impact of advertising and marketing practices on cultural rights. The study takes a close-up look at the effect of advertising and marketing practices on cultural diversity and human rights. According to a press release from the […]

ARTerial Network Report: Monitoring freedom of creative expression in Africa

Report: “Artwatch Africa – monitoring freedom of cultural expression” ARTerial Network, in line with its mandate of defending artists’ rights, established ArtWatch Africa — a project aimed at monitoring the challenges and constraints on freedom of creative expression in African countries. Following a mapping exercise covering 70 percent of Africa, Arterial Network released its first […]

India: Threats to artistic freedom of expression

In India at the moment there are heated discussions, friction, clashes, court cases and rows over where limits to freedom of expression in the arts should be drawn or removed, often due to religious sentiments.   Recent incidents for example are an art exhibition being closed down, a film screening being stopped by the police, […]

China: Freedom of expression in perilous state | PEN International

Freedom of expression in China remains in a perilous state, PEN International said today, as China appeared before the UN Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of its human rights record. Dozens of writers, journalists and bloggers remain in prison simply for peacefully expressing their views, many serving harsh prison sentences, the […]

Iran: Literature, censorship and signs of change

"Iran’s literature is wounded, but it still has blood, and in its blood lies a secret" writes Shahriar Mandanipour, one of the most accomplished writers of contemporary Iranian literature, in a piece about Iranian literature and censorship. The effects of censorship on contemporary Iranian literature are widespread: Because of censorship, which at times functions shrewdly […]

Iran: Art and punishment – artist and former prisoner tells her story

Soudabeh Ardavan was held for eight years in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. She found sanity and solace through the forbidden activities of drawing and painting, secretly producing paint from flower petals and tea, using brushes made from toothpicks and human hair. Whenever she was caught, she received severe penalties that ranged from forced isolation to […]

India: Growing intolerance against artistic expression

Paresh Rawal, one of India’s best-known cinema and theatre actors, talks about his play being stopped and growing political intolerance against cultural expression in India. See on timesofindia.indiatimes.com Film release was hush-hush: UR Ananthamurthy The film ‘Samskara’ was released without much fanfare because there was a threat that it would be banned. This was disclosed […]

Egypt: Theatre of the revolution

With most spaces state owned and requiring censor approval for performance, it is difficult for independent theatre to find a place to develop. Despite limitations due to censorship and spaces to perform, the artists push one another to find alternative solutions to their problems. By Chalaine Chang And Giulia Bertoluzzi 8 November 2013 See on […]

Belarus: Cultural censorship as state policy | Index

Keeping tight control over every sphere of social life is the general policy of the Belarusian authorities. This is true not only about politics, economy or media; arts and culture face censorship as well. Zmitser Yanenka reports from Belarus. Zmitser Yanenka’s article contains three sections: Music: to “black lists” and back • Interview with Aleh […]

Syria: Exiled artists create art that reflects, critiques and inspires

Art Radar highlights eight of Syria’s contemporary artists whose work tests the boundaries of artistic expression and socio-cultural norms. In 2012, Al Jazeera reported that a number of syrian artists, filmmakers and actors were persecuted, arrested and even tortured by the state for dissent. Determined to continue their work free from censorship, many have had to leave […]

Middle East: Censorship and the Arab Uprisings

“In the context of the Arab Uprisings, the censorship can be seen as a symptom of governments’ fear of people uniting and has led to grave human rights violations, torture, exile and the morbid murdering of artists.” Middleeastmonitor.com – 31 October 2013: Protecting the creative voices of the Arab Uprising Article by Henriette Johansen

Iran: Interview with theatre director Tinoush Nazmjou about censorship

In this interview with IranWire, the exiled theatre director Tinoush Nazmjou – one of Iran’s prominent young directors – talks about his enthusiasm for returning to Iran and experimenting with creative work under an atmosphere heavy with limitations. He talks about the creative contrast between working freely and under censorship, Iran’s theatre scene, and how social […]

Syria: To be a writer under al-Assad’s regime | PEN

Interview with Syrian writer Samar Yazbek about her experiences working as a writer and journalist under Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Prior to the ‘PEN Free the Word!’ event at the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts in June 2013, Lauren Pyott caught up with the PEN Award-winning Syrian writer Samar Yazbek and interviewed her for […]

Uganda: Censorship, pay offs and deportation | Index on Censorship

“Artists have been censored, paid off or even deported, delivering big blows to artistic freedom of expression in Uganda in the process,” wrote Edward Ronald Sekyewa, Executive Director of Hub for Investigative Media, in an article which was published on Index of Censorship’s website on 4 October 2013. Read the article

USA: Banned Books Week 2013

11,300 books have been challenged since 1982, when the event Banned Books Week was launched in the United States and started counting. The Banned Books Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates the freedom to read, draws attention to banned and challenged books, and highlights persecuted individuals. In the end of September every year, […]

Zimbabwe: Reflections of a banned musician – Leonard Zhakata

Listen to Leonard Zhakata – one of Zimbabwe’s biggest pop stars – talk about how he felt when his music was kept off the air. See and listen on www.rnw.nl

Senegal: Awadi speaks about self-censorship

You can criticise presidents but not religious leaders, says Didier Awadi, one of Africa’s leading artists, to Freemuse Didier Awadi, for decades considered one of Africa’s most respected and outspoken artists, has criticized neo-colonialism, corrupt presidents and politicians. But even outspoken artists consider the fine balance between what may be important to address and what […]

UN report on artistic freedom launched at EU Parliament

Members of the European Parliament will join a lunchtime presentation of the UN Report ‘The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression and Creativity’ at the European Parliament in Brussels on 2 October 2013. The report will be presented by its author, Mme Farida Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, who was […]

Syrian pianist: “We need freedom for true art”

Syria Untold spoke to renowned Syrian composer and pianist Malek Jandali about the emergence of new forms of art and music in Syria. Jandali, who composed the song ‘Watani Ana’ (My Homeland) at the start of the revolution, told us what he considers to be his personal contribution to his country: Music for freedom and […]

Cambodia: Golden era of Cambodian music given its second airing

“In 2009, Hobart-born, Phnom Penh-based rock guitarist Julien Poulson, 47, established the Cambodian Space Project. The ‘carousel’ of a band has had up to 22 singers, dancer and musicians, mostly from Cambodia, helping revive some of the music from the era, including that of the murdered artists.” “Pan Ron was the most risque of Cambodian […]

Book with accounts of artists’ resistance to religious extremism

Here is a book which describes a largely invisible global community of writers, artists, doctors, musicians, museum curators, lawyers, activists, and educators of Muslim heritage around the world who often risk death to combat the rising tide of fundamentalism within their own countries. ‘Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here’ is written by Karima Bennoune, a […]

United Kingdom: A tarnished reputation for free expression | Index on Censorship

As the G20 nations prepare to meet in St Petersburg, Russia in early September 2013, Index on Censorship is exploring the nations’ records on free expression. Their article about United Kingdom, headlined ‘United Kingdom: A tarnished reputation for free expression’ and published on 23 August 2013, contains the following paragraph about the artistic freedom of […]

Russia: Rolling back free expression | Index on Censorship

As the G20 nations prepare to meet in St Petersburg, Russia in early September 2013, Index on Censorship is exploring the nations’ records on free expression. Their article about Russia, headlined ‘Russia: Rolling back free expression’ and published on 20 August 2013, contains the following paragraph about the artistic freedom of expression in the country: […]

France: Strict defamation laws limit free expression | Index on Censorship

As the G20 nations prepare to meet in St Petersburg, Russia in early September 2013, Index on Censorship is exploring the nations’ records on free expression. Their article about France, headlined ‘France: Strict defamation and privacy laws limit free expression’ and published on 19 August 2013, contains the following paragraph about the artistic freedom of […]

Myanmar/Burma: Freedom of expression in transition | Index on Censorship

The third section of Index on Censorship’s report, ‘Freedom of expression in transition’, is about artistic freedom of expression and censorship within literature, comedy, visual art, performance art, music, and film in Burma. The report is written by Mike Harris, head of advocacy at Index on Censorship, and was published in July 2013. » Shortcut […]

Index on Censorship: Self-censorship stifling UK artistic expression

Widespread self-censorship and fear of causing offence is suppressing creativity and ideas in the United Kingdom, according to a conference report published by Index on Censorship, ‘Taking the Offensive’. There are multiple pressures on artistic freedom of expression and censorship has become a major issue for the arts sector in this country, the report reveals. […]

Myanmar/Burma: Corporate censorship is gaining control

Thangyat is a traditional form of entertainment performed for the New Year Thingyan Water Festival in Burma / Myanmar which takes place this week. Thangyat was banned by the military government after the uprising in 1988 but was kept alive in exile before being allowed back last year. But corporate censorship is now comfortably stepping […]

Australia: Call for writing ‘freedom of expression’ into arts legislation

The right to freedom of artistic expression is currently not protected in Australia law, and censorship of artists happens all too often, according to 12 senior arts figures and the National Association for the Visual Arts. The Australia Council, the Australian Government’s principal arts funding agency, has existed in 40 years and is up for […]

India: Filmmakers harassed, writers speak out

Though there have been several documentaries on Kashmir, including Jashn-e-Azadi by Sanjay Kak, filmmakers aren’t allowed to work there freely. They have to shoot with low profile and hide the cameras in robes or luggage. Otherwise, they may have their footage deleted and the work halted by the civil and military authorities, reported Kashmir Media […]

In-depth article collection: ‘All that is banned is desired’

A series of commissioned in-depth articles produced for artsfreedom.org to provide an overview of violations of artistic freedom of expression in certain countries, and to feature stories as well as interviews with artists, who have been persecuted or experienced that their art works were censored or attacked. All nine articles are gathered in one PDF […]

China: Differences between censorship of film, tv and literature

In China, a film could be banned for 20 years, while the novel on which the film is based, sells briskly throughout that same period without any interference from the state censors. How come? Why is the Cultural Revolution and other sensitive topics regularly discussed in print but remain off-limits on film? Yu Hua, the […]

Israel: “Censorship minister” wants filmmakers to exercise self-censorship

On 26 February 2013, the Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat called on Israeli filmmakers to exercise “self-censorship” and refrain from producing movies that cast aspersions on Israel and “libel it throughout the world.” In response, this brought out an editorial in Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, which labeled Limor Livnat as “The censorship […]

Pakistan: The undeclared ban on playing music lingers on

During the last decade, Pashto music has lost artists and singers of high repute. Some have preferred to seek political asylum in the foreign countries. Many are living a miserable life. Receiving threats from militants has become a routine matter. But have things improved lately? Sher Alam Shinwari set out to investigate what the situation […]

India: Panel debate about the writer’s place in a totalitarian state

In India, the most scintillating, thought provoking and interesting session of the Jaipur Literature Festival’s second day, according to The Hindu’s Vaiju Naravane, was a session entitled ‘The Writer and the State’ which featured a panel of writers, who discussed the writer’s place in a totalitarian state. The writers in the panel were: Ariel Dorfman […]

Violations of artistic freedom of expression in 2012

Violations of artistic freedom of expression was monitored and documented by Freemuse on this website as part of the world conference ‘All that is Banned is Desired’. The documentation found the basis for a statistical compilation presenting a glimpse of the situation for artists worldwide in 2012 and includes cases in more than 50 countries […]

International artists support imprisoned Iranian singer

In a letter to the Iranian authorities, world renowned artists join Freemuse in a protest against the imprisonment of their Iranian colleague Arya Aramnejad. The artists’ appeal letter [PDF] Singer Lapiro de Mbanga, who successfully ran a case against Cameroon in The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention because of his wrongful imprisonment, is […]

Kidjo: Fight against censorship by supporting artists who are silenced

Under the headline ‘Songs of Freedom’, singer Angelique Kidjo writes about music censorship and the power of music in The International Herald Tribune’s special theme issue, ‘Global Agenda: Turning Points’ “The mix of melodies and words carries a message much more powerful than spoken ideas. Why? Maybe because when someone sings, truth speak directly to […]

Guide for how to deal with cases of incitement to hatred

“A clearer approach is needed for states on how to address incitement to hatred in domestic laws, and how to practically assess individual cases,” writes ARTICLE 19 as the organisation published a 52-pages policy guidelines to do just that: to set out a clear path forward on the issues of when to prohibit freedom of […]

China: Banned songs by detained Tibetan singers translated to English

Information about the current situation for persecuted artists in Tibet is scarce, and in particular on the English-speaking part of the Internet where it is almost non-existing. An exiled Tibetan runs a website which aims to change that. “After the conference in Oslo I felt inspired to translate more music videos from Tibet into English, […]

Lebanon: Censored film director initiates legal case against the state

All three of Lebanese director Danielle Arbid’s films have been banned in her native Lebanon. She has initiated a legal case against censorship and the Lebanese state – the first trial of its kind. “This is in motion. If we win, this will help other directors and artists to be more conscious of their rights. […]

Silencing Music in Turkey – a briefing on the past 12 months

Silencing Music in Turkey 2012: 18-pages PDF document This leaflet with updates on violations of musical expression in Turkey in the past 12 months was published in October 2012 by the Initiative for Freedom of Expression in Istanbul, Turkey, and distributed at the first World Conference on Artistic Freedom of Expression, ‘All That is Banned […]

‘Innocence of Muslims’: A new argument for censorship?

The distribution of an older American video newly dubbed into Arabic, ‘Innocence of Muslims’, has put discussions over freedom of speech and censorship high on the agenda in societies around the world. The film sparked violent protests in mid-September 2012, with a wave of retaliatory attacks on US and other Western embassies around the world. […]

Index on Censorship: Understanding the methods of repression

Mike Harris, Head of Advocacy at Index on Censorship, explains how modern authoritarian regimes censor their citizens “By understanding the methods of repression, democracies can act to prevent complicity,” writes Mike Harris and lists three main methods which authoritarian states use to curtail free speech: DIRECT INTIMIDATION Threats, imprisonment, torture and even murder are used […]

Comments on Lebanon’s censorship situtation

Tarek Joseph Chemaly, a Lebanese artist and university lecturer, published a personal comment about censorship of the arts in Lebanon. And according to Giedre Steikunaite, a freelance writer currently based in London, wrote an article about censorship in Lebanon for New Internationalist. Creative acts of resistance are springing up in Lebanon in direct response to […]

Exiled Burmese artist: “Self-censorship is second nature”

Interviews with two Burmese artists: Chaw Ei Thein, who now lives in exile in the United States, on the situation in Burma in 2012, and Htein Lin, who describes how he maintained his artistic work while in prison. Chaw Ei Thein was briefly imprisoned after having made ​​a political performance piece in the streets of […]

Report from Bamako: Can musical Mali play on?

Islamism is on the march and threatening to wipe out the country’s cultural heritage, wrote freelance journalist Rose Skelton in the British newspaper The Independent on 18 August 2012. Malian artists have exported their music with more success than perhaps any other country in sub-Saharan Africa. And Malian music has not only been exported across […]

After Pussy Riot, artists must stand for each other, everywhere

It’s impossible to know yet whether the wave of international support received by the Russian punk collective Pussy Riot during their just completed trial impacted the verdict in any way. But it’s clear that the plight of the three young women who now face two years’ imprisonment has ignited the passion of American and European […]

India: Fear of offending religious sentiments lead to cancellation of opera

“Religious censorship crushes creativity. So is it ever right to ban art?,” asked author Jeet Thayil in a commentary in The Guardian newspaper on 10 August 2012 where he descibed why a six-city Indian tour for the opera ‘Babur in London’ was cancelled. The piece combines the contemporary poetry of Jeet Thayil with original music […]

Iraq: Black Metal’s anti-religious message meets Islam

In July 2012 Kim Kelly from the Atlantic finally got in touch with somebody he had tried to reach for over a year: 28-year-old Anahita who is the voice behind the black metal solo project Janaza as well as its sister project Seeds of Iblis. Anahita is probably Iraq’s first female black metal singer – […]

Belarus: Blacklisted rock musician speaks about censorship

Freemuse interview with musician Lavon Volski, a guitarist and vocalist of the group Krambambula The Belarusian singer and musician Lavon Volski gave an exclusive interview to Freemuse about the current repressions of the Belarusian regime against the independent music scene in the country which since 1994 has been governed by president Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Volski, born […]

Exhibition of contemporary art dedicated to human rights

‘Newtopia: The State of Human Rights’ is an international visual arts exhibition dedicated to human rights. It contains works by over 70 artists, and opens in Mechelen in Belgium on 31 August 2012, where it runs til 10 December 2012. The exhibition, curated by Katerina Gregos, builds on the long relationship between art and human […]

Poll: Six out of ten Arab citizens support government censorship of the arts

An opinion poll conducted by the Doha Debates television programme reveals that six out of ten Arab citizens support government censorship of the arts, especially when it comes to nudity or profane language. According to the poll, conducted between 30 May and 3 June 2012, most said that the existence of regulatory bodies and institutions […]

Iran: Travel ban on film director

In the past two years, the Iranian government has moved from merely banning films – most of which were allowed to be released internationally – to arresting actors and filmmakers, reported PressPlay. Jafar Panahi is the highest-profile director to suffer such treatment. A harsh legislative decision banned the Iranian director from filmmaking and travelling for […]

USA: Exhibition about repression and censorship in Russia

The parallels between Soviet-era repression and Mr. Putin’s authoritarian rule are at the heart of ‘Lest We Forget: Masters of Soviet Dissent’ a new exhibition of paintings and drawings by Mr. Lapin and the late Mr. Zhdanov at Charles Krause/Reporting Fine Art gallery in Washington, USA. In May 2012, the Washington Times published an article […]

Awarded Iranian film director speaks about censorship and restriction

In a video interview with Euronews in Cannes, film director Asghar Farhadi talks about the current restraints on Iranian film-makers. In February 2012, Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi’s film ‘Separation’ won two Oscar nominations and took the award for Best Foreign Language film, the first Iranian movie to win the honour. And in Cannes in […]

Q&A on censorship

Alasdair Foster, a consultant and founder of Cultural Development Consulting (CDC), asked 14 artists and colleagues – such as a curator, a festival director, a museum manager, a producer, photographers and writers – around the world three questions about censorship: • Have you ever been censored? • Can you give an example of justified censorship? […]

Belarus Free Theatre: Strong criticism of repression in Belarus

“Everything has changed for the worse,” said Natalia Kaliada, exiled co-founder of the Belarus Free Theatre, in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian about the escalating brutality in her homeland. “New arrests are taking place. New people are going to jail for long-term sentences. Even rock concerts are banned in Belarus. Nothing has […]

Filmmakers in prison

FILMMAKERS IN PRISON is an initiative of the German Film Academy, which is committed to politically persecuted filmmakers. Below is a link to a mini movie which contains excerpts from the following movies: • ‘The Baader Meinhof Complex’ by Uli Edel • ‘The Experiment’ by Oliver Hirschbiegel • ‘Picco’ by Philip Koch • ‘Salvador – […]

26-minute video film about exiled Algerian author Bouzeboudja

This documentary tells the story of progressive writer and activist Noufel Bouzeboudja, who fled Algeria because of severe persecution, and came to Denmark to stay in the ‘Refuge City’ of Fanoe for two years. Alongside Noufel Bouzeboudja’s personal story, the film explores the concept of the international network of Refuge Cities, ICORN, and the challenges […]

 

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