Ramy Essam at Beit El Rasef on Music Freedom Day 2014
» See the photos on Facebook
The first half hour of Spillerom was dedicated to Music Freedom Day
Music Freedom Day 2014 in Islamabad:
Music Freedom Day 2014 in Peshawar:
» Music Freedom Day where musicians are persecuted persistently
Organized by Pakhtunkhwa Cultural Foundation (PCF)
» Photos uploaded on Facebook
“Today, numerous countries around the world are creating awareness about freedom of expression for musicians during Music Freedom Day – and Sweden is one of them. Mukryam Molod from Iraq studies at the Kungliga music adults school in Stockholm and came to Sweden for the right to express himself with his cello.”
Book Café in Harare celebrated Music Freedom Day:
IFEX were inspired by the actions to put together a story on the day, quoting Freemuse’s statistics and IFEX member reports.
In: Posts from organisers · Tagged with: 2014, Egypt
Music Freedom Day
March 3rd 2014
“The Right to Freedom of Artistic and Creative Expression”
Organized by: Pakhtunkhwa Cultural Foundation (PCF), Peshawar, Pakistan
Venue: Achieves and Library Hall, Peshawar
Report by: Muhammad Rome, ED, PCF, Peshawar
PCF observed Music Freedom Day in one of the most volatile region of the world in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, where the artists, instrumental players, performers and musicians are persecuted persistently. The prevailing circumstances, spreading over decades, have endangered the very art of music.
The seminar of the event affectively voiced the persecution of the artists and the threat posed to the music industry.
Opening the seminar session Amjad Shahzad, a singer and poet, highlighted the challenges face today by music. “Not only the artists are in danger but the very art itself is in threat of extinction. Sarenda, once a popular musical instrument has only one player left. With his death the art will die with him”, he lamented. “Today most of the songs recordings are limited to one electronic key board only that has caused great loss to Pashto music,” said Amjad Shahzad.
Nazir Gul, a famous musician elaborated the rug tag life of the artists and musicians. “Due to the prevailing circumstances new artists are not coming to the industry. Concerts and music in weddings have drastically reduced and the artists are struggling with their survival”. In a far cry he appealed to the government officials to create conducive environment for music or else the industry will die.
In her comments, Wagma, a popular folk singer, said “Our only source of earning livelihood is our art but it is on the track of fast decline. Sensing our miserable live youngsters are shying away from coming into music industry.”
Akber Hussain with his melodious voice revoked the old good days. The audience was full of applause for him.
Gulab Khan, a well-known rabab player, in his comments lamented that we cannot survive by the art we perform. However he was optimistic that many newcomers are joining to learn rabab and will hopefully the art of playing rabab will make progress.
Dr Khadim Hussain, Managing Director of Bacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation, analyzed the factors behind the targeting of culture. The onslaught on Pakhtun Culture spread over many decades. Culture and music are the essence and soul of a nation. If you want to enslave them destroy and capture their culture. When the soul is captured the body is enslaved. “That is why all public gathering places are targeted and a social and cultural disconnect has been created. Music being the powerful and effective tool to connect the people is purposefully targeted in spreading cultural chaos,” he said. However he was optimistic that holding such events is a sign and a ray of hope. He stressed on developing strategy, networking and fund raising mechanism to carry on with the good work. Failing so will result in stoppage of such useful activities.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain, ex Information and Culture Provincial Minister and cultural activist right from his student life, elaborated his ministry initiatives for culture and music. He lamented that the sitting government has abandoned all those programmes and whatever environment was made for the revival of music and culture has once again pushed the society back into suffocation. “They [the current government] have not even specified funds in the budget for culture and music, leave apart the promotional initiative,” Mr Hussain stated.
- Developing strategy, networking and fund raising mechanism
- Need to organize artists, performers, instrumental players and musicians
- Establishing art academies
- Introducing music in schools and Fine Arts departments
It was agreed to call upon a meeting soon to work out on the recommendations. At the end of the seminar session a documentary of 14 minutes about Pashto music was aired. After a break, live music concert was conducted. Seven singers performed with two songs each. The event was called off with thanks and a commitment to work in their own capacity to protect and promote music and the people associated to it.
» The 14-minute documentary film ‘Music cannot be silenced’ on facebook.com
Senior musicians and singers attended the occasion. Concerned government officials were invited to the occasion but they did not turn up.
Earlier the event was proposed to be held in Peshawar Press Club but due conceived threats and in emergency the event was shifted to Archives Hall, Peshawar.
Due to the shifting of venue and the prevailing uncertain circumstances the audience did not turn up in throngs.
Lots of encouragement was received by PCF on holding the event.
|Introduction and welcome speech||Muhammad Rome||ED PCF||17:00||17:05|
|Pashto Music today||Amjad Shahzad||Art Director PCF||17:06||17:20|
|Stage Conductor||Amjad Shahzad||Singer and Anchor||Continued|
|Artists Today||Nazir Gul||Musician||17:21||17:30|
|Voice Melody Performance||Akber Hussain||Senior singer||17:36||17:41|
|Comments||Gulab||Famous Rubab Player|
|Extremism and Culture||Dr.Khadim Hussain||MD BKTEF||17:43||18:00|
|Speech||Mian Iftikhar Hussain||Ex Information and Culture Minister||18:01||18:16|
|Documentary Playing||PCF Team||Technical Staff||18:17||18:31|
|Recommendations||From the Gathering||Invitees||18:32||18:40|
|Music Concert||Seven Singers||Singers||19:10||20:30|
|Farewell and End||Muhammad Rome||ED PCF||
» This report is also available as an A4-size PDF document - for print or download
The Pashto music backdrop
The following is a description of the backdrop to the annual Music Freedom Day celebration in Peshawar. It provides an insight into the role which such an event plays to musicians and artists in Peshawar and the Pakhtun society where shrinking spaces not only endanger the artists, but threaten the survival of century-old local music traditions on both sides of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
By Muhammad Rome
The music of a nation is a living image of their social life, attitudes, culture and way of life. Folk music is the soul of music. It is usually simple and in easy notes, equally appreciated and enjoyed by all members of a society. If a degree of classical music is added to the folk music it becomes more fascinating.
Music is so embedded in the cultural set up of Pakhtun society that at least a Tapa – a popular Pashto folk poetry meant to be sung – is remembered by each individual of the society. The social strength has kept Pashto music alive and made progress with the passage of time.
In 1893 when the Durand Line was drawn between Afghanistan and India, present day Pakistan, a challenge of social and cultural survival was faced by Pakhtuns of this side of the Durand Line. The annexed territory was used as a buffer zone by the British. Proxy wars were fought on both sides of the Line. The region has witnessed many upheavals in the past century. Today the region is one of the most dangerous zones of the world. In these harsh circumstances Pashto music was able to carry on its journey.
Pashto with Western beats
In the third quarter of last century Western music permeated into Indian music. But they have adopted it and made some very standard compositions. However, this influence is limited to theatre and film music of Bollywood. Through the film music of India, Western music gradually entered into neighboring countries. Thus Pashto music has also been affected.
Due to turbulence in Afghanistan artists and musicians sought refuge in Western countries. The assimilation has resulted in composition of high standard music in Pashto with Western and European beats and musical instruments. This experiment was successful in the context of Afghanistan because the artists and musicians there have good understanding of classical music. On the other side of Durand Line, the north west of Pakistan the Western influence has bad effects on Pashto music due to its peculiar circumstances.
The famous Ghazi Amanullah Khan gave patronage to music. He sent musicians to India for learning classical music and thus introducing classical music in Afghanistan. He himself was a good player of piano and harmonium. Academies were opened to educate youngsters in music. This official patronage started long before him and survived after him.
To the Pakistani side of Durand line there has never been state patronage. Therefore the Western music was not assimilated in the way Afghani artists have done. Sardar Ali Takkar was the first to experiment with Western and classical music. Takkar, a great artist, was successful in this experiment. After him, with exception of a few, the trend has never been successful.
Onslaught against culture
The so-called media revolution in Pakistan poses new threat to Pashto music. AVT Khyber TV, the only Pashto tv-channel in Pakistan, did more damage than service to Pashto music. Without proper compositions, new songs with Western beats were started being aired. Those who could afford recordings became singers overnight.
The current onslaught against culture and Pashto music is traced back to the then Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan. Radical Islam was introduced in both sides of Durand Line, region inhabited by Pakhtuns, to effectively restrain and defeat Soviet troops. During the period cinema halls were frequently targeted, once the most powerful artistic expression of the society has been gradually made worthless. In the process Pashto music has made great loss. As the intolerance and extremism grew spaces for cultural expression shrank.
The appearance of Taliban in 1990s, the offshoot of Mujahideen, was the beginning of dark period for Pashto music. After 9/11 when Taliban sought refuge in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa all means were deployed to discourage cultural gatherings and expressions.
The extremists capitalized upon the public understanding of music as something against the religion. This view has been propagated since 1980s through various mediums. And thus there was little resistance on the onslaught of singers, performers, artists and musicians.
Dead or exiled
On the other side of Durrand line, in Afghanistan, the decades-long and unending civil war, anarchy and turbulence has caused the decline of all fine arts. The reigns of Jihadi war-lords and Taliban were particularly suppressive and destructive for all arts and artists in Afghanistan. In past, Kabul and Kandahar were big centres of music. Singers and musicians in these cities were either murdered or forced to quit music under threats of death. Many were forced to leave their country. The consequences of all this for music were, to say the least, destructive.
A great teacher of classical music from Kandahar, Rahmani Sahib, is teaching music at a university in Denmark. Nashanas Ustaz lives in London. Other Afghan singers and musicians are scattered in the United States, Germany, India and other countries.
Insecurity and fear
The circumstances under which Pukhto music is surviving since last few years have inflicted a great damage to Pukhto music. In these years, many a singers and artists were murdered. Shabana and Ghazala Javeed of Swat and Anwar Gul of Peshawar are recent instances of killed artists.
A number of leading Pukhto singers and musicians – like Sardar Ali Takkar, Haroon Bacha and Sahib Gul Ustaz – were forced to leave the country and leave in exile. Those who couldn’t make it to free lands had no option but to quit music altogether and are now leading miserable lives. And those remaining Pukhto singers and musicians who refused to end their attachment to music are living under a continuous sense of insecurity and fear.
Need of the day: advocacy
In this backdrop there is a need of civil society to stand with art and its industry. Advocacy at all levels is the need of the day. The shrinking spaces not only endanger the artists but there is a threat to the art itself. There is now one master of sarenda, a traditional musical instrument, player left. With him the art will die.
Music Freedom Day provides a tremendous opportunity in bringing to light the importance of music within a society and discussing and sharing ideas locally and at world stage.
Creative and free expression is a key to progress. Long lasting peace can only be achieved if pluralism is duly respected and valued.
“Protect my white pigeon from the gun fire
the music of Rabaab will bring back peace.”
Poetry by Amjad Shahzad
» Pakhtunkhwa Cultural Foundation on Twitter: @pcfpehawar
» Pakhtunkhwa Cultural Foundation on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PCFPeshawar
In: Posts from organisers · Tagged with: 2014, Pakistan
During 2013, the human rights organisation Freemuse registered 19 musicians killed, 7 abducted, and 18 music creators imprisoned. There are many reasons for organising the annual ‘Music Freedom Day’ 3rd of March, which puts focus on musicians’ rights to freedom of expression.
“These are some of the statistics for 2013, which Freemuse publishes today, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of cases of persecutions and attacks, not to mention thousands of censorship cases, are never reported,” says Freemuse Director Ole Reitov.
» Read more: Freemuse Annual Statistics
The Music Freedom Day events around the world are self-organised by artists, cultural operators and media operators – from Australia via Pakistan over Africa and Europe to USA. The programme is expanding from day to day, and an overview continuously updated at www.musicfreedomday.org.
This year activities include Dina El Wedidi, one of Egypt’s leading new artists performing in Oslo, Norway; Moroccan fusion rocker Réda Zine leading his band Voodoo Sound Club in a concert in Bologna, Italy; while some of Zimbabwe’s most outspoken artists enter the stage in Harare and exiled musicians from Sudan perform in Cairo.
In Pakistan, a conference and performances will take place in Islamabad and Peshawar – cities which have experienced numerous attacks on musicians and music activities.
The Bahraini composer Ahmed Ali Al Ghanem has dedicated a piece to the day and made it available for musicians at noteflight.com
In some countries the music events will start already on 1st of March. Broadcasters in many countries join the event. The Catalan radio programme ‘Les Rutes del So’ will already tonight play music of banned artists, the legendary Serbian resistance broadcaster Radio B92 will focus on the situation for musicians in Sudan, NRK Norway will focus on Tibet and Roma musicians, while byte.fm in Germany is finishing off Music Freedom Day radio activities with a programme on 9th of March.
“It is important to focus on the situation for musicians in Tibet and Sudan, but the situation in Mali also continues to affect music life in serious ways. Threats and attacks on musicians are once again increasing in Pakistan, and women are still banned from performing in public in Iran and Saudi Arabia,” says Ole Reitov.
Music Freedom Day provides a platform for artists, broadcasters and cultural organisations to discuss mechanisms of censorship. At freemuse.org numerous artists are interviewed about censorship and self-censorship.
Religious topics and issues of homosexuality are still very controversial to address in many countries. In a Freemuse video interview, one of Africa’s legendary rappers, Didier Awadi from Senegal, speaks openly about how he refrains from addressing religious issues, while exiled Palestinian rapper Khaled Harara talks about the political abuse of religion as a power tool: freemuse.org
email@example.com – Tel: +45 2323 2765
» PDF: press-release_MFD2014
» Microsoft Word-document: press-release_MFD2014
Joining Music Freedom Day 2014:
ALICE SPRINGS – AMMAN – BAHRAIN – BARCELONA – BOLOGNA – BUDAPEST – CAIRO – HARARE – ISLAMBAD – JALALABAD – LJUBLJANA – NEW YORK – OSLO – PESHAWAR – STOCKHOLM – WOODBRIDGE – YAOUNDE
– www.byte.fm – www.hibridoradio.com – radio.nrk.no/serie/jungeltelegrafen – www.onadesants.cat – 8ccc.com.au/v-for-world – www.947thepulse.com
In: Posts from Freemuse · Tagged with: 2014
Activities are being planned in Jalalabad.
On Monday 3 March 2014 an event will be organised at the Bamenda French Alliance Center in Yaounde.
1) Cherine Amr joins Freemuse Award winner Ramy Essam at Beit El Raseef at a concert cum public conference celebrating the Music Freedom Day and discussing freedom of expression rights in Cairo on the 3rd of March.
» Facebook event-page: www.facebook.com
2) Sudanese exiled musicians have organised a Music Freedom Day concert in central Cairo.
Abazar Hamid from Sudan and Uprising Group from South are gathering in their exile in Cairo to perform at The Town House and play a tone for peace and hope, highlighting the right to freedom of expression by featuring works by the murdered Syrian artist Ibrahim Algashosh.
Place: Town House, Rwabit Theatre – 8 Hussain Almemar St, off Shamiplion St, Cairo
» Facebook event-page: www.facebook.com
Bakelit Multi Art Center in Budapest plans to organise their fourth Music Freedom Day this year.
In Italy, Music Freedom Day will be marked in Bologna,for several days. Organised by Hibrido Radio Il Mostro, Bo Ground and Réda Zine in front the event starts already on Friday 28 February with a workshop “diritti civile dell’artista” = “Artist Civil Rights Chart” followed up by presentation ofvarious artistic productions on Saturday 1 March at 3:30pm at Centro Katia Bertasi in Bologna.
In the evening, starting from 9:30pm, the programme features poetry reading and music concerts with a number of artists, among them Moroccan fusion rocker Réda Zine who leads his band Voodoo Sound Club.
» Event-page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/705840982780691
» Poster on Facebook: www.facebook.com
Music Freedom Day Concert in Oslo featuring Dina El Wedidi & Mazaher
A unique encounter between youth and traditional in Egyptian woman singing at a time when conservative forces put women’s performing arts under pressure.
The concert is organised by Kulturkirken Jakob in cooperation with Oslo World Music Festival.
» Tickets: www.billettservice.no and at the door.
Nkr 150.00 plus fee.
The concert is scheduled to begin at 8pm in Kulturkirken Jakob, Oslo.
1) Institute for Preservation of Arts and Culture in Islamabad is organising its second Music Freedom Day concert on 3 March 2014 at 4.30 pm, Lok Virsa, Islamabad. They are inviting folk and classical artist from different part of the country, a majority of whom were being attacked and harassed. The impressive line-up of artists includes: Akbar Ali,Akber Khamiso, Sachu Khan, Taimur Khan, Alan Faqir (Jr), Zain Ullah, Maqsood Ali, Ustad Ahmed Gul and Khumariyaan,
The organisers write:
“Unfortunately today in Pakistan music is being silenced. Our musicians are being persecuted by tyrants who do not subscribe to musicians’ right to freedom of musical expression. We are celebrating this day. On this event we will join hands with musicians and music lovers around the globe to celebrate the world Music Freedom Day and to advocate for the human rights of musicians.
This concert will be a rare treat for music enthusiasts as it will take them on a musical journey that will included folk tunes from Baluchistan, the northwestern frontiers of Pakistan and classical tunes from Punjab; the melodic brilliance of the Indian Subcontinent.”
Monday 3 March 2014
Gates open: 4:30 pm
Show starts: 5:00 pm sharp
Venue: Media Center Audotorium, Lok Virsa, Garden Avenue, Shakarparien, Islamabad, Pakistan
Setting: Indoor, Casual, floor seating. Reserved seats for senior citizens will be on first come basis.
2) Pakhtunkhwa Cultural Foundation and Cultural Journalists Forum Peshawar plans to celebrate Music Freedom Day 2014 in Peshawar.
Klub Gromka, AKC Metelkova, Ljubljana
Discussion: “Music between Freedom and Censorship”
Miha Zadnikar, Ičo Vidmar, Xenia Jus … moderator: BIGor
Nova Muska podcast + Active of Listeners
Spinning the musics labelled as “R” [=revolutionary] from the Radio Študent Library
Radio Študent will have the “R” on their playlist all day long!
Organized by Nova Muska, klub Gromka, Radio Študent
Music Freedom Day Concert and discussion in Stockholm, organised by folk musicians against rascism at Stallet on 3 March at 7pm.
» Flyer (PDF)
Pamberi Trust/Magamba and Shoko Festival join forces with Transit Crew, Selmor Mtukudzi, Jam Signal and Livesoul featuring Kevin Muntsi in a grand Music Freedom Day celebration at Book Café in Harare.
Starting at 2pm on 1st of March with House of Poetry Slam, followed by free film screening of ‘Let Freedom Sing’ at 6pm, the shout-out for music freedom concert starts at 8pm.
» For print: Poster in high resolution
In New York, an ‘Impossible Music Session’ is being planned in Brooklyn. The Impossible Music Sessions were launched on Music Freedom Day in 2010 and feature the music of an artist who cannot be there.
» Home page: www.impossiblemusic.org
Radio and newspapers
On the occasion of Music Freedom Day, Jorge Laraia will make a special programme in the series ‘Planeta Musical Sur’ on Radio Universidad Calf FM 103.7. The radio station is located in the city of Neuquén, Patagonia. It can be listened to via the Internet by the following link: radiouncocalf.com.ar
1) On 8ccc Community Radio in Alice Springs, Veronika Eclipse’s weekly radio show ‘V for World’ is dedicated to Music Freedom Day on Monday 3 March at 7-9pm local time.
The show covers music from around the world, and on this occasion Veronika will be playing songs from countries which are most affected by attacks, control, hate, discrimination and censorship.
“Music won’t be silenced!” writes Veronika who would like to get more people involved and hopes to create a discussion.
2) On 94.7 The Pulse in Geelong, Patrick Chiller and Mik Aidt will be marking Music Freedom Day on Monday 3 March with an hour of music by and interviews with persecuted musicians from countries such as Tibet, Egypt, Cameroon, Pakistan, USA and Australia. The show is broadcasted live at 11-12am local time.
» Home page: www.947thepulse.com
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will also be participating. They will have a feature article on cbcmusic.ca as well as Radio 2 national programmes pointing to the day and the Freemuse site.
A part of ‘This Land – Your Land? Songs for political action’ on 9 March 2014 on the Internet radio www.byte.fm will be dedicated to Music Freedom Day 2014.
Jungeltelegrafen on NRK will produce a special theme edition of the radio show, which runs both Saturday 1 March and Monday 3 March. Among other content it will include a session and an interview with Loten Namling from Tibet. In addition, the reports into these matters will be offered to NRK’s new daily music show ‘Spillerom’, which is the ‘flagship’ of the music department at NRK P2. Journalist Arne Berg will also be delivering reports to the new Norwegian channel P13.
» Jungeltelegrafen: radio.nrk.no
» Facebook-page: www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jungeltelegrafen/172692579351
Voice of America Deeva Radio Service will present a One Hour Live Showon Music Freedom Day with Behroz Khan (host) and Amjad Shehzad.
Journalist Sher Alam Shinwari will contribute with an article on the plight of singers and artists in KP and FATA regions – the stronghold of militant groups. He will talk to singers and artists, and will also be asking the provincial culture department on their take on the issue after a hand-grenade attack in a cinema on 2 Febraury 2014 killed six and injured 40 persons.
Disco 3000 will join on Radio B92 on 2 March from 23.00 to 24.00. The main topic of the hour will be the crisis and the music in Sudan. Host: Bojan Đorđević.
For seven consecutive years, the Catalan radio journalist Albert Reguant has collaborated in the Music Freedom Day campaign. This year he will do it in a new radio programme, ‘Les Rutes Del So’ (‘The Routes of the Sound’), which is broadcasted both on radio FM and on the Internet.
“I hope that this day has a large global impact, and that musicians can feel more protected,” Albert Reguant said.
“For this special program we have a selection of musical artists who have been censored or have their works, who have been exiled, or who are, or have been, victims of the silence of the media in their respective countries.”
Among these artists possible to emphasize the Ukrainian singer ROSAWA, Palestinian singer AMAL MURKUS, singer of Xinjiang/China MAMER, Syrian singer GHARIB, Mali tuareg group TAMIKREST, Tibetan singer SONAME, Catalan-Valencian songwriter RAIMON or the American folk singer PETE SEEGER. These last, died in the last January.
Albert Reguant is an internationally recognised music journalist, member of the World Music Charts Europe and other international organisations.
In Utah, Ethnosphere Radio, which is broadcasted every Sunday evening from 7:00-10:00 pm and has been running in 22 years, is promoting Music Freedom Day on Facebook with this banner.
IFEX are planning to feature a story on Music Freedom Day 3 March 2014 looking back at the some of the musicians who have covered in IFEX over the year in tribute to the day.
The IDAHO Committee will be marking the Music Freedom Day by outlining the connections between LGBT rights and freedom of expression through music, and will be underscoring the importance of these issues by launching a call for choirs and communities to join the chorus for Freedom of Expression on by participating in a ‘Global Sing-in’ for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia on 17 May 2014.
» For more info see www.dayagainsthomophobia.org
In: Posts from organisers · Tagged with: 2014
Music Freedom Day on 94.7 The Pulse in Geelong, Australia, on 3 March 2014 from 11am to noon.
“Today, 3rd of March, is Music Freedom Day – a global event which is marked in around 20 countries around the planet, including Australia – where we have dedicated a full hour to the issues of artistic freedom of expression. To freedom of speech for musicians. To human rights for musicians.
Because that’s what Music Freedom Day is all about: to pay tribute to those musicians who have been killed, tortured, abducted, put away to rot in a prison, harassed with death threats, censorship, and so on. The list is long, and there are thousands of musicians around the world who know what we are talking about – because they are going through it RIGHT NOW, as we speak.
So, 94.7 The Pulse has jumped on board the ‘Music Freedom Train’, and later today we will be joined by another community radio, 8ccc, in Alice Springs, where Veronika Eclipse’s weekly radio show ‘V for World’ is dedicated to Music Freedom Day – that will be tonight at 7pm local time, and its streamed on the Internet as well.
As the globe is turning, when it becomes 3 March in Europa as well, there will be radio shows in Italy, Spain, Serbia, Germany, Norway, and Canada, and concerts, and seminars in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan (both in Islamabad and in Peshawar), in Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and in New York in the United States.
Everyone around the planet will be talking about freedom of expression through music, and will be underscoring the importance of these issues.”
01 ► USA: Dixie Chicks: ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’
02 ► UK / USA: David Byrne & Brian Eno: ‘Qu’ran’
03 ► South Africa (STATEMENT): Roger Lucey: ‘Censorship is death’
04 ► USA: Pete Seeger: ‘Turn Turn Turn’ (song from 1962)
05 ► Egypt: Ramy Essam: ‘Irhal’ (‘Leave’) / ‘Bread, Freedom, Social justice’
06 ► Syria: Refugees of Rap: ‘The Age of Silence’
07 ► Tibet: Kalsang Yarphel: ‘Bodpa Tso’
08 ► Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast): Tiken Jah Fakoly: ‘Quitte le Pouvoir’
About the Freemuse Award
Freemuse’s own award to honour musicians
The Freemuse Award is given to an individual or an organisation that “has worked for freedom of musical expression in a remarkable way”.
• Ramy Essam from Egypt received the award in 2011,
• Mahsa Vahdat from Iran and Ferhat Tunç from Turkey shared it in 2010,
• Pete Seeger from the US received it 2009, and
• Tiken Jah Fakoly from Côte d’Ivoire in 2008.
» More on www.freemuse.org
In: Posts from participants · Tagged with: 2014, Australia
Syria: The soundtrack of Syrian resistance
Pakistan: Voiceless singers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cry for security
South Korea: K-pop music booms but censors still loom
Violations of musical freedom of expression in 2013
In: Posts from Freemuse · Tagged with: 2014
This year Music Freedom Day has a special focus on Pakistan, Tibet and Sudan.
The Bahraini composer Ahmed Ali Al Ghanem has dedicated a piece to the day and made it available for musicians at noteflight.com
In this video clip, musician Didier Awadi from Senegal makes a good talk on self-censorship, especially in regards to religion – another important topic in the field of freedom of musical expression: www.freemuse.org/archives/134
» The video clip was published on youtube.com on 12 September 2013.
» The video’s soundtrack extracted as mp3-file for broadcasting. (Right-click and use dropdown-menu to download. On Mac: CTRL-click)
|Music for broadcasters
MFD Signature song no 1
Song against music censorship in Algeria
Recorded for Freemuse and the Music Freedom Day, the rap song ’152 mesures contre la censure’ features 10 rappers who are concerned with censorship issues in Algeria. Read more…
MFD Signature song no 2
Contact Freemuse for access to the following music files:
Iran: Arya Aramnejad – songs:
Egypt: Ramy Essam – songs:
Todd Barrow supported Music Freedom Day in 2012
Singer and composer Todd Barrow wrote from Midlothian in Texas, USA:
“I would like to show my support by sending a song to support the cause. The name of the song is “Higher Ground (miles & miles)”, which speaks about musical expression. I have a desire to support musicians and artists around the world.
Listen to the song
Boy del Mundo raised awareness for Music Freedom Day 2011
Boy del Mundo released a new single, Swiss Electrocution from upcoming album Luma Croma, to support Music Freedom Day 2011. The band wrote on their home page that they are looking for people who’d like to be involved in making the video for this single.
Peer Saer supported Music Freedom Day in 2011
|From: Peer Saer
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2011 8:49 AM
Subject: Peer Saer support for Music Freedom Day
Great initiative: Music Freedom Day!
In support I dedicate an instrumental guitar improvisation: Schemertijd [Dutch title: twilight time]. You may do with this track whatever you want in support of Music Freedom Day.
I also made a link from my webspace to the information about Music Freedom Day, and I put the gif annimation on my front page in support: www.peersaer.webs.com
I am a quite unknown and still ignored musician from the Netherlands, at present mainly focused on radio broadcasts and internet music sharing.
I support the Freedom for travellers, refugees and citizens chained in oppressive systems.
Azerbaijan: Azer Cirttan – interview:
Zimbabwe: Raymond Majongwe – interview:
Zimbabwe: Solomon Chitsungo – interview:
How to download these sound files
Depending on your type of browser and computer, right-clicking on the link will give you a dropdown-menu with the option to choose ‘Save Target As’, ‘Save To Disk’ or ‘Download Linked File’ whereby the download-process will begin. On a Mac computer: instead of right-clicking, hold the CTRL-key while clicking on the link.
In: Music for MFD · Tagged with: 2012, 2014, radio
Dina El Wedidi, one of Egypt’s leading new artists will be performing in Oslo, Norway. Moroccan fusion rocker Réda Zine leads his band Voodoo Sound Club in a concert in Bologna, Italy, while some of Zimbabwe’s most outspoken artists enter the stage in Harare, and exiled musicians from Sudan perform in Cairo – all joining hands to mark the annual Music Freedom Day on 3 March.
Initiated by Freemuse, the World Forum on Music and Censorship, events take place in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America to focus on freedom of expression for musicians and show solidarity with colleagues, who are imprisoned, persecuted or even killed.
All events are locally organised and particular focus in 2014 will be on the situation in Sudan and Tibet. In some countries the event will start already on 1 March.
“Broadcasters in many countries join the event,” said Ole Reitov, director and one of the founders of Freemuse.
As an example, the legendary Serbian resistance broadcaster Radio B92 will put focus on the situation for musicians in Sudan, while Les Rutes del Sol, the Basque radio in Barcelona, Spain, joins the annual event for the seventh time – playing music of banned artists from, among others, Egypt, Palestine and Tibet.
Persecuted and murdered
Music continues to be one of the most censored art forms affecting not only the artists but even citizens all over the world. The 2013 ARTSWATCH report noted that “in too many cases, regulations are implemented without consistency by non-transparent mechanisms with no possibility of appeal. Cinema and music are at particular risk here.”
Globally almost 20 musicians were killed – in countries such as Mexico, North Korea and Greece – in 2013. China keep almost a dozen Tibetan musicians in prison for playing music resisting the Chinese cultural dominance of Tibet.
“The situation in Mali continues to be severe and affects music life in a serious way. Threats and attacks on music are once again increasing in Pakistan, and women are still banned from performing in public in Iran and Saudi Arabia,” said Ole Reitov. He emphasised that it is extremely important that other artists show solidarity – and at the same time continue to perform with their great music.
Music Freedom Day provides artists, broadcasters and cultural organisations a platform to discuss mechanisms of censorship. At www.freemuse.org artists speak about censorship and self censorship.
“Religious topics and issues of homosexuality are still very tricky to address in many countries. In one of our video interviews, one of Africa’s legendary rappers, Didier Awadi from Senegal, speaks openly about how he refrains from addressing religious issues, while exiled Palestinean rapper Khaled Harara talks about the political abuse of religion as a power tool.
In: Posts from Freemuse · Tagged with: 2014, Egypt, Morocco, Zimbabwe
Music Freedom Day on 3 March 2014 provides an opportunity to show solidarity with artists all over the world. It provides an opportunity to focus on artistic freedom and censorship locally and globally.
We hope that you will once again be part of this annual event.
Let us just mention a few examples of why it is important to continue addressing this issue.
In 2013 we reported:
10 musicians executed in North Korea.
1 musician killed in Greece by Neo-Nazis
9 musicians imprisoned in Tibet
2 rappers imprisoned in Tunisia
Thousands of other musicians’ and composers’ rights to freedom of expression continue to be violated worldwide.
Freemuse is currently running a campaign for the release of imprisoned musicians in Tibet and Vietnam, but let us not forget how musicians in Syria and Sudan continue to experience harsh censorship, attacks and persecution.
Let us not forget that many musicians in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mali live in fear of attacks, or how Neo-Nazis in Europe are committing hate crimes.
You can organise a concert or a seminar, produce a radio feature, show a film, write an article or just dedicate a song to Music Freedom Day. It all adds up.
So far we have indications of Music Freedom Day plans from Cairo, Harare, Budapest, New York, Peshawar, and Stockholm.
Are you joining us?
Drop us an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, – to let us know about your plans.
In: Posts from Freemuse · Tagged with: 2014
Get ready for Monday 3 March 2014 — the annual Music Freedom Day where freedom of musical expression is celebrated and discussed in countries all over the world.
Music Freedom Day is a powerful, united manifestation to support persecuted, prosecuted and imprisoned musicians, many of whose only crime has only been that they have spoken up against authorities and insisted on the right to express themselves through their music.
The day will be marked with events, seminars, exhibitions, film shows, radio programmes and newspaper articles on the subject of freedom of expression for musicians.
Fantastic support from musicians and fans world-wide
Musicians and composers rights’ to freedom of expression are violated worldwide, but the strong support for Music Freedom Day every year demonstrates the will to continue the advocacy and defence for the universal rights to compose, perform and take part in musical expressions.
An incredible amount of energy, enthusiasm and creativity is being channelled into this annual celebration of freedom of musical expression.
On 3 March 2013, events took place in 19 different countries. You can read about what happened at Music Freedom Day 2013 below.
INVITATION TO JOIN
Freemuse invites musicians, music promoters as well as musicians’ unions and music journalists to participate in this global advocacy event.
Are you ready to speak up for musician’s human rights and freedom of expression?
Then send an e-mail to Music Freedom Day’s secretariat, (email@example.com) and share with others that you have made up your mind and decided to join this collective advocacy event.
There are many ways in which you can do something on 3 March 2014 in order to mark the day and let persecuted musicians know that they have your support. This page has some tips specifically for individual musicians who have been thinking of joining or supporting the initiative:
Music Freedom Day 2014 calendar event page on Facebook:
ROLE OF FREEMUSE
Music Freedom Day is an advocacy event — not for Freemuse, but for the persecuted musicians. The role of Freemuse is primarily to provide coordination, knowledge and awareness.
This website for Music Freedom Day is provided as a forum for the Music Freedom Day activists and organisers.