MUSIC FREEDOM DAY 3 MARCH 2016

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This year, Music Freedom Day commemorated the victims of the attack at the Bataclan Club in Paris in November 2015. It was a day for everyone fighting for human rights such as the right to perform and listen to music and to do so without any fear.

As an annual, global event, Music Freedom Day is a powerful, united manifestation to support persecuted, prosecuted and imprisoned musicians, many of whose only crime has been that they have spoken up against authorities and insisted on the right to express themselves through their music.

It is a day to highlight the role and impact of music in our societies. Worldwide, musicians’ and composers’ rights to freedom of expression are being violated. Join us on 3 March 2017!

Music is a human right and so is the right to access music events without fear.


Reports from around the world on Music Freedom Day 2016

Global | GermanyHungary | Italy | Netherlands | Norway | Pakistan | Senegal | Spain | Sweden | Turkey | USA |


Global

‘From Zombies to Revolutionaries’

Freemuse presents the music video for a unique track with a group of today’s most powerful Arab and Iranian revolutionary artists joining together to cover Fela Kuti’s most powerful political song, ‘Zombie’.

» More information about this collaboration and of the music video

 

SONGOY BLUES PLAYS FELA KUTI – ‘SHAKARA’ 
Special song recorded exclusively for broadcasters for Music Freedom Day

Background to the recording

A special audio track featuring Mali’s Songhoy Blues with special guests is available to broadcasters worldwide upon request. Recorded by Mark LeVine, the group has made a new version of one of Fela Kuti’s most famous grooves ‘Shakara’, with new lyrics written by the band riffing off the original’s condemnation of the rich Nigerians who showed off their wealth as so many suffered in grinding poverty. Songhoy Blues’ version of ‘Shakara’ takes Fela’s Afrobeat in a new, Malian-driven direction.

Songhoy Blues is also featured in the documentary ‘They Will Have To Kill Us First – Malian Music in Exile’, which was released in the USA as part of Music Freedom Day.

Details about the song:

Name of song: Shakara

Composers: Fela Kuta, Songhoy Blues, Mark LeVine

Lyrics: Fela Kuti, Songhoy Blues

Artists: Songhoy Blues

Production Company – Produced by, Songhoy Blues, Mark LeVine, Manjul, Reda Zine and Anton Pukshansky

Recorded in: Bamako, January 31-February 1, 2016

For any broadcaster interested in airing this song, please contact Freemuse.

 

‘They Will Have To Kill Us First’ – malian music in exile

They Will have To Kill Us First  is a documentary about Malian music in exile, following musicians in Mali in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music. As a part of Music Freedom Day, this film was screened and/or broadcasted in 55 countries around the world.

Press coverage from the launch event in New York:
» Okayafrica:
www.okayafrica.com

» Getty Images – Premiere Photos:
www.gettyimages.dk

» WireIMAGE- Premiere Photos:
www.wireimage.com

 


Germany

Funkhaus Europa

The radio broadcaster Funkhaus Europa did pay special attention to Music Freedom Day during its program throughout the day. Interviews with the pianist from Jarmouk, Aehman Ahmad, and Turkish-Kurdish Singer/Songwriter Ferhat Tunc was at the core of Music Freedom Day in Funkhaus Europa’s show Dschungelfieber. They represent the value and potential of music in hard times. Two of their own kind, dedicated to humanity and culture on an extraordinary level of exposure and braveness.

» More information here: Funkhaus Europa


Jülich – near Cologne

Kultur ohne Grenzen (Culture without Borders) – a German organisation which supports artists in exile did a Music Freedom Day event on 20 March 2016 in Jülich near Cologne.

At the cultural centre Kulturbahnhof the following musicians performed:

In cooperation with Kultur im Bahnhof, Jülich.

» Summary/report in German language: Music Freedom Day – So ein Konzert hat es hier noch nicht gegeben


Hungary

Bakelit Multi Art Center
Budapest

MFD 2016 Budapest

On 3 March 2016, at the Bakelit Multi Art Centre in Budapest, there was an event taking place in support of Music Freedom Day. As a part of the event there were concerts, dance impros and DJ sets taking place. The programme was free, but everyone who wanted to was able to buy supporter’s tickets at the venue.

Participants:

• Nagyvilág! Cru
• Demény Gergely
• Flow In
• Johnny K Palmer
• Song-Óra
• Dure Holiday
• Dj Waxman

More information about the event:
» Bakelit Multi Art Centre official web page
» Official Facebook event



Italy

music freedom day italy

Music Freedom Day Italy
Bologna

On 5 March 2016, a music, poetry and arts festival took place in Bologna. It was organised by Associazione Culturale il Mostro, Associazione Culturale Bo Ground, Hibrido Radio and Laboratorio Sociale Afrobeat.

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» For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/musicfreedomdayitaly and the Facebook-event


Radio Città del Capo

On Radio Città del Capo on 29 February 2016 at 8pm to 9pm CET Mauro Cicchetti of Balangandà radio show interviewed Cinzia Martelli of Hibrido Association, Serenella Gatti Linares of Bo Ground association and Reda Zine of Freemuse about Music Freedom Day and the live performances that was dedicated to Music Freedom Day during Saturday 5 March 2016 in Bologna.

 



Netherlands

Rasa Utrecht, Amsterdam

On Sunday 21 February 2016, the public broadcast television programme VPRO/Vrije Geluiden advocated for Music Freedom Day through a special item on the Ensemble Qasyon, mainly comprised by the two (minor) sisters Jawa & Shaza Manla from Syria playing ud, vox and qanun respectively. All this as a call to attend World Music Forum NL’s monthly World Blend Cafe to be celebrated on 2 March 2016 at Rasa Utrecht and fully dedicated to the Freemuse goals.

The eveningpresented a panel discussion between Mrs Laura Hassler, director of Musicians Without Borders,
Mr Roelof Wittink, director of the Catching Cultures Orchestra and Emiel Barendsen, former director of Tropentheater Amsterdam and president of the Advisory Council World Music Forum.nl.

Publicist and presenter Mr Stan Rijven hosted the event and of course the Syrian sisters Jawa & Shaza Manla accompanied this time by the Ornina Ensemble performed for a live audience.

» More information on www.vpro.nl and www.worldmusicforum.nl

 




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Norway

Harstad

The Harstad Conference on Freedom of Artistic Expression
The Harstad Music Freedom Night
2-3 March 2016

Presented by SafeMUSE – Safe Music Havens Initiative – in close collaboration with the City of Harstad and Culture Troms, Troms County Council.

Partners and funders: Freemuse, Deeyah Khan – Fuuse AS, Harstad Concert Hall, Finnish Musicians Union, HIAP – Nordic Fresh Air Network, Perpetuum Mobile, NOPA – Norwegian Society of Composers and Lyricists, Norwegian Society of Composers, MFO – Norwegian Musicians Union, Samspill International Music Network, Nordic Black Theatre, SKAP – Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, City of Malmö – Culture Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Norway, Nordic Culture Point.

• Annual international gathering and networking event
• Celebrating freedom of artistic expression
• Inspiring safe residencies and placements of persecuted artists and artists at risk
• Showcasing the work of guest artists
• 2016 focusing on art and activism

More information at:
» www.musicfreedomday.no
» www.facebook.com/MusicFreedomDayHarstad2016

Oslo
Music Freedom Day 2016 at Kulturkirken Jakob

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Three young Iranian musicians, invisible in their home country, did perform on 3 March at Kulturkirken Jakob in Oslo with classical Iranian poetry and music. The event was an cooperation between Oslo World Music Festival and Kulturkirken jakob and the three singers performing were:

 


Pakistan

MFD TDF

Cultural Journalist Forum (CJF)
Peshawar

In Pakistan, The Cultural Journalist Forum ( CJF) and Takhleeq Development Foundation (TDF) jointly organised an event in Peshawar, at Spring Village for Music Freedom Day, on 3 March 2016. Music Freedom Day was through this, celebrated in all KP districts as district’s coordinators had been directed to invite local singers and artists to perform.

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» More information about the event here 

 


Senegal

Dakar

Association Africulturban organised an event on 5 March 2016.

MUSIC-FREEDOM-DAY-senegal 2016 (2)

 


Spain

Les Rutes del So
Catalonia

The Catalan radio journalist Albert Reguant (for the ninth year collaborating in Music Freedom Day) within the radio program Les Rutes del So (The Routes of Sound) at the radio station Radio Ona Sants Montjüic focused on Music Freedom Day in his radio program.

“For this special program we have a selection of musical artists who have been censored or have their works censored, who have been exiled, or who are, or have been, victims of the silence of the media in their respective countries.

This year the song ‘Revolution’ stands out, composed by the young singer, actress and Kurdish model HELLY LUV (Helen Abdulla), also promoter of NGOs helping the people of Kurdistan.

Beside her: The Syrian protest singer GHARIB, the Greek singer ALKISTIS PROTOPSALTI, and the icon of the Turkish protest song, SELDA BAGCAN, as a tribute to refugees who have died dramatically in the Aegean Sea.

The music of Iraq, AHMED MUKHTAR. The Israeli musician YAIR DALAL, and RIM BANNA singer Palestine, two artists that are positioned to dialogue, peace and harmony in their respective countries. The French singer FRANCIS LALANNE and songwriter young Tunisian, EMIL MATHOUTHI, as a tribute to the innocent victims of the recent cruel attacks that have occurred in these two countries.

Finally, the popular Catalan singer LLUIS LLACH, one of the many Catalan songwriters marginalized today in various public radio & tv stations in the Spanish state.”

» The program was broadcasted on Tuesday 1 March 2016.

 


Sweden

 

Linnaeus University

Kalmar

Music and Event Management together with Linnaeus Univeristy in Kalmar, was this year a part of Music Freedom Day.

On 16 February 2016, a guest lecture with Ole Reitov from Freemuse was held in Kalmar for the students at the Linnaeus University. The theme for the lecture was what music censorship is, how Freemuse works, about Music Freedom Day and how people within the music business can work with these questions about freedom of expression and music censorship.
Mejeriet MFD

 

Mejeriet
The concert venue and culture house Mejeriet in Lund, Sweden, highlighted Music Freedom Day on social media.

 

 

Picknickfestivalen
Gothenburg

Picknickfestivalen, a festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, focusing on cultural diversity and community, organised a music café on 3 March 2016 to highlight Music Freedom Day and artistic freedom.

Two bands where playing: Skamvrån and Nathan Aeli.

Picknickfestivalen

» More information about this event

 

Radio AF
Lund

Radio AF is one of the biggest student radios in Sweden and on 3 March 2016 they dedicated time to Music Freedom Day on the radio, during a special radio show where censored music and artists was the focus and interviews and discussions about the subject was held.

Radio AF special MFD

» At the radio station’s web page you are able to listen to the podcast and find out more.

 

Re:Orient
Stockholm
Re:Orient has during the years been organising concerts, performances, lectures and seminars with a focus on contemporary issues and the relations between East and West, tradition and modernity. For Music Freedom Day 2016, Re:Orient screened two movies at Klarabiografen in Stockholm on 3 March:

First, the movie ‘Beats of The Antonov” » More information

Then, the movie ‘They Will Have To Kill Us First’ » More information

 

Scandinavian Soul
Stockholm

3 March 2016, Scandinavian Soul is organising Scandinavian Soul Music Awards at Kulturhuset in Stockholm.

During this event they celebrated all the wonderful soul music from Scandinavia and also gave attention to the importance of music and the possibility we have to, through music, reflect the times we live in. Music Freedom Day and what it stands for was highlighten in the opening speach.

 

Sveriges Radio

Sveriges Radio – the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation – and the program P2 Världen, a radio show focusing on music from everywhere around the world, has been a part of Music Freedom Day for many years. They were a part of the day this year as well, highlighting Music Freedom Day on and around 3 March 2016 at the radio show.

 

Tondöv

The Swedish podcast Tondöv was addressing censorship and freedom of expression, sexism and rasism as a part of Music Freedom Day. They also interviewed Emelie Draper at Hårdrock Mot Rasism and Victor Berg from the band New Keepers of the Water Towers about the subject.

Tondöv podcast

You can listen to the podcast here.



Turkey

museum-of-crimes_tr

In Turkey, the Museum of Crimes of Thought – www.museum-tr.net – marked Music Freedom Day:

The surroundings of the (online) museum reflects the actual life in Turkey. On Musical Freedom Day, the museum had a special guest, Troubadourix from the Asterix cartoons, as usual tied tightly, with his mouth strapped, and left under a tree.



USA

KCSC Radio
Chico, California

KCSC  is a Radio Station in association with students at the California State University in Chico. During their radio program Bitter Swedes they were a part of Music Freedom Day 2016.

The show was aired on February 29.

 

Film premiere: They Will Have To Kill Us First – Malian music in exile

As a part of Music Freedom Day, BBC World Wide North America released the documentary on 4 March 2016 at Village East Cinema in New York and on 1 April at Laemmle Monica Film Center in Los Angeles.

They Will Have To Kill Us First NYC

Posted on March 4, 2016 at 10:00 by Freemuse · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Posts from Freemuse · Tagged with: 

Music Freedom Day 2016 coverage

#MusicFreedomDay
Music Freedom Day was held March 3 all over the world.
Here are some highlights.

 

Articles

» Songlines – United Kingdom:
Sharp rise in attacks on musicians worldwide in 2015
www.songlines.co.uk

» Music in Africa Magazine:
New Version Felas Zombie Unites Artists Africa And Middle East
www.musicinafrica.net

» Music in Africa Magazine:
Malian documentary to be screened on Music Freedom Day
www.musicinafrica.net

NRK-districtTroms_scrndmp600

» NRK Troms – The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Norway:
Distriktsprogram Troms · Morgensending Live interview with Freemuse campaign officer Magnus Ag. “Vi skal høre direkte fra forberedelsene til Music Freedom Day i kulturhuset i Harstad…”
www.radio.nrk.no

» NRK Troms – The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Norway:
Aldri før har angrepene på musikere vært større: Musikk er fremtidens våpen
www.nrk.no/troms

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» Harstad Tidende – Norway:
Musikk er fremtidens våpen
www.ht.no

» Harstad Tidende – Norway:
Musikk er et kraftig våpen
www.ht.no

» Diariodeautos.com – Argentina:
3 de Marzo – Día de la Libertad Musical
www.diariodeautos.com.ar

» Notes from the Cuban exile Quarter – Cuba:
Music Freedom Day 2016: Cuban music still censored by regime in 2016
www.cubanexilequarter.blogspot.dk


 

Coverage of Music Freedom Day events

» Freemuse: Music Freedom Day in Pakistan: Call for cultural policy www.freemuse.org


 

Bulletins, pre-promotion and other

» European Parliament News:
Music Freedom Day: music as a human right
www.europarl.europa.eu

» Amnesty International:
Iran: Tortured filmmaker and musicians face imminent arrest amid crackdown on artists
www.amnesty.org

» Entertainment Rocks:
‘They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile’ opens in U.S. just in time for Music Freedom Day 2016
www.entertainmentrocks.com

» VPRO.nl – The Netherlands:
Music Freedom Day: Vier de vrijheid van muziek
www.vpro.nl

» National Coalition Against Censorship – USA:
Music Freedom Day in New York
www.ncac.org

» Musikkultur – Norway:
Helsvart år for kunstneres ytringsfrihet
www.musikkultur.no

» SBO Magazine:
‘They Will Have To Kill Us First’ Opens In North America In Conjunction With Music Freedom Day 2016
www.sbomagazine.com

» Meeting Degli Indipendenti – Italy:
Torna il Music Freedom Day Italy a Bologna
www.meiweb.it

» The Frontier Post – Pakistan:
Music Freedom Day on March 3
www.thefrontierpost.com

» Radio Tribal News Network – Pakistan:
Music freedom day observed in Peshawar
www.radiotnn.com

» Music For Good – USA:
Music Freedom Day Honors Victims of Paris Attacks & Celebrates Freedom of Speech Through Music
www.musicforgood.tv

» News Ghana – Ghana:
AfriDocs Celebrates Music Freedom Day On March
www.newsghana.com.gh

» Notes from the Cuban exile Quarter – Cuba:
Musicians unite in defence of artistic freedom
www.cubanexilequarter.blogspot.dk

» Screen Africa – South Africa:
AfriDocs presents Celebrate Music Freedom Day
www.screenafrica.com

» Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety – Pakistan:
Musicians unite in defence of artistic freedom
www.pakistansafetycoalition.org

» Nordic Black Theatre – Norway:
NBT gratulerer med MUSIC FREEDOM DAY!
www.nordicblacktheatre.no

» Mejeriet – Sweden:
Music Freedom Day – Musik är en mänsklig rättighet
www.kulturmejeriet.se

» Nûdem.dk – Denmark:
Musikere foren jer og forsvar den kunstneriske frihed
www.nudem.dk

» Pakistan Press Foundation – Pakistan:
Musicians unite in defence of artistic freedom
www.pakistanpressfoundation.org

» NRK TV – Norway:
Distriktsnyheter Nordnytt
www.tv.nrk.no/


 

Twitter

 

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Posted on March 4, 2016 at 09:01 by Johanna Anemalm · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Posts from organisers, Posts from participants · Tagged with: 

The Music Freedom Day playlist 2016

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To highlight censored songs and artists throughout history, Music Freedom Day presents a playlist of 60 songs – available on Spotify – that highlights the theme of the event.

This year, Music Freedom Day reaches out to the global digital community through Spotify with a powerful message defending artistic freedom of expression for musicians.

Listen to the playlist and spread the word! It only takes a few clicks to share and become part of Music Freedom Day!

The playlist contains 60 songs from artists around the world who have had their songs censored, or have themselves been banned from practicing their art. To learn more about these artists and their diverse struggles to freely express themselves see the full list of songs below.

Listen to Music Freedom Day 2016!

          1. Alanis Morissette – Ironic 
            After 9/11, a list of 160 “lyrically inappropriate” songs is supposed to have been distributed to 1,200 radio stations in the US. This song is one of them. You can find the list here: Freemuse.org
             
          2. The Kingsmen – Louie Louie
            This song was banned from several radio stations in the US and subjected to a 31-month investigation by the FBI. All because some teens somewhere started a rumor that the words singer Jack Ely was howling were about an explicit sexual encounter.  In 1964, Indiana Governor Matthew Welsh attempted to ban the song for fear of it containing obscene messages, but after review by the FCC, the agency determined that the lyrics are indecipherable. Sources: freemuse.org and ultimateclassicrock.com

             
          3. Didier Awadi – Ma Révolution
            Awadi is one of Africa´s most respected and outspoken artists who criticizes politicians and corruption. But he also talks openly about self-censorship and admits that there is a fine line between what is important and what is unacceptable to talk about – sex and religion. Source: Freemuse.org

             
          4. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
            Radio 1s DJ Mike Read objecting to the songs saucy artwork and lyrics refused to play the track during the chart rundown. The BBC then banned the song from radio and TV. Sources: Theguardian.com and Freemuse.org

             
          5. Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2
            Banned in South Africa when it became a protest song during Apartheid. It was used as a metaphor for the difference in quality of education received by white students and black students. Sources: Musictimes.com and Freemuse.org

             
          6. Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit
            Fearing the reaction of southern music retailers and the affiliates of the Columbia Records/CBS-owned radio stations, Columbia Records refused to allow her to record the song that was originally inspired by a photograph and news story about lynching in the South. After some negotiating, an arrangement was worked out between Columbia Records and the independent label; Commodore Records. The song was also banned from several radio stations in the US. Sources: Billboard.com  and Americanbluesscene.com
             
          7. Deeyah – Pashto Lullaby
            Deeyah stopped her career as a singer having been attacked and received threats on her. Source: Freemuse.org
             
          8. Michael Jackson – They Don’t Care About Us
            Following protests considering the song “anti-semitic,” Jackson changed the lyrics. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          9. Femi Kuti – Beng Beng Beng
            The outspoken and direct lyrics of this song caused turmoil in Femi Kuti’s home country, Nigeria. The government controlled National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, banned the title track from airplay claiming that its lyrics are offensive and capable of corrupting youth innocence. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          10. The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
            Considered “blasphemic” this song from their album, Pet Sounds, was forbidden in some parts of the US. Even without any negative connotation, it was considered unacceptable by many religious groups during the 60’s to use the word “God” in a non religious song. Source: Ncac.org 
             
          11. The Byrds – Eight Miles High
            This song, considered to encourage drug use, was banned from radio play on several radio stations in the US. Source: Popular-musicology-online.com 
             
          12. Pussy Riot – Keep on Rocking In the Free World
            Imprisoned for protesting against Vladimir Putin, Pussy Riot can not perform on regular stages in Russia neither would state controlled media play this sing. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          13. The Who – My Generation
            The BBC banned the song from the airwaves. This might have been due to Roger Daltrey’s stuttering of some lines, but it could also have been because the content of the stuttering “Why don’t you all fff… fade away” and therefore could have referred to another similar f- word. Source: Ultimateclassicrock.com and Express.co.uk 
             
          14. Thomas Mapfumo – Ndanzwa Ngoma Kurira
            Mapfuma went into exile having been harassed and marginalized in Zimbabwe. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          15. Amy Winehouse – Rehab
            Winehouse was banned twice from performing in the US. Source: Billboard.com 
             
          16. The Beatles – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
            Two songs from the 1967 Sgt.Pepper album were banned from BBC airwaves: “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life” as they were thought to encourage drug use. Sources: Billboard.com and Theguardian.com 
             
          17. Mahsa Vahdat & Mighty Sam McClain – Silent song
            Women are not allowed to perform solo in Iran. Mahsa Vahdat has established a career outside Iran, but is never played in Iran. Source: Listentothebanned.com 
             
          18. Marcel Khalife – Oh My Father, I Am Yusif
            Khalife was accused of blasphemy and under heavy attack in Lebanon because the lyrics of this song included a verse from the Qur’an. A court decided later that the use in this particular song could not be considered “blasphemy”. Source: Listentothebanned.com 
             
          19. Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe
            Named as lyrically inappropriate by several radio US stations after 9/11. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          20. Nena – 99 Luftballons
            Named as lyrically inappropriate after 9/11 in the US. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          21. Roger Lucy – Storms and Fires
            Roger Lucy’s music was banned during Apartheid in South Africa and a security police engaged in covert activity to silence him and his music. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          22. Dire Straits – Money For Nothing
            In 2011, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council deemed this song unsuitable for airplay. The reason was frontman Mark Knopfler’s use of a gay slur in the second verse. Sources: Ultimateclassicrock.com and Freemuse.org 
             
          23. Kartellen – Mina Områden
            This Swedish band criticized for glorifying a life of crime and violence has had several concerts in Sweden cancelled. Another song called “Svarta duvor och Vissna liljor” recorded by Kartellen together with Swedish artist Timbuktu may only be played in Public Radio when followed by a comment which put the lyrics into perspective. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          24. Tiken Jah Fakoly – L’Africain
            Fakolys song Quitte Le Pouvoir has become an African anthem against political corruption. In 2003 he was forced into exile in Mali after a song which sampled speeches of a general who took over power. The song reminded people of all promises that were never kept. Source: Listentothebanned.com 
             
          25. Tracy Chapman – Freedom Now
            Two songs – “Freedom Now” and “Material World”, were considered undesirable by the censorship committee of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          26. Janis Joplin – Me and Bobby McGee
            This was a mega hit for Joplin. But she also provoked and was fined US $200 for violating local profanity and obscenity laws for her performance after a concert in Tampa, Florida. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          27. Junoon – Open Your Eyes
            The band got into trouble when its members protested against the nuclear bomb tests of Pakistan and India. The band was denied the right to perform for a long period in Pakistan. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          28. Chiwoniso Maraire – Zvichapera
            Originally a strong supporter of President Robert Mugabe’s land reforms in Zimbabwe, Chiwoniso Maraire started openly criticizing the lack of competence, the increasing corruption and lack of free speech. After experiencing interrogations by the police, she decided to leave Zimbabwe in 2007.  Source: Listentothebanned.com 
             
          29. The Au Pairs – Armagh
            Distributors in Northern Ireland refused to handle the album because of this song adressing the poor treatment of women in prisons in Northern Ireland. Read more: Banned! Censorship of Popular Music in Britain: 1967-92, by Martin Cloonan and The Lost Women Of Rock: Female Musicians Of The Punk Era, by Helen Reddington.
             
          30. M.I.A – Paper Planes
            Censored by MTV due to gunshots in the rythm. Source: Billboard.com 
             
          31. Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight
            Named as lyrically inappropriate after 9/11 in the US. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          32. Rim Banna – Sarah
            Palestinian singer who was not allowed to enter Egypt for concert. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          33. Bob Marley – Buffalo Soldier
            This song was advised not to be played by broadcasters in the UK during the Gulf War. Read more: Banned! Censorship of Popular Music in Britain: 1967-92, by Martin Cloonan and Freemuse.org 
             
          34. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Radio, Radio
            In 1977, they where going to perform on ‘Saturday Night Live’. Costello wanted to play this song but was not allowed, since it “presented anti-media feelings”.  Sources: Billboard.com  and Freemuse.org 
             
          35. Ferhat Tunç – Ma Ci Di
            He is a spokesperson for Kurdish rights and his songs are censored by the National Turkish Radio and Television. The state runs several cases against him. Source: Listentothebanned.com 
             
          36. Barry McGuire – Eve Of Destruction
            The song was banned by many US radio stations – many of them in the South – because programmers disagreed with its ‘ugly view of humanity’. Source: Ultimateclassicrock.com. The song was also listed as lyrically inappropriate after 9/11 in the US. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          37. Matisyahu – One Day
            He was banned from playing at festival in Spain after he refused to make a statement outlining his position on Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          38. The Police – Invisible Sun
            The song was banned by the BBC in 1981 because of its ’overtly political, Northern Ireland-inspired lyrics’. Source: News.bbc.co.uk 
             
          39. Rodríguez – Sugar Man
            Rodríquez gained huge popularity amongst white middle class youngsters in South Africa during Apartheid. His music was banned on national radio for lyrics dealing with sex and drugs. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          40. Fela Kuti – Zombie
            By the mid 1970’s, Fela Kuti began to critisize the Nigerian government and the general social decay. His music club was attacked by police and the regime made several attempts to silence him. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          41. Rosemary Clooney – Mambo Italiano
            The ABC network banned the song saying it did not meet the network’s “standards for good taste”. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          42. Victor Jara – Manifiesto
            Considered a strong spokesperson for the Chilean left wing Jara was arrested shortly after a US supported military coup led by general Augusto Pinochet in 1973. Jara was taken to a soccer stadium in Santiago where he was tortured and killed. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          43. Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
            The UN Special Committee Against Apartheid announced that anyone buying the album “Graceland” was violating the embargo on South Africa. Simon wished to promote the great black music tradition of South Africa and broke the cultural boycott, which not only affected the regime but even black artists preventing them access to the global market. In Popular Music Censorship in South Africa, ed: Michael Drewett and Martin Cloonan.
             
          44. Tom Robinson Band – Glad To Be Gay
            Originally written for a London pride parade, the song entered BBCs Top 40, but was banned from the airwaves. This did not prevent the song from becoming a gay anthem. Source: Telegraph.co.uk 
             
          45. Aziza Brahim (with Gulili Mankoo) – Regreso
            The authorities in Morocco censor her music because her songs are addressing the cause of the Sahrawi people in West Sahara who have been tortured, killed, or reported missing during the conflict that has driven hundreds of thousands Sahrawis into neighbouring Algeria.  Source: Listentothebanned.com 
             
          46. Techung (with Dalai Lama, Lopez, Tyabji, Rodríguez and Mitchell) – Exile
            Forced into exile from Tibet because of his music. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          47. Lapiro De Mbanga – Over Done
            “The sheriff of the backyards” was addressing power abuse in Cameroon. He was imprisoned because of a song “Constitution Constipée” critisizing the President. Lapiro spent three years in prison and was later forced into exile due to threats. He died in 2014. Source: Listentothebanned.com 
             
          48. Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone
            In 1968, a radio station in El Paso, Texas, banned all his records since the lyrics were ‘difficult to understand. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          49. The Bangles – Walk Like an Egyptian
            Named as lyrically inappropriate after 9/11 in the US. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          50. Dixie Chicks – Not Ready to Make Nice
            This top selling band received death threats and where banned by hundreds of radio stations following a critical remark on President Bush (and the war on Iraq) at a concert in London in 2003. The band was silenced but returned triumphantly in 2006 with this song. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          51. Lucrecia – La noche de la iguana
            She left Cuba for Spain and is not allowed to return to the country. The reason? This song “La noche de la iguana” (The Night Of The Iguana) – a freedom anthem from the album ‘Censuré à Cuba’. Source: Articles.chicagotribune.com 
             
          52. Haroon Bacha – Zama Zra Kawi Ghla Ganay
            Because of his messages of pluralism and peace, Bacha became a prime target of religious extremists in North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. In 2008, he was forced into exile due to threats on his life. Source: Listentothebanned.com 
             
          53. Ramy Essam – Taty Taty
            Ramy Essam performed Irhal – the anthem of the Egyptian revolution, in front of hundreds of thousands of people at Tahrir Square in Egypt in 2011. He was severely tortured by the police but continued to address corruption and social injustice. His performances were banned. In 2015 he decided to leave Egypt and is currently hosted as visiting artist by Malmö city Council, Sweden. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          54. Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time
            Following complaints about the video of the song, several video channels dropped or restricted the music clip. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          55. Madonna – Justify My Love
            MTV banned the music video because it contained scenes of sadomasochism, homosexuality, cross-dressing, and group sex. Source: Billboard.com  and Freemuse.org 
             
          56. Bobby Rush (with BlindDog Smokin’, Dr. John) – Another Murder in New Orleans
            State park officials in Kentucky un-invited blues singer Bobby Rush, because they feared his act was too sexually suggestive. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          57. Kamilya Jubran (with Werner Hasler) – Al-Shaatte’ Al-Akhar
            Lead singer of Palestinian music group Sabreen representing the voice of resistance and struggle for freedom, Jubran went and created a new style of a modern Arabic song. As any other Palestinian artist carrying an Israeli passport, she is limited in her freedom of movement and in the distribution of her music. Source: Listentothebanned.com 
             
          58. Sheryl Crow – Love Is A Good Thing
            The album was banned in Wal-Mart stores because of this song, which mentions children killing each other “with a gun they bought at the Wal-Mart discount stores”. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          59. Eagles Of Death Metal – Kiss the Devil
            Their concert at the Bataclan club in Paris in 2015 was attacked, leaving 89 people killed. Source: Freemuse.org 
             
          60. Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World
            Named as lyrically inappropriate after 9/11 in the US. Source: Freemuse.org 
             

 

Posted on March 3, 2016 at 09:10 by Johanna Anemalm · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Posts from Freemuse · Tagged with: 

Music Freedom Day: Musician sentenced to imprisonment sells instrument to pay fine

mehdi rajabian with sehtar

The freedom to express oneself through art is a human right to be rejoiced. Today is Music Freedom Day, a day to celebrate musicians, their songs and the fans and audiences who enjoy their craft and performances.

But also on this day, we bring attention to the many musicians who are not able to practice this human right of artistic freedom, and to the repressive societies, governments, policies and religions that do not allow their people to freely express themselves and enjoy the beautiful songs they produce.

Mehdi Rajabian is one such unfortunate musician. He, along with two other artists – his brother Hossein and Yousef Emadi – have just this week been sentenced to three years in prison in Iran for their art and their business to produce, promote and spread music across Iran.

Mehdi’s chosen instrument for his musical expression is the Sehtar, a stringed instrument that has enabled him, and so many other musicians before him, to tell the stories and express the feelings and ideas important to all members of a vibrant society. But soon that freedom will be taken away from him and his fellow artists.

So on Music Freedom Day, while still free on bail before being taken into custody, Mehdi has made yet another difficult decision:

I have put my own instrument (Sehtar) for sale to be able to pay the penalty that is part of the sentence that Iranian authorities have issued for me. My instrument is all I have. So, I put this instrument, which has made me cry and laugh, on sale. It isn’t just an instrument. It is a broken sword that belongs to a defeated soldier of the battle of Chaldiran which I call: “The History of Iran as Told by Sehtar”. Yes, we would cry too, when we are tired of everything.

Freemuse has campaigned for the charges against Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi to be dropped and now calls for the reversal of the final judgment by the Tehran Appeals Court.



Photo of Mehdi Rajabian sitting with his Sehtar courtesy of the artist


» Find Mehdi Rajabian’s Instagram post here:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BCdmoMKG6SK/

mehdi rajabian instagram

» To find out more about the case on Mehdi Rajabian, Hossein Rajabian and Yousef Emadi go to the Freemuse website here: http://freemuse.org/archives/11855

Posted on March 3, 2016 at 08:00 by Johanna Anemalm · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Posts from Freemuse · Tagged with: 

Information about Music Freedom Day 2016

In 2007, Freemuse took the initiative to establish Music Freedom Day. Since then, more than 30 countries have joined this day through different initiatives all over the world. Music Freedom day on 3 March every year is the international day to celebrate freedom of expression and to stand united against threats and silencing of artists and musicians around the globe. It is an important day where the focus lies in the freedom to create and to participate in cultural events, without any fear or limitations.

Everyone can participate in this day to celebrate freedom of expression, no matter what country you live in. It is just as important and relevant everywhere. You can for example create a workshop, arrange a lecture about the subject, create a playlist of censored music, talk about censorship with a friend or dedicate a song during a performance. What you do is not what matters, it is that you do something.


A powerful, united manifestation

2015 saw the worst ever attack on a music audience when terrorists killed almost 90 people at the Bataclan Club in Paris. Music Freedom Day on 3 March 2016 is dedicated to memory the victims, their families and everyone insisting on the right to perform and listen to music.

Music Freedom Day is a powerful, united manifestation to support persecuted, prosecuted and imprisoned musicians, many of whose only crime has been that they have spoken up against authorities and insisted on the right to express themselves through their music. Furthermore it is a day to highlight the role and impact of music in our societies. Worldwide, musicians’ and composers’ rights to freedom of expression are being violated.

Music is a human right and so is the right to access music events without fear.

You can join Music Freedom Day by organising an event, a discussion, dedicate a song during a performance… the options are manifold.

cover_200px-w-shadowFind inspiration for Music Freedom Day 2016 from the past nine years in this book

How to become a part of this event
Freemuse invites musicians, music promoters as well as musicians’ unions and music journalists to participate in this global advocacy event.

If you are ready to speak up for musician’s human rights and freedom of expression, then send an e-mail to Music Freedom Day’s secretariat at info@musicfreedomday.org and share with others that you have made up your mind and decided to join this collective advocacy event.

What musicians can do
There are many ways in which you can do something on 3 March 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:
musicfreedomday.org/?p=713

Download graphics
Download Music Freedom Day logo for poster, website or t-shirt

Calendar page on Facebook
Music Freedom Day 2016 calendar event page on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/events/1718933588343360/

Freemuse’s Facebook-page:
www.facebook.com/freemusesec

Role of Freemuse
Music Freedom Day is an advocacy event — not for Freemuse, but for the persecuted musicians. The various events around the planet are self-organised by artists, cultural operators and media operators. The role of Freemuse is primarily to provide coordination, knowledge and awareness. Freemuse is unable to provide financial support.

This website for Music Freedom Day is provided and maintained by Freemuse as a forum for the Music Freedom Day activists and organisers – for coordination, inspiration and publicity.



Brief history of Music Freedom Day

During the past nine years, more than 100 partners and collaborators in almost 40 countries
have joined Music Freedom Day. The idea of designating a specific day to highlight the right to
freedom of musical expression was born in November 2006 in Istanbul, when Freemuse held a successful international conference on music and censorship. Initially a suggestion from Ann MacKeigan from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Music Freedom Day has been marked by organisations, musicians and media in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America.


Posted on March 3, 2016 at 06:00 by Johanna Anemalm · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Posts from Freemuse · Tagged with: