FEMALE ARTISTS SPEAK OUT FOR MUSIC FREEDOM DAY!
Everyone has the right to music, both as a mechanism of expression and enjoyment. Freemuse, a Copenhagen-based international organization, established March 3rd as Music Freedom Day, in order to advocate for musicians’ right to freedom of expression; to carry out their craft without fear of oppression, imprisonment, or censorship. Between 2007, when Music Freedom Day was launched, and 2014, more than 100 partners and collaborators in 36 countries have joined the annual event. The combination of campaigns such as Music Freedom Day, silent diplomacy, and political developments has helped foster the release of artists around the world.
Founded in 1998, Freemuse documents infringements on the rights of musicians around the world. Since 2011 Freemuse has broadened its scope to include projects advocating freedom of all artistic expressions and initiated the global network Artsfex for the protection of artistic freedom. Freemuse collaborates with associates around the world to incorporate their research in nations’ Universal Periodic Reviews to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The right to freedom of expression is articulated in international agreements on human rights. Article 19, of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and articles 27 and 15 of the UDHR and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) respectively, convey one’s right to music. These articles include the right to freedom of opinion and expression via any media, as well as the freedom to participate in cultural life and enjoy the arts. These pieces of international law dictate musicians’ freedom to express themselves through their art, as well as the right of all people to experience music without fear or negative repercussions.
Despite its explicit protection in international law, the right to music remains in jeopardy today. In every region of the world, musicians are subject to persecution, censorship, and other threats to their personal safety and freedom. The statistics for 2015 noted 469 violations in over 70 different nations, approximately twice the number of cases from 2014. Censorship accounted for nearly half of these infringements, followed by prosecution, oppression, and imprisonment. Freemuse breaks censorship down into four distinct categories: political, religious, corporate, and censorship against women. While the historical majority of violations are grounded in politics, there was a significant rise in religiously motivated attacks on musical freedom in 2015.
Music Freedom Day (MFD) 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. Worldwide, musicians’ and composers’ rights to freedom of expression are violated, but the strong support for Music Freedom Day every year demonstrates the will to continue the advocacy and defense for the universal rights to compose, perform and participate in musical activities.
Today March 3rd 2017 MFD makes a special focus on women performers and female musicians. In some countries women are not allowed to sing or play instruments and have been threatened, assaulted, persecuted and even killed. Additionally women face especially difficult conditions in many countries as performers and are often subject to discrimination, sexual objectification and unfair industry conditions.In celebration and protection of women’s voices, artists from Afghanistan to Sweden stand in solidarity with women musicians who are censored, attacked, persecuted, imprisoned or even killed simply for making music.
Join the global event here: Music Freedom Day 2017
Music can be a very powerful tool, it should not be a crime, it is also a human right.