ECM's European Forum on Music: FOCUSING ON ARTISTIC FREEDOM

June 20, 2018

From 7 to 10 June 2018 more than 100 representatives from over 20 European countries met at the 8th edition of the European Music Council’s (ECM) European Forum on Music in Oslo, Norway. Among them the new member SafeMUSE.

The theme of the conference was “Looking Back – Looking Forward. The Future of Europe’s Musical Roots”, and included a session on artistic freedom lead by Sara Whyatt, advisor of the Working Group Arts Rights Justice Europe and UNESCO Expert on freedom of artistic expression.

The panel-discussion focused on how to promote and protect music freedom today and what the current trends and challenges there are in doing so, further if there should there be limitations on this freedom (eg. recent UK banning of ‘Drill’ music and ‘ridiculing’ victims of terror in Spain), and not the least what kind of support is needed from musicians and music organizations to promote and protect music freedom – whether it is suppression in Europe, or supporting colleagues in trouble elsewhere.

The panel-discussion also touched upon the problems for artists “from The South” when not obtaining visas to get in security, and the increasingly difficult climate in Europe and the western world for artistic freedom. The panel included Dr. Srirak Plipat (Freemuse), Sina Winter (artist/ From the Vastland) and Jan Lothe Eriksen (SafeMUSE).

Broad artistic program

The artistic program of the conference featured a broad range of genres and performers, including the Norwegian Girls’ Choir and Swedish Sami singer Katarina Barruk plus Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhoni Silvola. In addition SafeMUSE was involved in presenting Sina Winter’s black metal band From the Vastland and Safe Have Harstad’s guest musician Hamid Sakhizada together with Marthe Valle, Håvard Lund and Håkon Mjåset Johansen. The latter in a cooperation with Culture Troms/ Troms County Council. All together a true celebration of musical diversity and high artistic quality.

5 Music Rights

For the EMC and its members the future will very much focus on the implementation and further development of the European Agenda for Music, reflecting the diverse topics and looking at how the

Agenda can be implemented practically also on a local level – some examples were discussed in the project presentations by EMC members.

The core objective of this European Agenda is that Access to music is a human right and that everyone, regardless of physical ability, gender, age, social, cultural or geographical origin, should be able to engage in music from childhood. And the number one formulated Music Right is “The right for all children and adults and the right for all musical artists to express themselves musically in all freedom.”

The idea for the European Agenda for Music emerged from discussions among EMC members in autumn 2012 about the future of music in Europe. Recognizing the need for action, the EMC reached out to music stakeholders across the continent. And the European Agenda for Music was developed out of a continent-wide consultation launched by the European Music Council (EMC). Reaching out to the entire music sector, it identifies the sector’s collective needs and sets out priorities for the future. A powerful confirmation of the European music sector’s desire to join together in the promotion of a common cause, the Agenda details which directions to pursue in order to ensure a music sector that remains strong, fair, innovative and diverse in a rapidly changing world.

MORE INFORMATION/ PRESS RELEASE and PHOTOES from EMC HERE

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