Categories
Concert Conference/Meeting Fri Kunst Music Freedom Day News Project

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility

More important than ever: Artistic freedom and mobility

March 31, 2022
The Norwegian Minister of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen, opened the conference. Photo: Jon Lundell / Safemuse

As March comes to a close, Safemuse looks back at a month where artistic freedom has been celebrated and promoted. A mere week after the violent conflict in Ukraine was evoked, Safemuse organised the Artistic Freedom-week 2022 in order to raise the theme of artistic freedom of expression and free mobility of artists onto the public agenda.

Free Art – Free Movement

On the 4th of March, dozens of Norwegian organisations, institutions, cultural initiatives and artists gathered for the one-day conference “Free Art – Free Movement” (Fri Kunst – Fri Bevegelse) at Riksscenen in Oslo. In their welcoming speech, Riksscenen’s CEO / Artistic Director, Ane Carmen Roggen,  and Safemuse’s General Manager, Jan Lothe Eriksen, underscored how deeply and disturbingly relevant the discussion of artistic freedom and mobility have become in light of the meaningless atrocities unfolding before the world’s eyes and the all too evident risks and barriers that confront many artists in Eastern Europe and beyond. 

A committed Minister of Culture

In the opening speech, the Norwegian Minister of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen, spoke of the necessity for artistic freedom of expression in democratic societies today and shared her unwavering support for Safemuse’s efforts:

“I cannot think of anything more important than to promote the importance of artistic freedom and to defend artists’ right to move and express themselves. It is simply a matter of democracy, the most fundamental thing we have to fight for.”

 

The minister also expressed her ambitions for Norway to take the lead. 

– We must look at how we can make the conditions for development and cooperation across national borders in the world of art and culture even better. Norway to the world and the world to Norway. The world community is fragile [and] this makes it even more important to stand up and work for increased cooperation and contact. 

Norway, Trettebergstuen pointed out, is one of the world’s best countries to live in, also for artists. 

– We have good frameworks, good support schemes and we value artistic freedom. And so, allowing international artists to come here to exchange knowledge and experience security, is perhaps more important than ever, she said. 

In her closing statement, Trettebergstuen reaffirmed the Norwegian government’s continued commitment to promote artistic freedom and mobility:

– While it is easy to experience discouragement when the world is fragile, this is an effort we must never give up. There is no alternative. Thank you so much for the work you do, it is more important than ever, and I promise on behalf of the government we will support you and work together with you.

The impossible task

The South African-Norwegian artist Nosizwe Baqwa moved the entire audience at the conference. In a powerful spoken-word performance that sent shivers down the audiences’ spines, she underlined the indispensable societal contribution of artists, and delivered an emotional appeal for the pressing need to protect and enhance artists’ freedoms: 

“…What I know for sure is that artists are best at impossible tasks. 
Artists continue to create because they have to, because they exist in a belief and truth that what they deliver to the world is more important and greater than themselves, that one must not be stopped, one must not be silenced, that which has accompanied humanity since the beginnings, are the rhythms, are the heartbeat, our pulsating inner percussion, it is the tones that hold us together, that created a we, a us, an idea, a thought, a dream, you can not be part of the system who refuse the dreamers to come together, especially not those who are already suffering from the violence of those who want to silence them, silence them to death, you must keep the dreams and dreams alive, because it is we who keep you alive.”

– Excerpt from Nosizwe Baqwas piece. (Translated from Norwegian. Read the entire, original text here).

The artist Nosizwe Baqwa moved the audience with her powerful performative text and song. Photo: Akari Izumi Kvamme / Safemuse.
From the left: Celina Bright Jerman-Taylor, Ole Reitov and Ingeborg Moa discussed inconsistent visa practice and ways to overcome the current challenges. Photo: Jon Lundell / Safemuse.

Inconsistent visa practice

The conference included two panel discussions moderated by Ingeborg Moa (Norwegian Human Rights Fund). The first conversation was with Alexandra Archetti Stølen (Oslo World) and Per-Idar Almås (The Førde Traditional and World Music Festival) who shared their reflections and experiences as festival organisers. Thereafter Moa spoke with Ole Reitov (Unesco adviser and founder of Freemuse) and Celina Bright Jerman-Taylor (Safemuse) about the challenges and opportunities with regards to the 2005 Unesco convention on artistic diversity, which Norway has ratified together with 150 other countries as well as the EU. 

The discussions were followed by a performance by an anonymous Afghan singer and a mini-concert by the Malmø-based ICORN guest artist, Egyptian oud player and sound-artist Yasmine El Baramawy together with Danish tuba player Rasmus Svale Kjærgård Lund. The conference closed off with an artist talk, organised in collaboration with Riksscenen, Ballade and SalsaNor’s initiative Ella, whereby Guro Kleveland, editor of the web-magazine Ballade, interviewed Ayhvin Bruno from Venezuela, Dayami Ross from Cuba and Yasmine El Baramawy.

Yasmine El Baramawy and Rasmus Svale Kjærgård Lund. Photo: Jon Lundell / Safemuse.
Guro Kleveland led the artist talk with Ayhvin Bruno, Dayami Ross and Yasmine El Baramawy. Photo: Jon Lundell / Safemuse.
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Categories
Concert Conference/Meeting Music Freedom Day News Project

Safemuse inviterer til Fri Kunst 2022

SAFEMUSE INVITERER TIL MARKERING AV KUNSTNERISK YTRINGSFRIHET

February 15, 2022
Foto: Cronje Strøm

Følg live-stream fra konferansen via denne lenken. Start: 13:00.

Watch the live-stream from the conference via this link. Start: 13:00.

FRI KUNST 2022

Safemuse arrangerer Fri Kunst-uken den 1. – 7. mars 2022 for å sette temaet kunstnerisk ytringsfrihet og fri bevegelse av kunstnere på dagsorden. Vi inviterer til dagkonferanse, løfter saken i norske medier og sprer budskapet via nettbaserte kanaler. Bli med å markere uken!

VELKOMMEN TIL DAGKONFERANSE

Bli med på dagkonferansen “Fri Kunst – Fri Bevegelse” på Riksscenen den 4. mars 2022. Her samles relevante aktører fra organisasjoner, festivaler og andre arrangører, samt institusjoner som arbeider med kunst og kultur.

Dagkonferansen er åpen og gratis, men krever påmelding. 

Meld deg på arrangementet via lenken: https://forms.office.com/r/jteb8MDm81 

ÅRETS TEMA

Årets tema er fri bevegelse av kunst og kunstnere, og hvordan vi kan bidra til at Norge oppfyller UNESCO-konvensjonen om kulturelt mangfold (2005) art.16, Preferansebehandling (eller fordelsbehandling) av utviklingsland: Industriland skal legge til rette for kulturutveksling med utviklingsland ved å tilstå, gjennom hensiktsmessige institusjonelle og juridiske rammeverk, fortrinnsbehandling av kunstnere, andre kulturarbeidere og utøvere, så vel som av kulturvarer og -tjenester fra utviklingsland.

Vi ønsker å sikre at kunstnere og kulturarbeidere internasjonalt har mulighet til å forflytte seg fritt og mulighet til å samarbeide på tvers av grenser. En rekke aktører i kunst og kulturverdenen opplever store utfordringer med visum når artister og kulturarbeidere skal inviteres både ved kortere og lengre opphold. Det at kunstnere og andre kulturarbeidere ikke får visum hindrer den kunstneriske friheten, utveksling av ideer og hindrer kunsten i å utvikle seg og bli sett, hørt og opplevd også utenfor sin egen kulturelle kontekst. Spesielt er det viktig at kunstnere fra land i sør i økt grad får delta i utveksling, utviklet sitt arbeidsmarked og vist sin kunst i Norge, i Europa og resten av den vestlige verden.

PROGRAM

12:45 Dørene åpner

13:00 – 13:10 Velkomst og kort introduksjon om Fri Kunst v/ Ane Carmen Roggen, Riksscenen og Jan Lothe Eriksen, Safemuse.

13:10 – 13:25 Åpningstale v/ Kulturminister Anette Trettebergstuen.

13:30 – 14:30 Panelsamtale: “Samarbeid på tvers”. Deltakere: Per Idar Almås, Førdefestivalen, Alexandra Archetti Stølen, Oslo World, Marthe Valle, artist. Moderator: Ingeborg Moa, direktør i Menneskerettighetsfondet.

14:30 – 14:45 Pause

14:45 – 14:55 “Fri kunst – fri bevegelse – fri utveksling”, innlegg v/ Nosizwe Lise Baqwa, artist.

15:00 – 16:00 Panelsamtale: “Inkonsekvent visumpraksis”. Deltakere: Ole Reitov, grunnlegger/ tidligere direktør i Freemuse og UNESCO rådgiver og Celina Jerman Bright-Taylor, rådgiver, Safemuse. Politisk ledelse fra Justisdepartementet er invitert. Moderator: Ingeborg Moa, direktør i Menneskerettighetsfondet.

16:00 – 16:30 Pause

16:00 Dørene åpner til konsert / kunstnersamtale

16:30 – 17:30

DEL I: Konsert med Yasmine El Baramawy, egyptisk oudspiller, lydkunstner og fribymusiker i Malmö & Rasmus Svale Kjærgård Lund, tuba, og Inkognito, Afghansk sanger.

DEL II: Kunstnersamtale i samarbeid med Riksscenen, Ballade og SalsaNor med initiativet Ella. Deltakere: Ahyvin Bruno, venezuelansk vokalist, Las Karamba; Yasmine El Baramawy og Daiami Ross, leder, Cuba Cambia. Moderator: Guro Klevland, redaktør, Ballade.

Fri Kunst-konferansen arrangeres med støtte fra Stiftelsen Fritt Ord og Norsk Kulturråd. 

English summary:

In connection with the annual celebration of Music Freedom Day, Safemuse is organising Artistic Freedom-week 2022 on the 1st – 7th of March to place the theme of artistic freedom of expression and free movement of artists on the agenda.

The week will include a one-day-conference on Friday the 4th of March at Riksscenen, as well as a campaign to raise the issue in the Norwegian media and spread the message via online channels.

The panel discussions will take place in Norwegian, but English-speakers are welcome to join us at 16:30 for the concert and artist talk. Seating is limited and all participants are asked to register their attendance: https://forms.office.com/r/jteb8MDm81

16:00 The doors open for a concert / artist talk

16:30 – 17:30

PART I: Concert with Yasmine El Baramawy, Egyptian oud player and sound artist based in Malmö & Rasmus Svale Kjærgård Lund, tuba, and Inkognito, Afghan singer.

PART II: Artist talk in collaboration with Riksscenen, Ballade and SalsaNor with the initiative Ella. Participants: Ahyvin Bruno, Venezuelan singer in Las Karamba; Yasmine El Baramawy and Daiami Ross, leader of Cuba Cambia. Moderator: Guro Klevland, editor of Ballade.

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Categories
News .SAFE Music Freedom Day

THIS WAS MUSIC FREEDOM DAY OSLO 2019

Thank you all: THIS WAS MUSIC FREEDOM DAY OSLO 2019

March 6, 2019

Artists, activists and organizations gathered together at Kulturhuset down town Oslo Sunday 3rd March celebrating music and art, artistic freedom and solidarity. A broad and diverse program including live performances, film screening and discussions.

At daytime the four first SAFE-videos was screened on the walls of the ground floor main café, and from 17:00 the program was started by Lebanese artist, curator and gallerist Tewa Barnosa, painting the word ‘Tazuri’ (Art) in the Tamazight language, the native language in North African countries such as Libya, Algeria and Morocco. The painting was done directly on a canvas of the SafeMUSE poster-photo by Najma Abukar. The calligraphy performance was accompanied by Oslo-based classical Indian violinist Harpeet Bansal’s soft alap-like introduction. In addition, the Palestinian rapper Khaled Harara performed two of his original rap lyrics. A strong and diverse opening to a full afternoon/ evening program of music and discussion.

Next on the program was a deep felt and beautiful musical meeting between two traditions, traditional Hazara music performed by a highly acknowledged artist Hamid Sakhizada from Afghanistan, now guest artist in Safe Haven Harstad, Norway, brilliantly followed and accompanied by the North Indian classical violin played by Harpeet Bansal.

The seminar part of the event started out with Dr. Srirak Plipat, Executive Director of Freemuse, presenting a sneak peek on some main findings from the upcoming report “The State of Artistic Freedom 2019”:  

  • 2017 – 165 cases on music, 2018 – 270 cases: 63 censored, 4 abducted, 22 attacked, 12 detained, 31 imprisoned, 31 prosecuted and 2 musicians killed.
  • Musicians’ rights to artistic freedom are violated in over 50 countries: most cases are found in Nigeria, Turkey and Russia,
  • Over 30 musicians were imprisoned in 2018: leading the field by Spain (14 rappers), China and Egypt,
  • Freemuse recorded threats and harassment to musicians in at least 9 countries: the highest number of cases are in the US,
  • Downward trends as new laws being proposed to tightly control musicians: Uganda, Uzbekistan and Indonesia

This presentation was followed by a panel discussing artistic freedom in the light of the theme “Woman’s rights & LGBT rights are just human rights”. The panel was in addition to Srirak Plipat from Freemuse comprised of Dounia Benslimane, Director of Development & Partnerships, Racines (a Moroccan NGO ordered by court to dissolute); Tewa Barnosa, artist, curator and gallerist; Alexandra Archetti Stølen, Festival Director, Oslo World; and Jude Dibia, Nigerian author and former ICORN writer-in-residence in Malmö City. The conversation was led by Norwegian/ Gambian performance artist, playwright and author Camara Lundestad Joof. (The full launch of the State of Artistic Freedom report will be in Oslo on 26 March at Fritt Ord.)

The Music Freedom Day event on Sunday also concluded the SAFE video-series by SafeMUSE, launching film #5. The final film documents a meeting between Iranian singer songwriter Farzane Zamen and Norwegian artist and former Minister of Culture, Åse Kleveland. The series started out 3rd November last year in the very same venue. The first film with Mai Khoi and Moddy was launched during NRK Jungeltelegrafen’s live Oslo World broadcast, interviewing Mai Khoi.

The program at Kulturhuset 3rd March closed with an inspired and bluesy performance by Sudanese peace singer and former guest artist in the city of Harstad, Abazar Hamid, together with legendary Norwegian blues guitarist Knut Reiersrud, presenting music from the LIDIO-release “We Need Peace”, plus some brand new material.

Then the program concluded at the metal club Rock In with a powerful afterparty. Iranian old school black metal artist, Sina Winter, SafeMUSE’s very first residence artist, and his band From the Vastland (Tjalve, bass; Spektre, drums; and Destructhor, guitar plus Sina, vocal/guitar) took on stage with the music from their very last album “Daevayasna”, inspired by Zoroastrianism, the mythology of Persia and Mesopotamia and the correlations between the texts of Edda (the source of Norse Mythology) and Avesta (the sacred texts of Zoroastrian).

An intense and energetic closure of a worthy, serious, joyful, beautiful and powerful marking of Music Freedom Day 2019 in Oslo – for reflection and inspiration!

The event was organized by SafeMUSE in close cooperation with Freemuse and contributions from Cultur Troms (Troms County Council) and Inferno Metal Festival, and funding from Fritt Ord, Bergesenstiftelsen, Creo, Nopa and The Norwegian Society of Composers.

ALL PHOTOS BY KNUT UTLER/ SafeMUSE

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