1 March 2018

Liberia to Host First World Music Freedom Day

Liberian musicians and music promoters are gearing up to celebrate the first ever music freedom here on Saturday, March 3rd. Organized since 2007, the Music Freedom Day is a global celebration of human right to freedom of musical expression, with artists and organizations worldwide coming together to defend artistic freedom.

According to a release, the event has been celebrated in more than 30 countries, but Liberia had never been part of it thus, making its debut this weekend.The release says the March 3, Music Freedom Day 2018 will spotlight women, LGBT and minority musicians in celebrating artistic freedom of expression as well as highlight the proliferating trend of silencing artists. Of late there have been music censorship in counries such as Egypt.

It points that terrorism has affected and damaged cultural industries and artistic freedom on several continents over the past 20 years, but few studies have described the short-term and long-term effects of this terror on arts and culture.

The release notes that Free Muse has submitted a 12-page report under the theme "Challenges and effects of terror on arts and culture" to office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights that collates examples of such effects on arts and culture that have occurred over the past 20 years.

"There is a new focus on the intentional destruction of cultural heritage, but unfortunately, the main focus is on physical and tangible culture rather than the immense destruction of intangible culture, such as music and other arts," says Free Muse Executive Director, Ole Reitov.

He says the group therefore, welcomes the call from the UN to provide contributions related to best practices and major challenges in addressing the negative effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of human rights, particularly the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

"Turkey's anti-terror legislation, as well as provisions concerning public order, are frequently employed to legitimize censorship and limitations of freedom in the arts. These interventions are for the most part arbitrary and employed for political and ideological reasons, and often for seemingly contradictory ends. Non-state and state actors alike have increasingly and especially, used the notion of societal sensitivities to delimit freedom of arts," the release says.

The Mano River Union countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have joined together in celebrating this year's event, according to the release. Press Release

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