Music Is Not Free

Artist’s role in the social and political change

Jan Lothe Eriksen by Samspill Int. Music Network
Mai Khoi
Dr. Srirak Plipat


Chaired by Jan Lothe Eriksen (Norway), SafeMUSE;
with Dr. Srirak Plipat (Thailand/UK), Freemuse;
Mai Khoi (Vietnam), LIDIO/SafeMUSE

Artists are often at the frontline in social and political change. And much too often a target of governments, local or regional authorities and religious leaders. The new trend, however, is that the public activists and extremists are silencing the artists.

In 2017, Freemuse registered 553 documented cases of violations of artistic freedom monitored in 78 countries in a near 50/50 split between countries in the global North and South. 202 cases in 57 countries connected to music. Spain imprisoned 13 rappers – more musicians than any other country.

It is clear that those in power attempt to shut off those with whom they disagree, dislike, fear or merely see as different, with violators sharing the will to silence others. The session will take a closer look at The State of Artistic Freedom 2018 report by Freemuse and discuss the artist’s role as change-maker in a harsh world.