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The State of Artistic Freedom 2018

Freemuse, 2018, 116 pages, ISSN 2596-5190

In a first-of-its-kind report assessing the global state of artistic freedom, Freemuse, an independent international organisation advocating for and defending freedom of artistic expression and creativity across all art forms, warns of the emergence of a new global culture of silencing others, where artistic expression is being shut down in every corner of the globe, including in the traditionally democratic West. The State of Artistic Freedom 2018 report documents and examines 553 cases of artistic freedom violations in 78 countries in the 2017 calendar year, exploring the rationales and mechanisms in place that allow for these violations to take place. On average, one artist per week in 2017 was prosecuted for expressing himself. Egypt, Russia and Israel accounted for one third of the violations against LGBT artists and audiences. Seventy per cent of violations against women artists and audiences were on the grounds of indecency, a rationale used in 15 countries across Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. Artists from minority groups suffered violations of their artistic freedom in a near 50/50 split between countries in the global North and South.

This report is part of Freemuse's research and advocacy initiative to promote and defend freedom of artistic expression. Freemuse believes that at the heart of violations of artistic freedom is the effort to silence opposing or less preferred views and values by those in power - politically, religiously or societally - mostly due to fear of their transformative effect. With this assumption, it is possible to address root causes rather than just symptoms - if we hold violators accountable. Freemuse's approach to artistic freedom is human-rights-based as it provides an international legal framework and lays out the principles of accountability, equality, non-discrimination and participation.

For more information, please visit: https://freemuse.org/resources/item/state-artistic-freedom-2018/

For the full report, please see: https://freemuse.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Freemuse-The-state-of-artistic-freedom-2018-online-version.pdf