After organizing Music Freedom Day in Norway annually every 3rd March since 2015, SafeMUSE have taken the initiative for a one-week marking of artistic freedom in Norway the first week in March 2020. All art-forms - all of Norway.
SafeMUSE is inviting actors in the Norwegian arts and culture field to focus on artistic freedom during the first week of March 2020. Each actor - organizer, organization, institution, club, gallery, library, litteratur house, orchestra, venue, etc. etc. - is encouraged to mark artistic freedom in their one unique way, through their own channels and to their respective audiences. In this way, each individual artist, each institution and organization can talk to their own audience about a topic that concerns us all.
Freedom of expression is under threat in many places on the planet. And artistic freedom is no exception. On the contrary. Artists are often in the front line in process of change, and have to endure a great challenges. Globally, the artists are often told to not oppose, not offend, not cause controversy or alternative views and perspectives - and all kinds of issues may cause problems for artists worldwide, like gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, artistic genre, art form and direct or indirect political content. Artists are censored, harassed, threatened, abducted, prosecuted, imprisoned and even killed as a result of their artistic activities. And Europe is no exception. Spain was the country that imprisoned the most musicians in 2017 and 2019 ('The State of Artistic Freedom 2019', Freemuse.org).
Based on cases here in Norway in recent years, we believe it is important that a unified Norwegian art field takes a clear stand - and shows that artistic freedom is a fundamental value in our society and for our democracy.
Based on a joint statement from the Norwegian Artists Network ('Kunstnernettverket') and SafeMUSE, and in cooperation with Freemuse, SafeMUSE is time inviting all forms of art actors to celebrate freedom of artistic expression in the first week of March 2020 under the joint heading 'Fri Kunst 2020' - Artistic Freedom 2020.
A large number of artist organizations are behind the initiative together with Association of Norwegian Theatres and Orchestras (Norsk teater- og orkesterforening – NTO) and the Norwegian Cultural Forum (NOKU), and more are invited in - for a national celebration and marking of the importance of artistic freedom all over the world.
Our goal is to lift the focus on freedom of artistic expression, and through this help artists - in all countries - be able to create and practice their art freely, without threats and persecution, for the benefit of the world.
Read the joint statement here (in Norwegian)
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING, PLEASE CONTACT US: jle @ safemuse.org