Report on the right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity
In this report, the Special Rapporteur Mrs Farida Shaheed addresses the multi-faceted ways in which the right to the freedom indispensable for artistic expression and creativity may be curtailed. She reflects upon the growing worldwide concern that artistic voices have been or are being silenced by various means and in different ways. This report addresses laws and regulations restricting artistic freedoms as well as economic and financial issues significantly impacting on such freedoms. The underlying motivations are most often political, religious, cultural or moral, or lie in economic interests, or are a combination of those.
The Special Rapporteur encourages States to critically review their legislation and practices imposing restrictions on the right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity, taking into consideration their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil this right. The Special Rapporteur notes that more discussion is urgently needed in several areas that she has considered.
On the initiative of UNESCO, the second edition of the International Jazz Day was celebrated on Tuesday 30 April 2013. FIM and French musicians’ union SNAM organized a round table in Paris (Carrousel du Louvre) entitled “Jazz: a passion, a profession”, providing a backdrop for reflection on the living conditions of jazz musicians, as well as on how production and diffusion of this form of music was evolving.
Six speakers* all addressed different aspects of jazz musicians’ work, from stage to recording sessions, and painted an alarming picture of working conditions for these artists.
Although everyone applauded the principle of an international day devoted to jazz, all participants underlined how this form of music has been forgotten in popular culture, the ever-widening gap between recognized artists and those who are less well-known and, to a certain extent, the disappearance of a sort of “jazz musicians middle class”, also regretting the cold feet of music diffusers and distributors when it came to giving young people their chance. Moreover, this situation is made worse by the fall-off in public aid and backing from collecting societies within the scope of artistic action.
Participants did, however, underline their determination to help young musicians live from the fruit of their passion against this difficult backdrop. They also expressed their hope that the International Jazz Day would help trigger a renewal of this music genre where the media and general public were concerned.
* Maïté Delhin (producer), Emmanuel Bex (organist), Fred Maurin (President of the Federation Grands Formats), Jean-Remy Guedon (Vice-President of the residency committee of the Centre national de la chanson, des variétés et du jazz), Michel Goldberg (Director of Arpej) – Moderator: Jonathan Duclos-Arkilovitch (coordinator of Victoires du Jazz)
Staged by the European Music Council (EMC), subtitled “Regenerating Europe through Music“, this event highlighted how music could generate social links and be a catalyst in the development or rehabilitation of cities, of which Glasgow -today an outstanding cultural capital- is a prime illustration. The Forum gave wide opportunities to the new generation, with a day entirely devoted to youth.
Thomas Dayan (FIM) and Patrick Ager (ECSA – European Composer & Songwriter Alliance) were invited to jointly run a debate on advocacy actions in favour of performers, songwriters and composers.
Jan Lothe Eriksen (MFO, Norway), coordinator of the SafeMUSE project, presented this initiative whose aim is to develop a network of refuge-cities committed to receiving musicians persecuted or threatened by authoritarian regimes to provide them with temporary haven (for a period up to two years).
The 3rd edition of FIM’s International Orchestra Conference will be taking place in Oslo, Norway, from the 24 to 26 February 2014, with the backing of Norwegian musicians’ union MFO.
The first two editions (Berlin, 2008 – Amsterdam, 2011) each brought together over 200 participants from some 40 countries from all parts of the world. With the help of recognized specialists, they made it possible to address issues at the core of musicians’ professional lives, such as financing orchestras, health and occupational diseases, prevention of risks or working conditions.
For the third edition, orchestra managers will again be invited to speak during the first part of the conference, in a spirit of dialogue.
All relevant information will shortly be posted on the FIM website.
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The IAEA alliance’s programme of activities for the audiovisual sector in India started on the 25 and 26 March 2013, with a seminar in Mumbai which brought together a dozen or so unions representing different sector professions.
Coordinated on site by Mr. Opender Chanana, the programme is backed by LO-TCO (Sweden), which is also FIM’s partner for capacity-building activities of musicians’ unions in Africa and Latin America.
Despite the personal commitment of their leaders, all volunteers, trade unions in the live performance and audiovisual sectors are not in a position to promote the process of social dialogue which the sector needs. The already existing sectoral agreement and legal provisions in the field of contracts are currently unheeded, doubtlessly in part because of the absence of professional permanent staff in these unions.
The programme will be continuing in 2013 with a more in-depth definition of the needs and priorities expressed by the unions concerned, with a view to giving concrete follow-up to these recommendations between 2014-2016, within the framework of a new project.
Participants at the Mumbai seminar unanimously adopted a declaration demanding rapid ratification by the Indian government of the Beijing Treaty protecting audiovisual performances.