Artists are an early and easy target for governments seeking to increase repression. Time and again we see authorities and powerful organisations tightening laws and regulations restricting artistic freedoms. The underlying motivations most often being political, religious, cultural or moral.
Freedom of expression and basic human rights are cornerstones for protecting and prompting artists. At the meeting at the European Parliament, Mme. Farida Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, presents the report The right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity, where she encourages States to critically review their legislation and practices imposing restrictions on these rights.
The ARJ Working group presents their support to the report and subsequent proposals to the European Parliament, the European Commission, EU Member States, Civil Society groups and private foundations, which is followed by political responses and perspectives.
The meeting will include artists’ testimonies by Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove; Palestinian rapper from Gaza, Khaled Harara; and Iranian film and theatre director Vahid Evazzadeh.
ICORN is a co-organiser of the meeting and the The Working Group on Arts, Human Rights and Social Justice (ARJ), and will be present at the meeting with Programme Director Elisabeth Dyvik in October. It was created in February 2012 as a Working Group of the civil society dialogue platform, “Access to Culture”, with a mandate to make policy recommendations to the EC and the EU’s Member States, and to highlight new trends pertinent to their policy making. It comprises 18 European or international cultural or human rights associations, NGOs and networks.
11:30 Welcome by the event’s main sponsor, MEP Mme Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE/ NGL) and the moderator, Mary Ann DeVlieg, (freeDimensional and Chair ARJ Working Group).
11:50 Presentation by Ms Farida Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights, of her UN Report, “The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression and Creativity”.
12:20 Artists’ testimonies (TBC): Chenjerai Hove, Zimbabwean writer; Khaled Harara, Palestinian rapper from Gaza; Vahid Evazzadeh, Iranian film and theatre director moderated by: Ole Reitov (Freesmuse).
12:50 ARJ Working Group will present their demands.
13:00 Political responses and perspectives: MEP Mme Mary Honeyball (S&D) Cecilia Wikström (ALDE) MEP Mme Malika Benarab-Attou (VERT), MEP Mme Marietje Schaake (ALDE).
13:30 Discussion, Q&A, testimonies from participants Closing thoughts from Marie-Paul Roudil, UNESCO.
14:00 Artists’ videos.
Interpretation in French and English will be offered.