Category Archives: worldwide

Call for UNESCO reforms and a UN plan for safety of artists

Invited by UNESCO for a keynote speech at the World Press Freedom Day event in Jakarta (1-4 May), the outgoing Freemuse co-founder and Executive Director Ole Reitov pointed out that while UNESCO drafted the UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, no such plan exists for artists, who work, create and communicate in very different ways.

“Journalists are articulate, well organized and their work for the protection of journalists has led to a number of international declarations and support programmes. This is not the case with artists,” Reitov explained. “Artists express themselves differently and in many countries they are poorly organized. There should be no distinction between the condemnation of attacks on journalists and artists.”

Thus, Freemuse calls for the current and forthcoming Director General of UNESCO to strongly condemn censorship, imprisonment and attacks on artists, and to draft a UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Artists and the Issue of Impunity.

Further Freemuse also calls on UNESCO to revamp its mechanism for filing human rights complaints needs to be strengthened, made more accessible and easy to use.

Source: Freemuse

Arts Rights Justice Program at Hildesheim UNESCO Chair

The ARJ Program was developed in cooperation with 30 international expert institutions and is initially intended to run from 2017 until 2019 with the support of the German Foreign Office and the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN). It will encompass an annual ACADEMY accompanied by an international CONFERENCE at the University of Hildesheim (Germany); a series of ARJ LABORATORIES with partners in different world regions; and an open access online library.
This year’s ARJ ACADEMY runs from August 24 – August 30, followed by the ARJ CONFERENCE August 30 – September 1 in Hildesheim (Germany). A call for particiaption an an application form is online. Deadline: May 15, 2017.

Source and further information: arts-rights-justice.de

2nd UN Cultural Rights Report: Impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the enjoyment of cultural rights

In her second report to the 34th session Human Rights Council (27 February-24 March 2017) Karima Bennoune – the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights – explains this growing challenge must be faced with urgency, using a human rights approach and stressing the centrality of cultural rights in combating such threats.

Download the full report from the UN OHCHR site here (Word document, 23 pages)

Terror on arts and culture is not limited to buildings, documents and sites

Today an event titled “Time to end intentional destruction of cultural heritage: a human rights call to action” happened at the UN headquarters in New York. The UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, Karima Bennoune, noted that Cultural heritage is not limited to tangible objects like buildings or ruins, but applies to intangible works that include works of artistic expression as well. Freemuse was was invited by the UN to briefly address the destruction of the living arts and has published yesterday the  “Report on the effects of terror on arts and culture” with 10 recommendations to the UN and other international bodies:

  • UN member states must pay stronger attention to violations on artistic freedom. Most UPR submissions focussing on freedom of expression are purely discussing media and neglect attacks on artistic freedom.
  • The universal right to artistic freedom of expression reaffirmed at the United Nations Human Rights Council on 18 September 2015 should be supported by all UN member states.
  • UN Special Rapporteurs and Treaty bodies should pay more attention to violations on artistic freedom.
  • A special task force should analyse in-depth the nature, size and effects of terror on artistic freedom and the uses and abuses of terror legislations.
  • International donor communities should establish more support programmes for artists and cultural industries victimized by terror.
  • Support to organisations documenting and monitoring violations on artistic freedom should be established.
  • The UN Human Rights Council should host a hearing on terror and artistic freedom.
  • Inspired by the “UN Action Plan on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity”, UNESCO should develop an action plan in collaboration with artistic civil society groups to secure artists’ safety.
  • UN Member States should, in accordance with their obligations under international conventions, take concrete measures to secure artists and audiences so they can express themselves freely and take part in cultural activities without fear of reprisal.
  • UN Member States should guarantee that current and new anti-terror legislation is not being used to silence peaceful artistic expression.

Artist-Scholar Residence for Refugees at Northwestern University (USA)

The School of Communication at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL offers a nationally or internationally recognized media maker, screenwriter, playwright, theatre artist, and/or scholar with screenings, productions, distribution, and publications, via recognized venues/outlets, to be in residence as an artist-scholar at Northwestern University. Eligibility: Applicants must be facing or have recently fled from immediate, severe, and targeted threats to their lives and/or careers in their home countries or countries of residence. Appointment ideally starts January 1, 2017 for up to a year (although start date and length are negotiable).

Deadline for application: September 26, 2016, all details here (PDF)

07.09.2016 – Worldwide Reading for Democracy without Populism

The international literature festival Berlin (ilb) calls on all individuals, institutions and media outlets that care about democracy to participate in a worldwide reading of selected texts for Democracy and against Populism, on 7 September 2016: “Globalization in its current neo-liberal form, long for an alternative. We ask for earnest commitment to dealing with the growing inequality that is the underlying cause of much unrest in today’s world.”
The call has been signed by 68 authors. The texts will be available soon on www.worldwide-reading.com

Source: ilb