The conference is over – but this is only the beginning

1 November 2012

More than 40 artists and speakers from all over the world came, spoke, performed, listened and shared experiences with colleagues and an audience from more than 20 countries thus making ‘All that is banned is desired’ the melting pot we had hoped it would become.

Mustapha Benfodil, Algeria. Photo by Vimago.

Around 300 people attended. They came from artists’ organisations, human rights organisations, universities, development organisations, media, cultural organisations, museums and funding agencies.

Some people expressed that ‘All that is banned is desired’ was the “best ever they had attended,” blending artistic performances and testimonies.

But it doesn’t stop with the conference.

This website will continue to publish stories about violations on freedom of artistic expression. And for those of you, who wish to go a bit ‘deeper’, do read the features, which have been especially produced for the conference website.

Mustapha Benfodil, Algeria. Photo by Sunna Korpe Reitov
Cherine Amr, singer from Egypt. Photo by Mik Aidt.

We will also feature video recordings of the conference sessions and video interviews with the speakers. You’ll see a few examples below.

And finally we will continue our efforts of strengthening international collaborations for documentation, advocacy and analysis of mechanisms and effects of censorship and persecution of artists.

New global network
Freemuse is an initiating partner of the new global network for the advocacy and protection of artistic freedom

Leading national, regional and international freedom of expression and artists’ organisations met the day after the conference and discussed how this initiative can move forward.

One of the visions of artsfex is to hold governments accountable to their obligations under the relevant international conventions and national laws.

You can support these initiatives by reporting to Freemuse and our partners about violations and speak up in whatever forum you participate in.
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Ole Reitov, Freemuse



Alexander Cheparukhin, Russian music promoter, interviewed by Ole Reitov, Freemuse. Photo by Mik Aidt.
Manny Ansar, Festival Director from Mali, interviewed by Daniel Brown, Freemuse. Photo by Mik Aidt
Sun Mu, Visual Artist from North Korea
Arshad Hussain, Actor and Culture Activist from Pakistan, interviewed by Ole Reitov, Freemuse
Deeyah and Arshad Hussain
Alessandro Petti, Architect and Researcher, moderated a session about ‘Public Space and Art Clashes’. Photo by Vimago.
Si Han, Curator, explained about ‘The invisible red line: manoeuvring Chinese arts censorship’. Photo by Vimago.
Zanele Muholi, Visual Artist from South Africa, in dialaogue with Robert Sember, Artist and Researcher from South Africa, about sexuality and art. Photo by Vimago.
Terakaft played music which is now banned in their home area of Mali. Photo by Vimago.
Frances Harrison, Journalist and Writer, moderated a number of sessions during the conference. Photo by Vimago.
Tenzing Rigdol, Visual Artist from Tibet, interviewed by Frances Harrison
The venue of the conference: Oslo Opera




Examples of media coverage

World Music Network – 27 November 2012:
‘All That Is Banned Is Desired’: The World Conference On Artistic Freedom
FreeDimensional – 27 November 2012:
Dispatch: Mazen Maarouf on ‘All that is banned is desired’
When art turns into a reflexive power, to get banned!

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