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Denmark/USA: Artists censored in public spaces

14 July 2016

Art in public spaces raises several issues around acceptable content/subject matter, including nudity, race, politics or obscenity, who is funding the work, whether it’s government, business or private individuals, and what the processes are behind who decides what goes up or comes down and why. Three recent incidents of art in …

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Nordic Ministers of Culture declare support for artistic freedom

4 May 2016

“Artistic and creative expressions, as an integral part of the human right to freedom of expressions, is critical both to the development of cultures and to the functioning of democratic societies,” said a declaration by the Nordic Ministers of Culture adopted at a seminar on 2 May 2016 during the World …

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Denmark: Ban reversed on nude photo exhibit

29 January 2016

If you can exploit women’s bodies in advertising in the public space, then why can’t an artist exhibit nude photos in the same space? This is the question photographer Mathilde Grafström asked when her exhibition was banned in December 2015 in Copenhagen; but police have now reconsidered the case, reported …

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Denmark: Lego changes bulk buy policy after Ai Weiwei backlash

20 January 2016

Lego has said it is reversing its policy on bulk purchases and will no longer ask customers what they want to use the bricks for. The U-turn follows a recent controversy involving Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. This was reported by BBC News In October 2015, Ai Weiwei accused Lego of …

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Denmark: Toy manufacturer in freedom of speech row over art project

9 November 2015

The world’s biggest toy manufacturer, the Danish company Lego, has been accused of oppressing free artistic expression after they declined to sell a large amount of lego bricks to the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who was going to use them for what Lego defined as ‘political works’ at an exhibition …

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Denmark: Poet’s event going forward despite police concerns

23 November 2013

Odense Council reverses course and decides to move ahead with Yahya Hassan’s poetry reading and discussion despite threats of violence and chaos Poet Yahya Hassan will be speaking Tuesday in the troubled Odense suburb of Vollsmose after all. The debate and event with the young poet Yahya Hassan had first …

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Denmark: Police threat assessment stops event with young poet

22 November 2013

A debate and event with the young poet Yahya Hassan was cancelled due to a threat assessment by the police on 21 November 2013. 18-year-old Yahya Hassan of Palestinian decent is under police protection after being violently attacked and receiving death threats following the publication of his collection of 150 …

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Safe havens for artists at risk – a Nordic perspective

21 November 2013

Impossible Music Session in Stockholm

On 10-11 November 2013, the Swedish Arts Council organised a Nordic Expert Meeting about Artistic Freedom of Speech to consolidate the growing movement to provide safe havens for censored and oppressed cultural workers. Several workshops demonstrated the complexity of organising safe havens for artists. During the meeting two cities, Stockholm and …

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Denmark: Hippie book author accuses Facebook of hypocrisy

20 November 2013

A debate about online freedom of speech was held in Copenhagen on 14 November 2013, following the decision by Apple to not carry a Danish book about 1970s hippie culture because it contained nudity. Facebook also threatened to ban its author, Peter Øvig Knudsen, after he posted content from the book that …

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