Music is something we hear every day. I am extremely passionate about music and always in awe of the creativity and talent it can unleash. Music freedom day is not only an international celebration of expression but also a time to show solidarity and support to musicians all over the world who are censored and even prosecuted for speaking out. I am not just talking about Eminem not being able to cuss before watershed but real injustice that happens still to this day all over the world. Living in a western society we can often be ignorant to the suppression of an art form that is meant to be free from restriction.
It was breaking news when the female punk band Pussy Riot were thrown into prison for performing in a Cathedral. I had hoped this would open the door to the global injustice but yet press often do not give these issues the time of day. To celebrate music and fight injustice lets explore together with FreeMuse just a taste. Here is a video they put together with some artists.
Music has not just been a tool for passing time and entertainment but also to empower communities in times of hardship. Musicians were sent out to bring up the spirits of troops in the wars and many cultures share the common ground of music at celebrations or times of need. We all do it too...remember that bad break up when you listened to that one song on a loop? Juts imagine a world without music, expression is a human right we need to fight for. What is happening right now in the world that we need to be aware of? Where do I start? Lets look at how you and I can help. FreeMuse help put together and promote campaigns that can really make a difference to freeing incarcerated and bound artists.
Moroccan rapper Abdul Mou'men Al Shualbi wrote and released a track in which he spoke out about the corruption of the Moroccan police force and it's violence on fellow citizens/ He was later arrested and is still imprisoned for speaking his mind. Police crimes have been something rappers have spoke out about for generations and there is no actual crime against crisitisng police work and instead they have arrested him on false drug charges.
“Criticising the police in a rap song is not a crime. Al Shuaibi should never have been arrested and sentenced in the first place,” said Freemuse Executive Director Ole Reitov. “The Moroccan appeal court must stop postponing the appeal hearing and release Al Shuaibi immediately.”
Another rapper this time in Cuba was arrested for airing his political views. If everyone was arrested for criticising politicians I am sure every one of us would be in a jail cell right now. El Dkano was arrested under the grounds of an dangerousness that could lead to a crime, He has been sentenced to a year in prison. It is not just rappers who have been censored and imprisoned freemuse work with artists who have had their instruments burned, had their lives put in danger and their art destroyed.
To find out more about Music Freedom Day and Freemuse check out their website and support the amazing work they are doing. You can find more campaigns, interviews and videos. Next time you are dancing to your favourite song remember how privileged you really are and don't take music for granted.