Freemuse presents highlights from "The State of Artistic Freedom 2019" 

Panel debate: Women's rights and LGBT rights are just human rights 

From 17:30 

March 3rd, Kulturhuset

Photo Dounia_2018_1_edited.jpg



“The United Nations and everybody in the world has been coming out and saying to our government, ‘Oh, what you’re doing is wrong’. But people in power don’t care about speeches; it’s a military regime.”

Says Egyptian Artist and Islamic Art Historian, Bahia Shehaban.


In Egypt, Freemuse has documented the highest number of Women-related violations of freedom of artistic expression. But all over the world women artists become targets of attacks for calling for respect for women rights.

And all around the world LGBT artists and communities have their artistic freedom violated for content, deemed indecent or obscene, attacked and censored by governments and others.

In Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Cambodia, China, Colombia, France, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Uganda, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, due to the Freemuse reports Creativity Wronged (2018) and The State of Artistic Freedom 2018.


The Music Freedom Day seminar at Kulturhuset 3 March 2019 will focus on women’s rights and LGBT artist’s rights, on the basis of the Freemuse reports Creativity Wronged, How women’s rights to artistic freedom is denied and marginalised (2018) and the upcoming annual report The State of Artistic Freedom 2019.


            Tewa Barnosa, artist, curator and gallerist

            Dounia Benslimane, Director of Development & Partnerships, Racines

            Jude Dibia, Nigerian author and former ICORN writer-in-residence, Malmö

            Srirak Plipat, Executive Director, Freemuse

            Alexandra Archetti Stølen, Festival Director, Oslo World


            Moderator: Camara Lundestad Joof, performance artist, playwright and author


“They kill us on the street. What they care about is funding. Stop their funding. Cripple their economy. Then they might listen.” (Bahia Shehaban)


The panelists

​Tewa Barnosa was born in 1998, Originally from the Tamazight villages in Nafusa mountain in Libya, She was born and raised in Tripoli where her interest and passion towards arts has grown largely and noticeably, Barnosa focused on the use of arabic calligraphy as the main elements in her artistic production, starting from paintings to sculptures and digital mediums, She dedicated her artworks to highlighting and addressing topics within the Libyan conflict of identity, language, and roots. as well as socio-political issues concerning immigration, diversity and free artistic expression in post-war situations.

Tewa will also do an artistic intervention at Music Freedom Day - read more about her here

Dounia Benslimane is a medical doctor (2003) who dedicated herself to cultural activism and management. In 2010, she co-founded Racines in Casablanca (Morocco) and is currently its Development & Partnership Director. From 2011 to 2013, she was in charge of the programming and management of "La Fabrique Culturelle des anciens abattoirs", an independent urban and contemporary arts space in Casablanca. Dounia is a member of several cultural NGOs in Morocco, Africa and Europe. She produced many reports and studies on cultural policies, artistic freedom and cultural management for the British Council, Freemuse, MedCulture, Istanbul Bilgi University... She obtained the European Diploma on Cultural Projects Management of Marcel Hicter Association for cultural democracy (Brussels, Belgium) in 2014. She is an alumni of the International Visitors Leadership Programme of the US Department of State (2017). 

Jude Dibia is an award-winning author and equal rights advocate from Nigeria. Jude is the author of three successful novels and a number of short stories. ‘Att Gå Med Sina Skuggor’ is a translation of his first novel ‘Walking with Shadows’.
In 2005 when his debut novel, Walking with Shadows, was published the rights and freedoms of LGBTI persons in his country was under extreme scrutiny with the Nigerian legislature pushing for harsher penalties and laws to proscribe and criminalize the LGBT community. Walking with Shadows was a pioneer novel addressing the existence of homosexuals in Nigeria and some of the abuses they endure. Jude has continued to write about the abuses of LGBTI people in Nigeria in his short stories. 

Dr Srirak Plipat is the Executive Director of Freemuse where he devises a comprehensive approach to defend artistic freedom and cultural expression through research, advocacy and policy influencing, working with local and international partners. Previously Srirak was regional director for Asia Pacific at Berlin-based Transparency International (TI), where he managed TI’s strategy, research and advocacy programmes on civil participation, transparency and accountable governance. He aligned global and regional work, prioritising strengthening legal frameworks and rule of law, protecting civil society space, strengthening social accountability and people empowerment. 

Half norwegian and half argentinean, Alexandra Archetti Stølen, is the festival director of the Oslo World, a position she has had since 2006. In 2019 the festival will be held for the 26th consecutive year, spread on 20-25 venues around Oslo from the 29th of October to the 3rd of November. Alexandra Archetti Stølen is also the co-funder of Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival in Libanon, the funder and initiator of festivals on asylum centers in Oslo called «Our Neighborhood» and she was the president of the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals from 2011-2018. She has been involved in various cultural events and cultural management in Norway and abroad.

Camara Lundestad Joof is a Norwegian-Gambian documentary performance artist, playwright and author. Her artistic work is mainly documentary and deals with intersectionality, decolonialism and norm criticism. She participates in the management of Den Mangfaldige Scenen (The Multiple Venue), and has performed the self-biographical solo performance Pavlov's bitch more than two hundred times in Scandinavia. From 2018 Joof is a house playwright at Dramatikkens Hus (The Norwegian Centre for New Playwriting).