Posts Tagged ‘freemuse’
Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat and Turkish-Kurdish singer and activist Ferhat Tunç have jointly won the 2010 Freemuse Award. They will receive the award at a ceremony in London on March 25.
Freemuse – the independent international organisation advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers – recognised the singers for their strong defence of freedom of musical expression.
The Award Committee on Mahsa Vahdat:
“Mahsa Vahdat continues to resist all pressures that the conservative sectors of Iranian society put on woman musicians. Despite such pressures Iran has a remarkably vibrant music scene that ridicules the clichés that are often written about the country, and Mahsa is a fabulous example of this. Last year, she recorded an album with Mighty Sam McClain, an artist from the ‘enemy nation’ – the US. Her courage and bold resistance in continuing to follow her artistic muse makes her an ideal laureate.”
The Award Committee on Ferhat Tunç:
“For almost three decades Ferhat Tunç has insisted on exercising his right to perform his music in spite of several court cases and other threats against him. He has continued to sing songs in the minority language Zaza (Dimli) and in Kurmanci (Kurdish) as well as in Turkish. He has refused in a firm way to succumb to all the intimidations, but without expressing any hatred against his perpetrators. Ferhat has actively propagated the strengthening of human rights and democracy in Turkey.”
Both artists are featured on the new Freemuse CD Listen to the Banned.
The freedom to make music – to sing it, play it, record it and distribute it – is something most people take for granted.
On March 3, Freemuse – the global organisation committed to freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide – is celebrating Music Freedom Day with a concert in Stockholm’s Concert Hall. The event will include the presentation of the Freemuse Award – won last year by outspoken Ivorian reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly – and the launch of Listen to the Banned, an album of music by artists from around the world who are censored in their homeland.
Freemuse has documented cases of music censorship in over 100 countries, and the album, released on the Norwegian Grappa label, features just a few of those voices and is compiled by Pakistani-Norwegian singer, composer and human rights activist Deeyah.
Listen to the Banned features Chiwoniso Maraire, who continues the Zimbabwean mbira traditions of her father Dumisani, and whose latest album Rebel Woman topped the World Music Charts Europe. She has been outspoken in her condemnation of police brutality in her homeland. Ferhat Tunç is a Kurdish singer from the far east of Turkey who has been arrested and imprisoned for his criticism of Turkish government policy towards the Kurdish minority. The album also includes Freemuse Award winner Tiken Jah Fakoly, Afghanistan’s Farhad Darya, Aziza Brahim from Western Sahara – a region claimed by Morocco and occupied by its military, and Kurash Sultan, from the restive far western Chinese province of Xinjiang where the Uighur people face repression and discrimination.
Tha album opens with a track from Iranian singer Mahsa Vardat, for whom the restrictions are more subtle and result from the simple fact of her being a woman. In Iran, a woman is not allowed to sing in public to an audience including men unless accompanied by a male singer. Her few international concerts to mixed audiences are a rare opportunity for her to experience complete freedom as a singer.