Artistic Freedom – a human right with many obstacles | GT 2017

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Marie Korpe and Ole Reitov are the co-founders of Freemuse, the world’s leading organisation defending artistic freedom.

For Get Together 2017 (Friday 15 September), they presented a keynote talk discussing how personal, political, religious and social attitudes impact on ideas; test the limitations of freedom of artistic expression, and address how violations can be monitored.

States as well as UN bodies increasingly recognize freedom of artistic expression as a fundamental human right. However, global statistics show a disturbing number of violations on artistic freedom in many countries – including Europe.

How is artistic freedom defined, how can you monitor violations, which are the conflicts behind persecution of artists and are those rights without limitations?

In a conversation with the audience of Get Together 2017 they discuss how attitudes impact on ideas on limitations of freedom of artistic expression and how most censorship cases and persecutions of artists reflect conflicts within societies.

Marie Korpe is co-founder of FREEMUSE and its Executive Director from 1999-2013. She coordinated the 1st World Conference on Music and Censorship held in Copenhagen in 1998 and-co-organised the first ever world conference on artistic freedom “All that is banned is desired” in Oslo 2012 with Ole Reitov. She has been dedicated to the topic of music and human rights for years. In 2004, she published Shoot the Singer!: Music Censorship Today and contributed to several books about music censorship.

Marie Korpe holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Stockholm and worked for several years with the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation on international affairs, including being a foreign correspondent to the Radio in India. Before joining Freemuse, she worked as a Programme Officer at the department for Culture in the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

Over the years, she has planned and organised various cultural events, exhibitions and seminars related to cultural and political topics. The pioneering engagement of Marie Korpe has established a model for organizations defending artistic freedom. In 2012 she received the Liberty For the Arts Award for “her lifetime achievement with the establishment and most successful operating organization Freemuse.” In 2017 she and Ole Reitov were awarded the Nairobi Club Award for the creation of Freemuse. Currently she edits INSIGHT – a series of in-depth articles on artistic freedom for

Ole Reitov is a global human rights defender, speaker, moderator, journalist and independent consultant. In 1999, he co-founded Freemuse and acted as Freemuse Executive Director 2013-2017. In this period, he was the Freemuse representative to the UN Human Rights CouncilUN Human Rights Council and even served as expert consultant to the UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights, Ms. Farida Shaheed.

He is the 2005 UNESCO Convention expert <>  on artistic freedom and is currently co-developing a training module on artistic freedom for UNESCO.

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