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Resources

The State of Artistic Freedom 2019: Whose Narratives Count?

Freemuse’s new report The State of Artistic Freedom 2019: Whose Narratives Count? is an in-depth analysis of 673 cases of violations of artistic freedom that occurred in different cultural spheres in 80 countries throughout 2018. It identifies key challenges for artists’ freedom of expression and points out violation patterns and trends. Additionally, the report calls for accountability for these violations.

A vibrant arts scene is crucial for the development of an open and just society, but violations of free expression continue to plague artists around the world. Freemuse’s 2019 report on the state of artistic freedom is a comprehensive investigation of this issue, providing extensive data on the offenses artists encounter—from intimidation to physical attacks to legal prosecution.

In Cuba and Israel, new government legislation codifies artistic censorship, and Saudi Arabia and Rwanda are cracking down on satire that criticizes governmental and religious institutions. At the same time, Spanish artists face criminal charges for “disrespecting” the police, and travel bans in the United States prevent artists from moving in or out of the country to promote their work. Violations of artistic freedom are a ubiquitous concern and take a variety of forms—these are only a few examples.

March 26, 2019

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