Women in Music and Art under Threat are the main themes when Music Freedom Day kicks off in Oslo today, the 3 march 2017. Together with Hamid Sakhizada and Abazar Hamid, is Maryam Sharifi, Afghan activist and festival organizer, who arrived together with Hamid Sakhizada in Harstad city of refuge in November 2016. She will join a conversation with SafeMUSE Manager Jan Lothe Eriksen.
Music Freedom Day
is established internationally 3 March as an annual celebration of artistic freedom in solidarity and support for persecuted and endangered musical artists worldwide. Music Freedom Day was launched by Freemuse - The World Forum on Music and Censorship in 2007.
This year, Music Freedom Day is taking place in a number of cities such as Barcelona, Bologna, Copenhagen, Dakar, Dubai, Harare, Geneva, Harare, Johannesburg, Kabul, Milan, Nairobi, New York, Oslo, Peshawar, Rabat, Yangon, and more.
Music Freedom Day 2017 takes place during ByLarm, where Sakhizada and Abazar will play two separate concerts. The celebration of freedom of artistic expression also goes on in Kulturkirken Jakob with Syrian Prayers
, produced by Erik Hillestad, who will be the curator of the opening evening of the ICORN Network Meeting/PEN International WiPC Conference in Lillehammer in May/June this year.
- is a highly acknowledged musician from Afghanistan, specialized in the Hazara traditional music and the instrument dambora. The dambora is a popular percussive two stringed instrument in the Hazara community in witch Hamid belongs. He is a renowned musician with a huge fan base in Afghanistan and abroad. He has represented Afghanistan in the 2012 ABU Annual Song Contest, the Asian version of Eurovision Song Contest. He has had several appearances on Afghan television, especially after 2008 when he came second in the Afghan Star, a variant of the American Idol series. He has performed in South Korea, Australia, Turkey, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates. He has also produced three albums.
It was from some communities demanded that he should withdraw from the Afghan Star competition, and he had to be escorted from the venue due to severe threats. After this, he experienced being hit by a car without registration plates, and this case was later dismissed by the police.
In June 2015 two of his music students, Arif Shadab and Dilshad Baba, were kidnapped by the Taliban. Shadab was tortured and then released, while Baba was killed. Then in January 2016 unknown men made their way into Sakhizadas home when his wife was there alone. It was after this couple decided to take cover and look for alternatives to get out of Afghanistan.
- first ICORN musician in the city of Harstad, is a respected sudanese peace singer and human rights activist. He started singing for peace in Sudan at an early age, and formed his first band, “Balsam”, at university. In 1997 he became well known at regional level when he joined “Igd Elgalad Band”, and in 2005, he quit his job as an architect to start his solo career, launching the project “Rainbow Songs”. The project brought together musicians from across Sudan, aiming to slip lyrics about Human Rights and dignity past the music monitoring committee. Abazar Hamid released his fi rst solo album, “Sabahak Rabah” (“Good Morning Home”) in 2007 but experienced increasing censorship in his home country. Songs dealing with social and political issues riding Sudan were especially scrutinized, and after severe censorship and verbal threats, Abazar chose exile and moved to Cairo in 2008. In 2009 he established the project “democratizing music” in collaboration with other Sudanese and Egyptian musicians, as a forum to share resources rather than fi ghting each other. Abazar arrived, as Norways first guest musician in Safe Music Haven Harstad the 10th of december 2014.
Since his arrival in Harstad in December 2014 he has been most active in developing music as a tool for integration and understanding amongst people of different backgrounds, including through development of the concept Music4All, now with groups in Harstad, Paris, Oslo, Kyev, Kairo, Catalunia..., and more to come.
- is an Afghan activist and festival organizer, and is active in the Simorgh Theatre's project raising awareness on human rights, especially women’s and minorities’ right through theatre. For several years she has run workshops and training for several organizations and been engaged in social activism. Since 20I2 she has headed the annual A Night With Buddha Festival
, an international project that recalls the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001.
Sharifi arrived in Safe Haven Harstad with her husband Hamid Sakhizada in December last year.
There are two organisers doing Music Freedom Day-events in Oslo: KKV / Erik Hillestad (Syrian Prayer) and SafeMUSE.
SafeMUSE - Safe Music Havens Initiative is an independent non-partisan and non-profit membership association with the main purpose of offering persecuted musical artists and artists at risk a safe place to stay and work with freedom of artistic expression.
SafeMUSE is the main responsible organizer of the event. in close cooperation with the City of Harstad and Culture Troms/Troms County Council. The seminar at by:Larm is in addition organized in cooperation with Freemuse and by:Larm.