Five artists attacked for their work in 2013:
It is not uncommon across the world for performers to be attacked as a form of censorship, ultimately silencing what they are trying to convey through expression. Art is one of the most prominent forms of freedom of expression. People are allowed to express their thoughts through song, dance, lyrics and etc. Americans pride themselves on being able to express freedom of speech. Many countries are not so fortunate to have that luxury and many bend the rules to gain popularity world-wide. On the contrary many American artists have been brought into the spotlight for too vulgar language or such risky behavior because it is too provocative for the younger much larger audience.
Ala Yaacoub – Tunisian rapper, two years imprisonment:
Tunisian rapper Weld El 15, real name Ala Yaacoub, was sentenced to two years in prison after posting a song online in which he insulted and threatened police. Yaacoub, 25, told AFP that in the rap, entitled The Police are Dogs, he used the same terms that the police use to speak about the youth: “The police have to respect citizens if they want to be respected. I am afraid because in a country like Tunisia the law is not applied; you can expect anything.” That statement seems very contradicting in which the government can bully the citizen and enforce laws but once the “victims” come forward and try to stand up then the law is the victim. Some of those involved in the production of the music video for the rap, including director Mohamed Hedi Belgueyed and actress Sabrine Klibi, were handed suspended sentences of six months. This I outrageous to suspend someone’s career at the drop of a hat is mind blowing and cruel! These artists need a means of income too. Yaacoub was freed a month after his trial and given a suspended six-month term. Tunisia was the first country to be hit by the ‘Arab Spring’ after which a moderate Islamist-led government was elected after the overthrow of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Since then there has been an increase in ultra-conservative Islamists, Salafists, who have been campaigning for greater public piety in Tunisia.
Malian musicians – 12,000 singers and musicians banned from working:
Islamic militants first announced a ban on music in the north of Mail in 2012; since then the ban has spread to nearly two-thirds of the country, a country from which artists such as Ali Farka Touré, Rokia Traoré and Salif Keita have witnessed global success. It doesn’t make sense for a country to ban music; words on a page with an achieved rhythm? Just crazy… After armed militants sent out death threats nearly 12,000 musicians found themselves out of work, with some facing exile, as instruments were destroyed and live venues shut down. I’m appalled at the severity of such a minor global issue. So the government is upset with free speech and therefore dismisses the allowance of dancing and music videos? I don’t get why this had to happen? The 2013 Festival in the Desert, a world famous Malian music event, was moved to neighboring Burkina Faso and then later postponed due to security risks. Fadimata “Disco” Walet Oumar was forced to flee as the conflict in Mali developed: “Life without music is not possible … I would rather die than never be able to perform, create or listen to music again in my life.” The state of emergency has been lifted in the country and the Islamists driven out of the north of the country