Monday 22 May 2023

New Report on Freedom of Artistic Expression in Europe

The Council of Europe has published a new report, authored by Sarah Whyatt, on the freedom of artistic expression in Europe, entitled Free to create: artistic freedom in Europe. it includes an overview of the state of artistic freedom in Europe ass well as an overview of global and ECHR standards and a discussion of several topical issues, ranging from the status of artists to self-censorship. This is the abstract:

'“With democracy under great pressure, the key role of arts and culture as powerful means for maintaining constructive dialogue in democratic, diverse and open societies becomes ever more evident. The right to freedom of artistic expression is a key to this and ensures the pluralism and vitality of the democratic process.” - Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić)

This report gives a comprehensive overview of the challenges that European artists and cultural workers face in the practice of their right to freedom of artistic expression. These range from laws that curtail creative freedom, attacks from nongovernmental groups and online threats to the “under-theradar” pressures that contribute to self-censorship.

It reflects the work carried out by the Council of Europe, other international intergovernmental organisations promoting freedom of expression and human rights, and non-governmental, civil society and cultural organisations concerned with artists’ and cultural rights, as well as the experiences and perspectives of artists. It concludes with recommendations on what can be done to protect artistic freedom, by international institutions such as the Council of Europe and by the cultural sector and artists themselves.'