Music in Mali: They Will Have to Kill Us First
27 Feb 2014

Music Freedom Day is a global collaboration to raise awareness of the challenges many musicians face around the world in creating their music. In 2013, 19 musicians were killed, seven abducted and 18 spent time in jail for using their right to free speech to express themselves through music, according to the human rights organisation Freemuse.

Mali is one such country where musicians have faced persecution and censorship for their work.

Documentary filmmaker Johanna Schwartz wrote for Index on Censorship magazine on the censorship and persecution that musicians in Mali have faced from Islamists, with musician Fadiamata Walet Oumar.

In the article they highlighted how music was being driven out of the country, with even those with musical ringtones on their mobile phones facing crackdowns. Many musicians fled Mali during the worst excesses of persecution, as the article charts. Schwartz is an award-winning documentary maker, and she is giving Index readers an exclusive preview of her documentary They Will Have To Kill Us First.

Also in this issue of the magazine:

Azerbaijan’s photographers: Facing arrest for capturing the raw truth

Mandela’s legacy “too easily dismissed”

Pullman v. Casserly: The future of copyright

Rachael Jolley

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