'True censorship is something that we are not really aware of on a day-to-day basis; it's something that's inherent in the system. There's an ever increasing element of that censorship, a sort of covert censorship going on everywhere. Read this book!' Damon Albarn, Blur 'Governments have tried again and again to censor my music and my ideas. In Shoot the Singer! Freemuse shows how governments all over the world will go to great lengths to silence the people. Freemuse speaks the truth side by side with me, standing up for my right, as well as every musician's right to speak.' Thomas Mapfumo, Zimbabwe 'The censorship of music is a token of music's power and the freedom it offers. In Shoot the Singer! both censors and the censored describe their experiences, and in different ways express music's unique capacity to build community, stimulate feeling, energize and lift people out of themselves and transcend all barriers by speaking directly to the heart. This is a wonderfully vivid and thought-provoking book.' Jane Spender, International PEN 'Freemuse sets an entirely new agenda with Shoot the Singer! For all too long the plight of those musicians who are denied their right to perform or record (and that of their audience to enjoy) their music and their messages has been ignored. We have hardly considered that the performing of music and song could endanger the life and freedom of the performer. This book is rare and impressive testimony to a part of life and art that desperately needs our attention.' Morten Kjaerum, Director, Danish Institute for Human Rights
Banning music strangles the very soul of a culture. Shoot the Singer! is the first global presentation of contemporary cases of music censorship. It examines the causes, methods and logic behind contemporary attempts by governments, commercial corporations and religious authorities to prevent people from hearing certain kinds of music (gangsta rap and narco-corrigos are two prominent examples) and the content of particular songs. The cases come from a surprisingly wide diversity of countries, including Afghanistan, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, North Korea, Burma, France, Algeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Cuba and the United States. What is startling is how worried such very different authority structures all are about music, and the range of techniques used to repress it. The contributors also explore the logic behind these concerns (including two instances where censors explain themselves what they were doing), and the implications of a digital world for music censorship in future.