Government, Unesco for artistic freedom


Government, through the Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture, has said it is committed to introducing additional measures for the protection of artists and continue to push for awareness of artistic freedom in the country as well as accord artists assistance where their freedom is deemed to have been violated.

Director of Arts in the Department of Arts Humphrey Mpondaminga said this Tuesday in Dowa during the official opening of a two-day training on artistic freedom.

“I am pleased that the Censorship Act, which for a long time has been regarded as an impediment to freedom of expression, has been reviewed and is now awaiting enactment.


“You may wish to know that the censorship law review has addressed the ills of censorship whereas artistic content was often subjected to suppression without adequate and substantive grounds,” he said.

Mpondaminga also said that during the review of the National Arts and Heritage Council (Nahec) Draft Bill, which was done by consultants in 2019, the government has taken a deliberate policy to avoid introducing excessive regulations for the sector.

“We believe we cannot put a cap to creativity and policy measures under the sector will aim at fostering growth and development,” he said.


Mpondaminga said the country has rich and diversified cultural heritage including various forms of art.

“However, this can only be utilised if we create an enabling environment for these expressions to thrive, which includes respect for artistic freedoms,” he said.

According to Mpondaminga, one of the global reports on artistic freedom, published in 2019, has reported over 7,000 cases of gross violations on the freedom of artists with 32 percent being about musicians and their works, 26 percent targeted visual artists and 15 percent on filmmaking.

Acting Deputy Executive Secretary for Malawi National Commission for Unesco David Mulera hailed the Norwegian Embassy for supporting the project which is being implemented by them with technical guidance from the Unesco Regional Office for Southern Africa (Rosa).

Mulera said the training was important in terms of enhancing the understanding of artistic freedom.

“Although artistic freedom has been clearly covered and promoted in both the Cultural Policy as well as under the 2005 Unesco Convention, awareness, understanding and appreciation of artistic freedom by stakeholders in Malawi has generally been observed to be limited and its use can be challenging,” he said.

Malawi National Commission for Unesco has partnered the ministry in the initiative as part of strengthening institutional capacities in implementing the Malawi Cultural Policy in line with the 2005 Unesco Convention on Protection of Cultural Expressions.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker