I am a strong believer in and defender of the universal rights to freedom of artistic expression - including social and economic rights – and the universal rights to access to a diversity of cultural expressions.
Having covered music, cultural as well as political issues for the Danish Broadcasting for almost 30 years, I co-initiated in 1999 with Marie Korpe and Klaus Slavensky, Freemuse – the first international organization to address music censorship and advocate artistic freedom worldwide.
I joined the organisation full time in 2005 and was the Executive Director from 2013-2017, when I decided to retire and concentrate on consultancies, lectures, training and writing.
Since June 2022 I have re-joined Freemuse as elected member of the Freemuse Executive Committee.
UNESCO was the first organisation to request my expertise when I left Freemuse. I have since then co-developed with my colleague Sara Whyatt, formerly of PEN International, training modules on artistic freedom for UNESCO within the framework of the 2005 UNESCO Convention as well as writing reports for clients such as Hildesheim University and the Swedish Arts Council.
Since 2016, I have run training courses for UNESCO as well as moderated panels as part of World Press Freedom. We have done so in Finland, Indonesia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Namibia, and Thailand.
I enjoy particularly running training courses, moderating panels as well as doing keynote speeches.
Some of my recent written works include:
Main writer of Cultural Rights Manual for New Democracy Fund 2022
Co-writing reports on artistic freedom for Hildesheim University/ARJ and the Swedish Arts Council 2019
Co-developing training modules on artistic freedom for UNESCO 2018-2019
Editor of Art under Threat 2015-2016
Here are some excerpts of my past work:
In 2012 I initiated, co-developed and produced the world’s first ever conference on artistic freedom “All that is banned is desired.” The same year I was contracted by the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, Ms. Farida Shaheed as expert consultant to write a background research report on artistic freedom to qualify the development of the first ever UN report addressing the right to artistic freedom and creativity.
Three years later I wrote the chapter on artistic freedom for The UNESCO 2015 Global Report “Re|Shaping Cultural Policies" and developed with UNESCO and my colleague, Sara Whyatt, the monitoring system on artistic freedom for the 2005 UNESCO Convention.
The two documents are now the key global references to the understanding of the rights to freedom of artistic expression.
Before I co-initiated Freemuse, I worked for three decades as broadcaster and cultural journalist in almost 50 countries for DR – The Danish Broadcasting Corporation.
In periods, I worked in Mali as consultant to the cultural co-operative Jamana/Sorofe, (86-92) as UNESCO consultant to The Bhutan Broadcasting Service (88-89), CICIBA, Gabon and as senior advisor for the Development Communications Company, DaniCom (87-92).
In 1987-1988, I served as joint foreign correspondent in India with Marie Korpe, for SR – The Swedish National Public Radio.
As moderator, I have conducted panels for Freemuse at four World Conferences as well as conferences and seminars organised by UNESCO, UN Special Rapporteurs, Oslo World Music Festival, National Arts Councils in Norway and Sweden, CKU, The Nordic Council, SafeMUSE and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.
The list of artists featured in these sessions include Pussy Riot, Hugh Masekela, Deeyah Khan, Ramy Essam, Ferhat Tunc, Lavon Volski, Mahsa Vadhat, Moddi and Marcel Khalife.
BBC, New York Times, O Globo, Al Jazeera, SABC, Le Monde and several other media and film production companies have interviewed and consulted me on mechanisms and effects of censorship and repression of artistic freedom.