The Pan African Network for Artistic Freedom (PANAF) and the Federation of Culture and Creative Industries in Mozambique (FEMICC) have unveiled a new report titled, An Assessment of Artistic Freedom: Mozambique. The report provides a detailed analysis of the legal protection, challenges faced by artists, and strategies to safeguard their rights. The findings underscore the crucial role of the State and other stakeholders in protecting and promoting artistic freedom in the country.
The research employed various methods, including qualitative research, non-probabilistic and convenience sampling, and interviews with 71 respondents through a semi-open Google Forms survey. Additionally, seven leaders of organisations were interviewed to gather their perspectives. The research team also conducted a thorough review of relevant documentation on freedom of expression in Mozambique.
The report identifies several threats to artistic freedom in Mozambique, including insufficient legal protections for artists, a lack of appreciation and support for arts and culture, censorship of critical artistic content, political and partisan interference with artistic expression, limited awareness of rights and benefits among artists, and ineffective implementation of existing protective measures. Furthermore, artists face censorship for criticising the government or authorities.
To address these challenges and promote artistic freedom, the report offers key recommendations. It advocates for ongoing advocacy efforts to defend artists and their rights. One crucial recommendation is the approval of a specific law that safeguards the freedom of expression for artists. The report also emphasises the importance of ensuring that leaders in cultural sector organisations receive adequate training or possess significant experience in the field.
Capacity building activities, such as workshops, conferences, and debates for artists and authorities, are suggested to enhance understanding and awareness of artistic freedoms. Additionally, the report proposes the establishment of a dedicated fund or grants program for artists, with clear guidelines, transparent application and review processes, and ongoing evaluations to track impact and identify areas for improvement.
“This document provides recommendations for civil society organisations and the Mozambican state, to ensure the protection of artists and their rights, including specific laws, capacity building initiatives, and support systems for artists facing threats to their freedom of expression,” FEMICC President Rufus Maculuve said.
“As an organisation committed to fostering a vibrant and inclusive artistic community, FEMICC takes great pride in being part of this Pan African initiative through the PANAF Network. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to SELAM, for bringing together a diverse array of African voices to engage in meaningful dialogue in order tackle important issues that affect us all.
The PANAF project is being implemented with the support of the Swedish Arts Council.
The full report is available here: