This report, titled An Assessment of Artistic Freedom:The Gambia, offers a comprehensive overview of the current state of artistic freedom in The Gambia. It provides valuable insights into the status of freedom of artistic expression and offers practical recommendations to support artists, audiences, and advocates in safeguarding their rights to artistic expression. The report aims to guide the government and other stakeholders in effectively promoting and protecting these rights, benefiting both the creative community and society as a whole.
The study utilised various socio-legal methodologies, including case studies, qualitative interviews, and focus group discussions with key informants such as civil society actors, government officials, and legal experts. The data collected provided valuable insights into the challenges and constraints surrounding cultural and artistic freedom in the country.
The assessment report is divided into three parts. The first part examines the international context, analysing relevant international and regional instruments that impact cultural and artistic freedoms in The Gambia. It also highlights the challenges faced in implementing these instruments. The second part focuses on the national context, analysing the legal, regulatory, and institutional frameworks related to culture and artistic freedom, identifying gaps and constraints in their implementation.
The final part of the report consolidates the key findings and presents recommendations for effective management and protection of artistic rights and culture. These recommendations include strengthening the legal system, providing adequate remedies for victims of artistic freedom violations, and fostering increased awareness and collaboration between the government and private sector. The report emphasises the importance of stakeholder awareness and proposes strategies for capacity building within the cultural and creative industries.
The report was formulated between August and November 2022 through desk research, statistical data and qualitative interviews with creatives and chairpersons representing various art forms as well as policy makers who provided personal stories and insights. A research validation meeting took place in January 2023 to present the report to key stakeholders for verification and comments, which were then incorporated into the final report.
The PANAF project is being implemented with the support of the Swedish Arts Council. This research was commissioned by Selam through its Pan African Network for Artistic Freedom (PANAF) project and implemented by its partner in the Gambia, Team Gom sa Bopa.
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