Call for editor & writers | Freemuse

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Call for editor & writers: Report on the effects of fundamentalism and extremism on artistic freedom

Freemuse is seeking an experienced editor and 3-4 writers for the production of a report on the effects of fundamentalism and extremism on the enjoyment of the right to artistic freedom of expression.

Fundamentalism and extremism has affected and damaged cultural industries and the right to artistic freedom on several continents. In her 2016 report, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights Karima Bennoune stated that the intentional destruction of cultural heritage is a human rights issue and notes that cultural heritage is not limited to tangible objects like buildings or ruins, but applies to intangible works that include works of artistic expression as well.

Attacks on artistic expressions based on fundamentalist and extremist motivations may derive from state as well as non-state actors. The dominant motivation behind attacks by non-state actors seems, since the end of the Cold War, to have shifted from nationalism to religion. In recent years, violent fundamentalist groups such as Al Shabaab, IS and the Taliban have been behind numerous attacks on artists, cultural events and citizens attending theatres, movies, concerts, museums, etc. Artists and audiences in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Mali have particularly been affected by religiously motivated attacks. However, European countries have also witnessed severe attacks, specifically on concert venues, leading to fear, self-censorship and financial loss for the cultural industries.

Under international human rights laws it is the obligation of the State to protect and defend cultural rights from these threats. Cultural rights and artistic freedom are also a central part of the puzzle in combating fundamentalism and extremism.

In response to attacks, governments, not least in Europe, with the justification of “national security” and “anti-terrorism”, are increasing their unchecked powers while restricting the rights of the individual. As a direct consequence of anti-terrorism laws, as well as a result of the chilling effect created by government mass surveillance, freedom of expression and artistic freedom have suffered. In Spain, two puppeteers were arrested in 2016 after a performance during which a puppet held a banner with a slogan which was deemed to be “glorifying terrorism”.

As part of Freemuse’s efforts to defend artists’ and audiences’ right to artistic freedom of expression, the organization plans to publish a substantial global report on the issue with strong and actionable recommendations to governments, international institutions and civil society, including the artistic community.

The ambition is global, but an important part of the editor’s role is to propose how Freemuse can select priority issues and potentially countries where increased research, understanding and subsequent advocacy can lead to substantial improvements in artistic freedom.

The report language, as well as Freemuse’s working language, is English.

The editor and writers are expected to work remotely. Interested editors and writers are encouraged to apply from anywhere in the world. Project coordination will be handled via email, video calls and secure communication when necessary. Freemuse headquarters is based in Copenhagen.

Skills and experience (editor)

  • Excellent editing and project management skills.
  • Experience working in the field of artistic freedom or freedom of expression.
  • Understanding of the negative effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of human rights at the global level.
  • Proven experience writing and editing advocacy-driven human rights reports.
  • Understanding of how to protect sources, including handling secure digital communication.
  • Proficiency in English, including British English copy editing skills.
  • Open to different opinions and ability to incorporate alternative suggestions in editing process.
  • Additional language skills is an advantage.
  • Strong network of contacts among artists and potential writers around the world is a plus.

Skills and experience (writers)

  • Excellent reporting and writing skills.
  • Experience working in the field of artistic freedom or freedom of expression.
  • Understanding of the negative effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of human rights at a regional or global level.  Experience writing journalistic and/or advocacy-driven human rights reports.
  • Understanding of how to protect sources, including handling secure digital communication.
  • Proficiency in English.
  • Open to different opinions and ability to incorporate alternative suggestions in writing process.
  • Additional language skills is an advantage.
  • Strong network of contacts among artists and other writers around the world is a plus.

Deliverables (editor)

  • Define the scope, priority issues and key countries for the report in collaboration with Freemuse.
  • Design report production plan.
  • Potentially assist Freemuse to identify and commission writers to contribute to specific elements of the report.  Function as editor and primary contact for contributing writers.
  • Potentially research and write own elements to the report.
  • Deliver edited first draft to Freemuse for review.
  • Lead rewriting and editing phase.
  • Oversee creation of visual elements (e.g. photos, data visualization).
  • Oversee layout and printing.
  • Develop advocacy strategy and launch plan in cooperation with Freemuse and potential partner.
  • Potentially speak publically on behalf of Freemuse about the report’s findings and recommendations (separate agreement).

Deliverables (writers)

  • Research, report and write one or more chapters for the report
  • Potential regional travel in connection with reporting.
  • Work with editor through rewriting and editing phase.

Timeline and compensation

  • The project start, identification of additional writers and initial reporting is expected to begin in 2017.
  • The report is expected to be finalized in April 2018.
  • Details are to be worked out between the editor, writers and Freemuse.
  • Freemuse consultant fees follow Danish trade union recommendations.

How to apply

To apply please send a resume, a one-page proposal and an example of previous writing or editing to ziva.larsen@freemuse.org by 28 August 2017.

Editors’ one-page proposal should include their vision for the report and a suggestion of how to structure it.

Writers’ one-page proposal should include therir vision for one or more thematic or regional-focused chapters.

Freemuse is an equal opportunity employer that, in order to build the strongest possible team, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

Application deadline: 28 August 2017 at midnight CET.

Only shortlisted proposals will be contacted. Short interviews are planned to take place in September via video call.

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