Freemuse Award to be presented in UN building in Geneva

Manny Ansar, festival director and co-founder of Mali’s world famous ‘Festival au Désert’, will receive the Freemuse Award on Monday 3 June 2013 at the Geneva United Nations headquarters in Switzerland.

Freemuse Award and UN logo

The award ceremony will take place in connection with a UN session on the right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity featuring artists and human rights advocates. At the session, Manny Ansar and Freemuse will speak on the situation in Mali and artistic freedom in general.

The session is hosted by the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, who launches her report ‘The right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity’ to the public. Amongst the artists speaking at the event are also Senegalese rapper and producer Didier Awadi and Norwegian filmmaker and producer Deeyah.


Due to the current conflict in Mali, the Desert Festival was cancelled this year but struggles to continue in exile. Said Manny Ansar when he was notified about the Freemuse Award:

“While extremist forces may attempt to divide and silence our communities, the cultural heritage that lives and weaves between us, will always overcome. With your generous support, we will continue to spread our international message of tolerance and plurality in exile, until we are able to return home to Timbuktu in peace.”


The Award Ceremony and the Special Session will take place at

Room XXV of Palais des Nations, Geneva, Monday 3 June 2013 at 2-5 pm


For further information about the Freemuse Award or interview, please call Freemuse director

Marie Korpe, phone: +45 2944 4280 or send an e-mail to:


Media and the public are welcome to take part in the session and the award ceremony.

• Accreditation for the public: contact:

• Accreditation for media: UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), Press and External Relations Section: Francois Richer, tel: +41 22 917 4357 / fax: +41 22 917 0165 / e-mail:, or Dalia Baligh, Head of Press and External Relations Section, tel: +41 22 917 2310 / fax: +41 22 917 0165 / e-mail:

For questions related to tv, please also get in touch with: Yvette Morris, Head of TV and Radio Section, tel: +41 22 917 4606 / fax: +41 22 917 0031 / e-mail:

For more detailed information on how to apply for a press accreditation, please log on to:

News and media enquiries – UNOG:

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