The Montreal International Jazz Festival has explained its decision to censor a show
featuring a white woman singing songs composed by black slaves.
Festival CEO Jacques-Andre Dupont said the decision to abruptly cancel SLAV partway through its run was made for a mix of technical and human reasons, including security concerns raised by the escalating vitriol surrounding the show. He
also said that the show's star, Betty Bonifassi, had broken her ankle and indicated she was no longer able to continue.
He said that while many protesters were peaceful, the festival and the theatre where the show was performed were concerned by the aggression of some protesters and the rising division and anger surrounding the show. He said Bonifassi's decision to
not continue was prompted both by her injury and the criticism.
Dupont said the festival and the production company would absorb what he said would be hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses associated with cancelling the show, including paying the performers.
SLAV, one of the hottest tickets at this year's jazz festival, was the subject of protests claiming 'cultural appropriation' of black culture and history. It was described as a theatrical odyssey based on slave songs and a journey through
traditional Afro-American songs, from cotton fields to construction sites, railroads, from slave songs to prison songs.
Black activists denounced the show and its mostly-white cast, and U.S. musician Moses Sumney cancelled a gig at the festival in protest.
Amid a storm of international media attention, the festival announced Wednesday it was cancelling the remaining performances and apologizing to anybody who had been hurt.
The renowned Quebec playwright Robert Lepage who directed the show criticized the decision to cancel it, calling it a direct blow to artistic freedom. He said in a statement that actors pretending to be someone else is at the very heart of
When we are no longer allowed to step into someone else's shoes, when it is forbidden to identify with someone else, theatre is denied its very nature, it is prevented from performing its primary function and is thus rendered meaningless.
The war on drill rages on. Some of its most popular videos have been banned from YouTube. 1011, a prominent rap group, is now banned
from making music with any mention of death or injury, and must inform police about all upcoming videos and shows.
In June, the police gained a court order that effectively bans drill music being made without their permission. However, even if YouTube has deemed the genre as too explicit or dangerous, it's not too explicit for Pornhub, where some drill videos
are now being uploaded.
DJ and presenter Tim Westwood's broadcasting of drill artists is turning up on Pornhub. His Crib Sessions with BSIDE , 1011 , and Zone have appeared on the adult film site, after being pulled down from YouTube, alongside a host of 1011's music
videos which made their way onto the site over the weekend.
Award winning rappers Farid Bang and Kollegah will not face prosecution over lyrics that referenced Auschwitz and the Holocaust .
A few people were offended when Kollegah and Farid Bang compared their bodies with those of Auschwitz prisoners, and also by a suggestion that they were doing another Holocaust.
However, prosecutors have said their artistic freedom was guaranteed by the constitution, and while the rap lyrics were deemed offensive, they did not amount to Holocaust denial or incitement of violence.
Dusseldorf prosecutor's office spokesman Ralf Herrenbruck told German media that while the words may have been vulgar, misogynistic and homophobic, it would not be possible to bring charges, saying it was neither an endorsement nor a
trivialisation of the Nazi regime and its genocide. A statement explained:
The comparison of a concentration camp inmate with their own body may be tasteless, but it does not represent denial of the Holocaust.
The two 'offending' lines from their latest album J BG3 (Young, brutal, good looking 3).
One track includes the words: My body is more defined than those of Auschwitz inmates.
Another has the lyric: I'm doing another Holocaust, coming with the Molotov.
Five gang members caught with machetes and baseball bats have been banned from making drill music glorifying violence.
Members of the 1011 gang were jailed or detained for conspiracy to commit violent disorder, in Notting Hill.
The Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs), thought to be the first of their kind, bans the group from mentioning death or injury in songs or on social media. Three leaders will also be required to inform police of new music videos and upcoming
Recorder Ann Mulligan at Kingston Crown Court issued the three-year CBOs, following an application by the Metropolitan Police's Trident gang unit.
Mic, a rapper and producer form north London, said the order sets an ugly precedent. He said:
There is a censorship problem in the country. There are a lot of young musicians in this country whose only outlet for expressing themselves is music. It might be violent but what do you expect in the Britain we're in right now?