In its annual report titled 'Art Under Threat', Danish free speech advocacy group Freemuse has documented a rise of 119 percent in violations of artistic freedom throughout 78 countries in 2016.
The non-profit divides its findings into categories, including “serious violations,” for killings, attacks, abductions, imprisonments, and threats; and “acts of censorship.” In 2016 the organization counted 840 incidents of censorship and 188 serious violations, writes ArtNet.
Iran, responsible for 30 cases, was once again the worst offender for serious violations of artistic freedom, making it the worst violator of artistic expression since Freemuse began recording data in 2012. Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, China, Malaysia, Syria, Tanzania, and Uzbekistan also recorded dismal artistic freedom records, collectively making up 67 percent of globally recorded serious violations.
The worst practitioner of censorship in 2016 was Ukraine for its blacklist of 544 Russian films banned in the wake of the ongoing conflict between the two countries.
Notably, the USA in on the top 10 censorship list -- and now that the Trump administration is in power, artistic censorship will surely increase in 2017. Other offenders making up the top 10 for recorded cases of censorship were Kuwait, China, Egypt, India, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran. Together these countries accounted for 88 percent of global censorship cases.