"Contrabanned" artists take the SXSW stage

Several international artists are coming together for the “Contrabanned” performance at SXSW.

“It's focusing on the artists either from or from the diaspora of the nationals singled out by the current White House's travel ban,” said Matthew Covey, organizer and director of Tamizdat.

President Trump issued the original travel ban on January 27, it was struck down by a judge. He issued another version earlier this month, which excluded Iraq. That order was also blocked.

Organizers say the emotional effect still lingers.

“A lot of us in the entertainment industry were really concerned about the way it was going to impact both the arts and the ability of artists to get their messages of peace, understanding or empathy,” said Covey.

They felt SXSW would be the best place to hold a showcase like this.

“I feel very committed that SXSW is committed to the international face of music here at the conference,” said Marco Werman, host and executive director of “The World.”

“We have Iraq, we have Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, we don't have Yemen,” said Covey.

Performances will go on Friday from 7:30 until 1:50 am at the Globalfest at The Palm Door.

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