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May 19, 2021

Cultural work is never neutral. As artists and cultural workers, we recognize art’s power to uplift, mobilize, and transform the horizon of what is possible. As we write, Israel is bombarding Palestinians trapped in Gaza from the land, air and sea. Israel is targeting civilians, hospitals, apartment buildings, schools, libraries, critical infrastructure,  and media facilities. This newest, devastating iteration of collective punishment follows more than a decade of brutal siege, periodic bombing campaigns and a public health crisis compounded by Gaza’s decimated infrastructure, undrinkable water and the Covid crisis that preceded this round of attacks.   

Amid the renewed vicious Israeli bombardment of Gaza and militarized expulsions of Palestinians from their generational homes in Jerusalem, and assaults on worshipers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, we are witnessing growing numbers of increasingly violent settler mobs organizing to intimidate and attack Palestinians across all of Palestine, all in coordination with the Israeli military. This ongoing ethnic cleansing has been continuous since the beginning of this settler colonial project, before 1948. The horrifying scenes emerging from cities like Haifa, Lydd and Yaffa of settler mobs chanting “Death to Arabs” on the streets and breaking into Palestinian homes, the publicly-televised lynchings of Palestinians, and the marking of Palestinian homes in mixed cities for attack all evoke our historical memory of all racialized and colonial violence.

We refuse to lend our creativity, names and labor to normalize the ongoing violence of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and theft of Palestinian land that continues to unfold under Israeli settler colonialism. The Israeli state explicitly uses the cultural sector to whitewash its war crimes and to divert attention from its systematic denial of Palestinian rights. It’s well-established that the Israeli government invests heavily in mobilizing art and culture to create a false impression of a democratic state in order to sustain its apartheid state. As Palestinians rise up across all regions of Palestine, and throughout the world, rewriting and correcting a narrative that paints the colonized as responsible for their own suffering, we extend our full support to the Palestinian uprising for freedom, justice, equality and sovereignty..

We embrace the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as a tool to dismantle Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. We affirm that Palestinian liberation is achievable, urgent, and necessary. Our movement is strengthened by explicit bonds of solidarity internationally, and our liberation is linked to the liberation of all oppressed people of the world. We affirm that decolonization is only possible through a feminist and anti-racist praxis that dismantles heteropatriarchy and white supremacy in its path to emancipation.

We commit to : 

No work with Israeli state or affiliated institutions:

  • Refusing all work, performance and exhibition opportunities within Israeli state or affiliated institutions.

No work with Israeli state or affiliated funding or sponsorship:

  • Refusing participation in all international workshops and professional development programs with Israeli state or affiliated sponsorship; we will investigate all international invitations for Israeli funding or sponsorship
  • Boycott institutions in the Arab world, and internationally, which take money from Israeli state or affiliated institutions

Oppose censorship 

  • Urge institutions of all forms to stop censoring artists who speak about Israeli crimes and settler-colonialism
  • Extend the same approach and solidarity to other indigenous and oppressed groups who live in such injustices

No normalization

  • Work with Israeli artists only on projects explicitly directed towards decolonization and/or dismantling apartheid
  • Actively counter  a “both sides” narrative and depoliticizing language that equalizes oppressed and oppressor 
  • Urge our artists unions and federations internationally to adopt a Cultural Boycott Resolution such as ( but not limited ) to travel, performance or service-provision in Israel with any Israeli state or Pro-Israeli Institution