We stand against censorship, cancellation and harassment
We stand together against the recent escalations in the censoring, silencing, defaming, and deplatforming in Germany of those standing up for Palestinian liberation and human rights. Even before the current war, Germany had become uniquely and shamefully notorious around the world for canceling, silencing, smearing and intimidating cultural, academic, and civil society individuals and organizations who align themselves with the politics of the international Palestine solidarity movement. These violations of artistic freedom and common decency are perpetuated by actors at all levels of government, including the Berlin Senate and its bodies, as well as by cultural institutions, foundations and funding bodies. Acts of censorship harm the democratic structures and cultural conditions of Germany, and serve to isolate the German cultural scene from engaging in contemporary global discourses of decolonisation.
Repression of critical and racialized voices empowers the far right
We recognize that the silencing of voices speaking out for Palestinian human rights is contributing dangerously to the rise of racism, xenophobia, state violence and repression in Germany. It serves only the far right whose rising support positions all racialized people in greater danger and corrodes democratic public institutions, including funding and support for cultural expression. Palestinian, Muslim, Arab and racialized people are being made to pay an especially high price in this culture of fear. Those perpetuating the policies, cancellations and smear campaigns cynically proclaim that they are doing so in the name of fighting anti-Semitism. But by silencing People of Colour, Anti-Zionist Jews, Muslims, Arabs, queers, and our anti-colonial positions, the far right, who have always seen these groups as the enemy, are emboldened. The fight against anti-Semitism is the fight against racism and fascism, and must include fighting all forms of racism, defending free expression, freedom of arts and culture, and the right to international solidarity.
We stand for humanity and in solidarity with Palestinian liberation
We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, self-determination and a just peace in the name of our common humanity. Those who work in arts and culture cannot only claim to represent and defend the flourishing of the human experience when it is convenient. The same values that drive us to create challenging and beautiful works call on us to name and protest against the great injustices of our time, including the mass murder of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians. It also calls us to name and protest the fascist government of Israel and that nation-state’s foundations in violent settler colonialism. We see this as entangled in our struggles in Germany, where for too long, the dominant culture has refused to incorporate the humanity of Palestinians into their conception of what it means to truly account for the sins of their past.
How and why do we organise?
This alliance is committed to fighting against, not only what we perceive as threats to the German cultural scene from government institutions, but also what we understand to be the pitfalls of the individualizing mechanisms of the art world that create the conditions for artists using political struggles to platform themselves and further their careers. It is for this reason we feel the urgency of organising collectively. While we aim to find a language and vision that provides as wide a tent as possible for mobilising artists of diverse backgrounds and political affiliations, we foreground the needs and safety of the most marginalised voices among us. Right now, that means we listen to, and protect the Arab, Muslim and Palestinian artists in our group. We emphasise the danger of divorcing cultural censorship in Germany from the global catastrophe that is the ongoing genocide in Palestine.
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