In Berlin, the law on censorship of artists supporting Palestine was abolished

In Berlin, the law on censorship of artists supporting Palestine was abolished


The authorities in Berlin canceled the provisions on “anti-discriminatory” funding amid mass protests by artists in Germany and abroad. Because of him, exhibitions and events with the participation of artists were canceled if they supported Palestine.

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This was reported by ArtNews.

Already on January 22, less than a month after the conclusion, the Berlin senator for culture Joe Cialo withdrew this law due to “legal problems”.

Joe Cialo, Berlin’s culture senator. Photo: JÖRG CARSTENSEN/DPA/PICTURE ALLIANCE via Getty Images.

But he also said he would continue to fight for a “non-discriminatory” culture in Berlin: “I have to take seriously the voices of lawyers and critics who see the introduced clause as a restriction of creative freedom“.

Before, January 11hundreds of artists went on strike against German cultural institutions under the name “Strike Germany” over policies that stifle freedom of expression, particularly expressions of solidarity with Palestine.

We are glad that the Berlin senate reversed its decision to introduce the so-called anti-discrimination clause. This change is the result of the actions of a large number of people on the ground in Berlin and around the world. Adopting the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism, the policy would punish those who criticize the state of Israel – at a time when Israel is carrying out a genocidal attack on Palestinians in Gaza. We welcome the defeat of this attempt and thank the groups that organized the pushback, as well as the almost 1,500 signatories of the “Strike Germany” campaign“, the artists said.

At the same time, they emphasize that this is “only the beginning” in their struggle, because similar restrictive conditions are being developed throughout Germany.

Censorship of artists supporting Palestine

January 17 International Committee of Museums and Collections of Contemporary Art (CIMAM) issued a statement opposing the “censorship and cancellation” of exhibitions by artists and curators who speak out in support of the Palestinian people.

According to CIMAM, after the start of Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there was “unprecedented international censorship of artists and curators” not only in Germany, but throughout the world.

For example, in November 2023, the Folkwang Museum in Essen (Germany) canceled the exhibition “Afrofuturism”, curated by Anais Duplan. The reason was her pro-Palestinian posts on social networks – they were called “unacceptable”. A few weeks ago, the Contemporary Gallery of the Saarland Museum in Saarbrücken canceled the 2024 Candice Breitz exhibition due to the artist’s statements about the violence in Gaza.

In the US, the Wexner Center for the Arts, affiliated with Ohio State University, left an exhibition of a Palestinian artist Jumani Manna “Break, take, erase, count”but postponed a planned panel discussion to introduce it.

The Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University has canceled the exhibition Samia Halabi – Palestinian-American abstract artist. The reason was called “security problems”.

Read also: The International Committee opposed the censorship of artists supporting the Palestinian people





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