Italian Artists Urge Exclusion of Israel From Venice Biennale

February 28, 2024 Hour: 7:30 am

As of late Tuesday, over 12,000 leading artists, curators, writers and other cultural figures have signed an open letter, calling for Israel to be excluded from the Venice Art Biennale this year.


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Israel is currently expected to sponsor one of the national pavilions at the 60th edition of the Art Biennale, which will run from April 20 to Nov. 24 in Venice.

The campaign was organized by the Art Not Genocide Alliance (ANGA), a newly formed activist group. Those who have supported the petition argue that allowing the opening of Israel’s pavilion amounted to tacit support for the Zionist state and its crimes.

“We call for the exclusion of Israel from the Venice Biennale. As the art world readies itself to visit the Giardini’s nation-state diorama, we say platforming art representing a state engaged in ongoing atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza is unacceptable. No Genocide Pavilion at the Venice Biennale,” the ANGA letter states.

“The world’s highest court, the International Court of Justice, has affirmed that Israel is plausibly committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. The ICJ has issued interim measures warning Israel to cease any acts of genocide in Gaza. Israel’s months- and in fact many-decades-long assault on Gaza continues regardless, while its leaders proclaim they are above International Law and boldly advertise their genocidal intent,” it added.

The artists also recalled that leading international human rights organizations have long argued that “Israel’s occupation of Palestine, of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip — deemed illegal by the United Nations Resolution 242 of November 1967 — constitutes, together with its treatment of Palestinians inside 1948 borders, a cruel system of apartheid and a crime against humanity.”

Organized every year since 1895, the Venice Biennale is a cultural exhibition world famous for hosting artistic expressions with different political and aesthetic orientations. Taking this tradition into consideration, the artists pointed out the limitations that Palestinian cultural creators face on a daily basis.

“There is no free expression for the Palestinian poets, artists, and writers murdered, silenced, imprisoned, tortured, and prevented from travelling abroad or internally by Israel. There is no free expression in the Palestinian theatres and literary festivals shut down by Israel. There is no free expression in the museums, archives, publications, libraries, universities, schools, and homes of Gaza bombed to rubble by Israel. There is no free expression in the war crime of cultural genocide,” ANGA stated.

Autor: teleSUR/ JF

Fuente: Xinhua - ANGA

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