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Repression for standing with Palestine: UK artists slam art centres

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Repression for standing with Palestine: UK artists slam art centres
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APUK website home page.

Los Angeles: 'Artistes for Palestine UK' wrote an open letter, signed by 1,300 artists, to the art and culture sector demanding that the right to freedom of expression and their commitment to anti-discrimination be upheld. The letter accused cultural institutions across Western countries of repressing, silencing and stigmatising Palestinian voices and perspectives, IANS reported.

Artists for Palestine UK (APUK) is a growing network of artists and cultural workers standing together for Palestinian rights and for a just resolution for all in Israel/Palestine, including for Palestinian refugees, according to their website.

The collective published such a letter following actress Melissa Barrera being fired from 'Scream 7'. Barrera was fired after she expressed solidarity with Palestinian people on her personal social media channels.

The signatories of the letter include Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman, Olivier Award winners Harriet Walter and Juliet Stevenson, BAFTA-winning 'Sex Education' actress Aimee Lou Wood, 'The Crown' actress Amir El-Masry and 'Bridgerton' star Nicola Coughlan.

According to Mirror.co.uk, the production house of 'Scream 7', Spyglass Media, alleged that Barrera's Instagram post crossed the line into hate speech. Actress from 'Wednesday' Jenna Ortega was also removed from 'Scream 7' after she expressed solidarity with Palestine.

The letter read that Western countries are "repressing, silencing and stigmatising Palestinian voices and perspectives", which they say includes "targeting and threatening the livelihoods of artists and arts workers who express solidarity with Palestinians, as well as cancelling performances, screenings, talks, exhibitions and book launches".

"Despite this pressure, artists in their thousands are following their conscience and continuing to speak out. Freedom of expression, as enshrined in the Human Rights Act and the European Convention of Human Rights, is the backbone of our creative lives and fundamental to democracy," the letter notes.

In addition to Barrero's forced exit from the 'Scream' franchise, Artistes for Palestine UK cites other examples of censorship, including Lisson Gallery's 'postponement' of a London exhibition by Ai Weiwei; Folkwang Museum in Essen's last-minute cancellation of curator Anais Duplan's Afrofuturism exhibition, and the Saarland Museum's cancellation of a solo exhibition of artist Candice Brietz, both in Germany.

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TAGS:world newsGaza conflictUK artists
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